The United Kingdom has given the world much over time: rock bands with a deft taste in lyrics and rhythm, the meditative pleasure of enjoying a spot of tea with a delightfully sweet treat as a counterbalance to the drink’s bitterness, the practice of driving on the left that thumbs its nose as the French and the Americans in one fell swoop.
One area though, where Britain has left its mark from generation to generation without fail, is in the department of creative writing. Ever since the Age of Enlightenment liberated the civilized world from the curtain of ignorance that was the Dark Ages, British authors and playwrights have been cranking out prose, plays, and novels that have inspired countless lovers of the written word throughout the world.
As much as you have enjoyed reading the literary genius of these savants, don’t you think it is time you took the next step and walked the ground upon which they tread in days gone by, desperately searching for the muse they needed to finish writing their tale? If you have the desire to do so, then book your plane ticket for the United Kingdom, as we have prepared an itinerary that will take you through the neighborhoods and backyards of three prominent British authors.
William Shakespeare: Stratford Upon Avon
Located in the English countryside a couple hundred kilometres northwest of London, the birthplace of William Shakespeare is practically a mandatory stop for all fans of literature. With the quaint surroundings of this provincial town dripping with inspiration for the aspiration for the budding wordsmith, William was born, raised, and met the love of his life here, before rising to fame as one of the greatest playwright’s in the history of the English language (he is even credited with the creation of many words, having coined them in his manuscripts).
Charles Dickens: London
As Britain was serving as the epicentre of the unfolding Industrial Revolution, the rapidly increasing economic inequality that resulted from it served as the backdrop for many of Charles Dicken’s works, which included the seminal tales of A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist. Visiting the townhouse in the borough of Camden in the heart of London is a great way to get inside the head of this author, as this is the place where his wife’s sister tragically died in his arms as he wrote the latter work referenced above.
Remembering this, imagining the soot-filled air of 19th century London, along with the radical rich-poor divide that defined this point in history is the ideal way to not just learn about Dickens’ living arrangements, but to feel them as well.
J.K. Rowling: Edinburgh
Moving to the present day, the mantle of fine British authors of the past has been picked up these days by J.K. Rowling, author of the novellas making up the Harry Potter series. Living and writing against the backdrop of Edinburgh, where reminders of its medieval past were everywhere, this perpetually poor artist went for it and produced a fantastical series about a bunch of teenage witches and wizards in training, set against the backdrop of the modern world.
She lit the imaginations of the present young generation on fire, and she has been richly rewarded for it. Those looking to see the sights that inspired locations in the books and subsequent movies have many tour agencies willing to show them around places such as Gloustershire Cathedral, the London Zoo, and even the Elephant House in Edinburgh, where Ms. Rowling wrote the first lines of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.