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The town was founded in 1863, and named after a novel of the same name by Charles Kingsley, which had been published in 1855 and set in nearby Bideford. The novel had been met with wild success, and so developers hoped to capitolize off its popularity.
Today, the town is best known for its tranquil beaches, rock formations, and quiet atmosphere.
People Born in Westward Ho
Westward Ho in People's Lives
Rudyard Kipling: I attended a pre-military academy for young men here in 1878, when I was 13 years old. The school was challenging at first, but I gradually managed to make friends and settle into my new life. I stayed here from 1878 to approximately 1882, until I was about 17. During this time, I met my first love, a friend of my sister Trix named Florence, whom I would visit at Portsmouth. She was the daughter of an eminent jewelry magnate, and I was smitten. Our relationship soon failed tragically, an experience that I always remembered with bitter sorrow. I wrote, years later, about our relationship in the book The Light That Failed, published in 1891. In 1881, at age 16, I was made editor of the school's newspaper. My parents also had a book of poems that I had written, titled Schoolboy Lyrics, published the same year without my knowledge. I later used the school here as the setting for my book of schoolboy short stories Stalky & Co., published in 1899. After graduating, I hoped to attend university in Oxford, but my parents couldn't afford the costs, and so I decided to return to India.