Like Thomas Hardy, her favorite fellow poet, Charlotte Mew's father was an architect. When she was born in 1869 Fred Mew had become the junior partner in the firm of Henry Edward Kendall, Junior. The Kendall firm, under the direction of the first H.E. Kendall, was responsible for building or remodeling the houses of the Earls of Bristol, Egremont, and Hardwicke, as well as many churches, prisons, workhouses and castles in the Gothic manner ("Henry Edward Kendall, Architect" 33). Unlike Hardy, both Kendalls were considered gentlemen, so when Fred Mew, the son of an Isle of Wight innkeeper, married the daughter of Kendall junior, Anna Maria Marden Kendall, in 1863, he was expected to transform himself into a gentleman for the sake of his wife's expectations. The young Mews took a good address at No. 30 Doughty Street, W.C.1, which overlooked Mecklenburgh Square, to be close to Anna Maria's parents, who resided in the much more superior Brunswick Square. Like Hardy, Fred Mew was a good jobbing architect. His father-in-law, a busy, successful builder and designer of private homes, Ecclesiastical and Board Schools, and County Lunatic Asylums for Essex, Sussex, and Dorset, and the district surveyor of Hampstead, needed a confidant and helpmate. Both Kendall's own son, Edward Herne, and a nephew had been articled but never finished their training and never practiced ("The Late Mr. Henry Edward Kendall, Architect" 883-84, Fitzgerald 13-14). Kendall's sister had married Lewis Cubitt, a pupil of her father's and one of three brothers who all became notable Victorian builders. Lewis Cubitt designed King's Cross Station, which, when it was completed in the mid-1850s, was the last station complex designed entirely by one man (Metcalfe 70). However, the firm of William and Lewis Cubitt still was not as successful as the royally sanctioned architectural firm of the third brother, Thomas Cubitt. The Cubitt connection conferred status on the Kendalls and the Mews. So, as was the case in many petite bourgeoisie Victorian homes, the women harbored

great expectations of the country-bred in-comer, Fred Mew. He was to rise and prosper. But Fred Mew stubbornly refused to do so. Perhaps, like Hardy's, his heart was not in designing and building. The evidence is clear.