Firefly was the name British author, Sir Noel Coward gave to his vacation home in Jamaica. Located on the north east coast of the island in the parish of St. Mary, Firefly was once owned by the pirate and former Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica, Sir Henry Morgan, who is said to have used it as a lookout — the property has a commanding view of the harbor.
Coward hosted many dignitaries at Firefly including, Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen Mother, Sir Laurence Olivier, Winston Churchill, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole, Sophia Lauren, Alec Guinness. He also entertained his neighbors Ian Fleming, Errol Flynn and Ruth Bryan Owen.
Of the time he spent at Firefly, Coward wrote in his diary, “Firefly has given me the most valuable benison of all: time to read and write and think and get my mind in order.” “I love this place, it deeply enchants me. Whatever happens to this silly world, nothing much is likely to happen here.”
He believe writing came easier when he was here, “the sentences seemed to construct themselves, the right adjectives appeared discretely at the right moment. Firefly has magic for me. . . .”.
Written on one of its walls were the first lines of his last poem, When I have fears, as Keats had fears, Of the moment I’ll cease to be, I console myself with vanished years, Remembered laughter, remembered tears, And the peace of the changing sea.
On March 26, 1973, Sir Noel Coward died of a heart attack at Firefly. He was 74 years old. He was buried in his garden at the estate.
Firefly was designated a National Heritage Site by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust. It is now a museum dedicated to the author.
This is my submission to this week’s Budget Travelers Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday series. Be sure to check out other photo and story entries on their website!