Henry Francis Abell wrote two major studies of Kent. His general History of Kent appeared in 1898, followed by Kent and the Great Civil War in 1901. He was also the author of articles on Kent life and history published in the Home Counties Magazine and elsewhere. In writing about Kent, Abell was following a great tradition. William Lambarde's Perambulation of Kent (1576) was the first modern county history and Edward Hasted's History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent (1778-1799) influenced the writing of county history for a century. Abell broke the traditional mould, however, by abandoning detailed accounts of parishes in favour of a recognisably modern account. He not only wrote about local events, but also placed Kent in its righful place in English national history. Starting with Julius Caesar's invasion in 55BC and the establishment of the kingdom of Kent, Abell related Kent's role in great events such as the Norman Conquest, the Reformation, the Civil War and the Napoleonic Wars. Abell was a fine historian, who mined the scholarly sources to write about Archbishop Thomas Becket's murder in Canterbury Cathedral, about Henry VIII's love affair with Anne Boleyn and even the play of cricket in the county. The book is also embellished by Abell's own charming late Victorian sketches of historical sites such as Deal Castle and Rochester Castle.