Arts world dismayed at fate of London home of Rimbaud and Verlaine squib

Georgian house where infamous French poets lodged was to become an arts centre – but its owner has had a change of heart

It was the London home of the 19th-century Decadent poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine, two of France’s greatest literary heroes, whose tempestuous love affair ended with a shooting and prison. A Georgian building in Camden, where they rented lodgings in 1873, was to have become “a poetry house”, an arts and education centre in one of the capital’s most deprived areas, after a campaign involving some of Britain’s foremost arts figures.

But the arts charity behind the project has been dismayed to discover that Michael Corby, the benefactor who promised to bequeath the historic building to the charity a decade ago, has changed his mind without warning, deciding instead to sell it on the open market.

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