1 May 2017 Susannah

English Literary Trail

Madresfield Court, by Philip Halling

The Historic Houses Association in the UK has recently launched a new ‘Literary Trail‘. If you are lucky you can do it in person, visiting wonderful homes in Britain that have interesting literary connections, such as Madresfield, the home that inspired Waugh’s Brideshead, or Renishaw, home of the eccentric Sitwell family. Some are the homes of living authors, so you might even get a book signed, or be shown round by its author / owner; others belonged to authors long gone, but excellent guides will show you the property. You can find details at Historic Houses Association Literary Trail.

Madresfield Court, pictured above, has never been bought or sold and has remained in the same family for twenty-eight generations, some 1,000 years. In the 1930s, the author, Evelyn Waugh was a regular visitor here.

Have you visited any memorable literary houses? Tell me by leaving a comment area below.


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Featured image credit- Madresfield Court, by Philip Halling, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14560395

Comments (4)

  1. Ruth Williamson

    While I have not been inside it (yet), I love the setting and outlook from Tennyson’s house, Farringford, on the Isle of Wight. Apparently it may reopen for visits later this year and I think it will be a must-see. The gardens will also be well worth a visit. The vistas Tennyson would have seen on his walks in this area must have inspired his poetry, but they became so famous as a result of Tennyson’s writing and reputation that he had to retreat from the area to find peace and quiet. The downside of fame.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I have been inside Farringford. Much has been changed because it was used as a hotel, but they have left Tennyson’s study and bedroom unchanged. I actually got to lie on Tennyson’s bed. And I was fascinated to note that there was a connecting door between his bedroom and his wife Emily’s, which could be locked on her side, but not on his! For anyone planning a visit to the Isle of Wight, a walk on Tennyson Down is a must!

  2. bechelamer

    Last year I stayed in D H Lawrence’s former house in the Fontana Vecchia, Taormina. I read Lawrence’s Novelle Rusticane while I was there: at least, I tried to read the Italian stories and occasionally switched to Lawrence’s English translations when I was feeling lazy.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Oh I didn’t know it was possible to stay at DHL’s home in Taormina – thanks so much for letting me know. Another thing to add to my ‘To Do’ list. And good on you for trying to read him in Italian.

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