Margaret Drabble’s Top Ten Literary Landscapes

From The Guardian, 9/9/09:

“Walking in the footsteps of great writers, and seeing landscapes and buildings through their eyes is one of the most enjoyable and sustaining of pleasures. Years ago, on a lecture tour in Mississippi, I insisted on seeing the land of Huckleberry Finn and William Faulkner. It was a powerful experience, never to be forgotten. But Britain remains my native landscape, and my top 10 are only a sample of the places I like best.”

1. Stonehenge

Stonehenge has inspired innumerable writers, and although it is one of the best known prehistoric sites in the world it is impossible to pass it without a sense of awe. It has a melancholy grandeur that passing traffic cannot diminish. Hardy and Wordsworth were moved by it, and so am I….

5. Tintagel

Tintagel in Cornwall is a dramatic mythical Arthurian site, and its castle and crags inspired both Tennyson and Hardy. It’s both medieval and Victorian, like the Arthurian legend itself…

10. Haworth

I tend to prefer outdoor landscapes to writers’ houses, but make an exception for the Brontë Parsonage at Haworth, a house in which life was experienced with extraordinary intensity. This place and its churchyard and its surrounding moorland are numinous…

to read them all…

"Shyness is nice and shyness can stop you"

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