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…

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