Literary Somerset - James Crowden

£18.95

Literary Somerset explores the literary highways and byways of Somerset, including the cities of Bath and Bristol. In so doing, writer and poet James Crowden has produced an intellectual road map of Somerset from Anglo-Saxon times up to the present day. Here you will find more than 350 writers: early chroniclers and opium addicted Romantic poets, philosophers, pirates and playwrights, eccentric clergymen, diarists and herbalists, novelists and historians, travellers, chefs and scientists - from Gildas to John Cleese, Fay Weldon and Terry Pratchett. Many of these literary connections are well known: TS Eliot and East Coker, Wordsworth and Coleridge in the Quantocks; but did you know that Thomas Hardy once lived in Yeovil; or that Virginia Woolf had her honeymoon in Holford; or that John Steinbeck lived near Bruton to research the Arthurian legends; or that the weird electrical experiments of Andrew Crosse at Fyne Court inspired Frankenstein… or that the vicar of Isle Brewers was once sold for 25/- and then walked naked across Afghanistan; or that JRR Tolkein had his honeymoon in Clevedon and that Cheddar Gorge inspired Helm’s Deep in Lord of the Rings ? Many of the First World War poets, such as Rupert Brooke and Edward Thomas came to Somerset; Isaac Rosenberg was born in Bristol; Siegfried Sassoon is buried in Mells. There is even the story of Breaker Morant, the Bridgwater-born Bush poet who was executed by firing squad during the Boer war. Speke of the Nile is buried in Dowlish Wake. Then there are the Waughs and the Powys clan. Aubrey Herbert even turned down the throne of Albania twice in favour of Dulverton and Yeovil. This unique resource explores Somerset’s extraordinarily rich and varied literary heritage just waiting to be re-discovered and re-visited.

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