"LEE, a parish in the hundred of Blackheath, lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, county Kent, 6 miles S.E. of London, its post town, and 1 mile from the Blackheath station on the North Kent railway. The parish formerly consisted only of a few detached houses, but now contains many residences, chiefly inhabited by London merchants. Very great additions have recently been made to the village, which is connected with Blackheath Park by one continuous line of villas called Lee Park.” from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland, 1868.
Nowadays, Lee, also known as Lee Green, is a district of south east London, England, within the London Boroughs of Lewisham and Greenwich. It is located west of Eltham and east of Lewisham town centre. It is within the historic county of Kent.
In 1888, Nesbit’s household featured in the Star ‘Gossip – Mostly About People’ column: “The Blands used to live at Blackheath, but now reside at Lee, in Kent.” In it, Margaret Dilke described the impact their arrival had on this conventional neighbourhood:
Passing from art to literature, there is a charming little Socialist and literary household down at Lee in Kent, tenanted by Mr and Mrs Hubert Bland, both of them original members of the [Fabian] Society. This prim suburb, mostly given over to British Philistinism in its most bourgeois manifestation, was terribly scandalised at first by the pleasant sans-gêne of its Socialist neighbours. Mrs Bland was observed personally instructing her domestic in the mysteries of colouring the doorstep with red chalk, and the merry little Bland children in aesthetic pinafores were seen daily running about the garden with bare feet! The gossips of Lee were deeply agitated, but the Bland household went peacefully on its way. Both husband and wife write articles, reviews and stories, the latter often in partnership; but Mrs Bland, under her maiden name of E. Nesbit, has published moreover a great deal of very charming verse.