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Celebrating the literary giants of Lancashire and the Lake District on World Book Day

PUBLISHED: 13:17 27 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:06 02 March 2017

Cromwell Bridge that crosses the River Hodder is part of the Tolkien Trail. Photo: Martin Toomey

Cromwell Bridge that crosses the River Hodder is part of the Tolkien Trail. Photo: Martin Toomey

Archant

Lancashire and the Lake District have many connections to some of the greatest authors, books and literature ever written and desveres to be celebrated this World Book Day.

Stonyhurst College has links to both J.R.R Tolkien and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Photo: Karol Gajewski Stonyhurst College has links to both J.R.R Tolkien and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Photo: Karol Gajewski

J.R.R Tolkien and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Stonyhurst College near Clitheroe has links to two literary giants in JRR Tolkien and Arthur Conan Doyle.

Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the classic Sherlock Holmes tales, has firm roots in Lancashire as it was at Stonyhurst College where he was not only educated but began his iconic writing. The college is said to have shaped his stories that made him so successful. The college still keeps historic documents among the dusty ledgers which contains some of the clues to Holmes’ beginnings.

The author of The Lord of The Rings regularly stayed at Stonyhurst College as he had a great love and passion for the nature and woodland that surrounded it, the popular ‘Tolkien Trail’ is popular with fans eager to see the countryside that may have inpsired him. It is also believed that Tolkien wrote part of his famous Lord of the Rings trilogy in one of Stonyhurst’s classrooms in the the upper gallery of the College.

Hill Top was Beatrix Potter's beloved Lakes retreat and she set many of her famous tales here. Photo: Paul Harris / National Trust Hill Top was Beatrix Potter's beloved Lakes retreat and she set many of her famous tales here. Photo: Paul Harris / National Trust

Beatrix Potter

Iconic author Beatrix Potter is best known for her beautifully illustrated children’s books Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck and friends.

She had a strong connection and love for the Lake District, as she spent many childhood holidays there which influenced her writing greatly. The success of her books allowed Beatrix to move to the Lake District, where she invested in farmland, including her beloved Hilltop Farm house which went on to be featured in many of tales. Beatrix was also a keen farmer, owning 15 farms and breeding Herdwick sheep on her Lake District Farms. After her death, Beatrix left all of her farms and over 14 acres of land to the National Trust, including Hill Top.

Today, thousands of visitors every year visit the untouched beloved home of the writer and more than two million Beatrix Potter books are sold across the world every year.

William Wordsworth lived in Rydal Mount for 37 years from 1813 until his death in 1850. William Wordsworth lived in Rydal Mount for 37 years from 1813 until his death in 1850.

William Wordsworth

Born in Cockermouth in 1770, William Wordsworth is arguably one of the greatest poets of all time who had a great love for Grasmere, declaring it ‘the most loveliest spot that man hath ever found’. He attended Hawkshead Grammar where his passion and love for poetry was firmly established. Wordsworth lived in Dove Cottage in Grasmere from 1799–1808 and Rydal Mount in Ambleside from 1813–1850. In 1843, he was named as the Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom

As well as a prolific writer, Wordsworth had a passion for nature, his love of flowers are shown in his most famous work, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud and the tribute he created for his daughter, Dora’s Field, which is one of the most iconic spots in the Lake District. Incidentally, Wordsworth died on April 23rd which is also the date of World Book Day outside of the UK.

About World Book Day

Book lovers across 100 countries will be getting ready to celebrate World Book Day which is designated by UNESCO. Officially, World Book Day is April 23rd, but as that clashes with St George’s Day, it is celebrated on the first Thursday of March

The annual event brings together schools, communities and lovers of literature to celebrate their favourite authors, illustrations and of course books.

www.worldbookday.com

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