Exploring the Literary Landscapes of England
“This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.”
Once there was a Malaysian professor of English, a great lover of Wordsworth, who on visiting England for the first time was in a taxi in London when he saw some dandelions growing on a bomb site. He stopped the taxi, got out and kneeling down by the dandelions, reverently recited Wordsworth’s poem about the daffodils.
Of course, a great work of literary imagination has its own life and can be appreciated without knowledge of the objects and places mentioned in it, and yet, as this story illustrates, an understanding of the environment and experiences of the author can enormously enrich our appreciation of literature. Visiting places connected with literature brings the excitement of recognising places we have long known in our imaginations and the thrill of gaining new perceptions into literary works.
To connect the works with the authors’ lives, to see first hand the landscapes they described, to walk through the houses in which they lived and to see the original manuscripts of their novels and poems – these can only be described as awe-inspiring and magical experiences.
This tour offers an enriching opportunity. Susannah follows in the footsteps of Jane Austen, Dickens, the Brontës, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Keats, Dr Johnson and many other classic writers. Modern writers and film directors of popular novels have also been inspired by English literary landscape. Lacock Abbey, as seen in the Harry Potter movies, and the Lyme Regis John Fowles captured so memorably in The French Lieutenant’s Woman – these places have also been included in the tour. Sometimes this will be a sentimental journey as you are reminded of poems once learnt, but long forgotten, or of childhood stories. Playing poohsticks in the Hundred Acre Wood on the very bridge where ‘Poohsticks’ was invented will bring back many memories!
Susannah through her great knowledge, enthusiasm and above all her love of literature made this tour something quite special. Being immersed in the places, the history, and the life experiences that led to some of the greatest literature of our time was a joy and an experience that will stay with me forever. Thank you.”
Joan – Exploring Literary Landscapes of England 2014
The tour aims to be informative, varied and fun in the company of Australians who share your fascination with good literature. Discover the glories of “his blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England”!