It would be ungracious to the literary associations of the neighbourhood, to pass from Keswick without a remembrance of how that old Crosthwaite Vicarage, whose ivy-swathed walls upon its terrace-garden height are well-nigh hid from view by its screen of limes, was the birthplace of Mrs. Lynn Linton. (p. 184)

All who wish to know of her memories of Crosthwaite in the olden time will read her autobiographical sketch in Christopher Kirkland, but it is sad enough reading.  That she, the youngest of the children, motherless at the age of five months, should have ben left to the mercy of a set of passionate boys, who, as she grew up, teased her, and bullied her till she became as furious as a little wild beast; and to the tender care of a father, who “believed in Solomon and the rod, and put religious correction as well as muscular energy into his stripes,” was bad enough; but when one realises that in her high temper and bravery she was generally selected to do the necessary apple-stealing, and any bit of family work that would end in disgrace; and was always, failing the detection of the culprit, pitched upon to be made a public example of, one wonders the child grew up with any heart at all. (pp. 184-185)

I never pass by the cupboard beneath the stairs to my study, which is left just as her father knew it, without hearing the sobs of the poor child smarting from the rod in the darkness.  “I do not suppose a week passed,” she writes, “without one of these memorable outbreaks, with the rod and dark closet under the stairs to follow.”  Not unfrequently does the figure of the father unmoved by her sobs come before me; and the strange interview of the tyrannical bishop, his father-in-law, with the widowed vicar of Crosthwaite, sounds out in the silence. (p. 185)

“In the name of heaven, Mr. Lynn, what do you mean to do for your children?”  “Sit in the study, my Lord, and smoke my pipe, and commit them to the care of Providence.” (p. 185)

But the rough and tumble of those old days when the neighbouring parsons would, like the priest of Uldale, work afield during the week, then go down to the public house for Saturday night, “strip to t’ buff,” and having floored their men, go home to prepare their sermons for the next morning, puts Vicar Lynn in fair contrast with the clerics of his time.  For Vicar Lynn, as all averred, was a gentleman: and then the voice of him,—to hear Vicar Lynn read a lesson in the parish church, was worth coming miles for. (pp. 185-186)

As we read Christopher Kirkland, we seem to see how the little dare-devil girl grew up in surroundings which forced her to think and act for herself, drove her for solace to the “huts where poor men lie,” and made the woods and hills her daily teachers.  Readers of Lizzie Lorton will realise what the outcome of this early education in human nature was to the writer of that interesting tale of our country side.  And those who take Mrs. Lynn Linton’s Lake Country in hand, will find with what “inevitable eye” she made the fields and valleys of her beloved home her “never failing friends.”  Warm-hearted as she was, in much of her writings, the undertone of combative opposition to the conventional, and to things as they are, seems to be a voice that began to find utterance in that vicarage garden of “Eden,” as she called it, where all alone she stole apples for her brothers at their bidding, and would not tell; and where first she plucked the fruits of the Tree of Knowledge, and found so few to help, to counsel, or encourage her.  On one of the lime trees of the Vicarage garden, may be seen the initials E.L. which were carved by the “spirited young Tom-boy,” as she once described herself in the days of long ago.  I never see those letters without a memory of how the last time in the Autumn of 1897 her eyes filled with tears as we sat on the garden seat near by, talking of her girlhood, and of all the associations that the Vicarage garden had for her in its storehouse of memory. (p. 186)

She never saw the garden again, for she entered into rest on the 14th July in the following year.  Few so loved this Keswick Valley as she did.  Her last wish was that her ashes might rest in Crosthwaite churchyard.  They were there deposited in July of 1898, and the simple slab beside her father’s tomb reminds us that her work in life was literature. (pp. 186-187)   

(Literary Associations of the English Lakes, Vol. I, pp. 184-7)