Who could forget the importance of Brighton in Pride and Prejudice?
If Jane Austen was a contemp. Brit gal, most likely writing about Uni, Ibiza or a Greek island would probably be the modern day equivalent. Some place warm folks could travel to on holiday and soak up the sun and spray. And do a little partying.
Founded as a Saxon village, Brighton was prominently a fishing and market town until the French burned it down in 1514. After being rebuilt, a series of storms in the early 18th century demolished a good bulk of the buildings and Brighton saw decline.
That was until 1750 when Dr. Richard Russell wrote about the amazing health benefits of bathing in seawater. By that time, the wealthy were beginning to notice that taking the waters wasn’t a panacea, and so the wealthy soon followed the example of the Prince of Wales and flocked to Brighton. Rapid growth and redevelopment occured over the next half a century, the tourist boom aided by the mid 19th century invention and development of the railway (a day trip away from London!).
What developed was a resort/spa town that is still a healthy tourist destination today.
Take a lovely tour of Prinny’s favorite haunts in Brighton: http://www.24hourmuseum.org.uk/trlout/TRA21286.html