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Five of the Best Places in Britain for the Book-Lover to Explore

Literature fans should visit these British places

There are plenty of beautiful and fascinating places in Britain that are teeming with literary associations. But what are the best places to visit if you’re a book lover? We suggest that the literature fan pack their rucksack full of sandwiches, a flask of drink, and a copy of our own indispensable guide, Britain by the Book: A Curious Tour of Our Literary Landscape, and head to the following five places of outstanding literary interest.

Haworth Parsonage, Yorkshire. Despite the deleterious effect Haworth was to have on their health, the Brontë sisters treasured the wildness of the Yorkshire countryside surrounding their home at Haworth, and none more so than Emily, author of Wuthering Heights. ‘Emily loved the moors,’ Charlotte later wrote; ‘they were what she lived in and by as much as the wild birds, their tenants, or the heather, their produce … She found in the bleak solitude many and dear delights; and not the least and best loved was – liberty.’ Visit the Brontë Parsonage to learn about the landscape and upbringing that gave us Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Read the rest of this entry

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‘Ode to Psyche’: A Poem by John Keats

The earliest of John Keats’s great 1819 odes, ‘Ode to Psyche’ is about the Greek embodiment of the soul and mind, Psyche. Keats declares that he will be Psyche’s ‘priest’ and build a temple to her in his mind. Although this is probably the least-admired of Keats’s classic odes, it’s a fine paean to poetic creativity and the power of the imagination and so ‘Ode to Psyche’ deserves to be shared here in our Post a Poem a Day feature.

Ode to Psyche

O Goddess! hear these tuneless numbers, wrung
By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear,
And pardon that thy secrets should be sung
Even into thine own soft-conched ear:
Surely I dreamt to-day, or did I see
The winged Psyche with awaken’d eyes? Read the rest of this entry

‘Upon the Burning of Our House’: A Poem by Anne Bradstreet

In 1666, a great fire consumed much of the considerable library of books owned by Anne Bradstreet (1612-72), the first poet from the New World to have a book of poems published. This happened in July 1666 – two months before that other great fire that would destroy much of London – and it occurred on the other side of the Atlantic, in Massachusetts. But Bradstreet accepts the loss of her house and possessions with stoicism, detecting God’s hand in the disaster and interpreting the fire as a sign that she doesn’t need such worldly possessions.

Upon the Burning of Our House

Here Follows Some Verses Upon the Burning
of Our house, July 10th. 1666. Copied Out of
a Loose Paper.

In silent night when rest I took,
For sorrow near I did not look,
I wakened was with thund’ring noise
And piteous shrieks of dreadful voice.
That fearful sound of “fire” and “fire,” Read the rest of this entry