Literary Places


Suggested reading:


Daniel Hahn and Nicholas Robins, The Oxford Guide to Literary Britain & Ireland. Oxford University Press, Third Edition, 2008.

Margaret Drabble and Jorge Lewinski, A Writer’s Britain: Landscape in Literature. Thames and Hudson, 1979.


John Betjeman, Coming Home:  An anthology of his prose, 1920 – 1977, ed. by Candida Lycett Green. Methuen, 1997.

Geoff Dyer, The Missing of the Somme. Hamish Hamilton Ltd, 1994.

Robert Gittings and Jo Manton, Claire Clairmont and the Shelleys. Oxford University Press, 1992.

Todd Gray, Remarkable Women of Devon. The Mint Press, 2009.

Daisy Hay, Young Romantics: The Shelleys, Byron and other Tangled Lives. Bloomsbury, 2010.

Alethea Hayter, A Sultry Month: Scenes of London Literary Life in 1846. Robin Clark Limited, 1992.

Stephen Hebron, The Romantics and the British Landscape. The British Library, 2006.

Richard Holmes, The Romantic Poets and Their Circle. National Portrait Gallery, 2005.

Kathleen Jones, A Passionate Sisterhood: The sisters, wives and daughters of the Lake Poets. Constable, 1997.

Regina Marler, Bloomsbury Pie: the Story of the Bloomsbury Revival. Virago, 1997.

Peter Redrove (editor). Cornwall in Verse. Penguin, 1983.

William St Clair, The Godwins and the Shelleys: The Biography of a Family. Faber and Faber Limited, 1989.

Edward John Trelawny, Records of Shelley, Byron, and the Author. Penguin 1973.

Simon Trezise, The West Country as a Literary Invention: Putting Fiction in its Place. University of Exeter Press, 2000.

Michael Williams, Following the Famous in Cornwall. Bossiney Books.

W. H Kearley Wright, West Country Poets: Their Lives and Works. Elliot Stock, 1896.


Jane Austen

Claire Tomalin, Jane Austen: A Life. Penguin, 2000.

Caroline Sanderson, A Rambling Fancy: In the Footsteps of Jane Austen. Cadogan Guides, 2006.

Sabine Baring-Gould

Sabine Baring-Gould, A Book of Dartmoor. Wildwood House, 1982.

Sabine Baring-Gould, Early Reminiscences: 1834 – 1864. John Lane: The Bodley Head, 1924.

Sabine Baring-Gould, Devonshire Characters and Strange Events. John Lane: The Bodley Head, 1908.

Sabine Baring-Gould, Mehalah: A Story of the Salt Marshes. Kessinger Publishing.

Sabine Baring-Gould, Red Spider. Nonsuch Classics, 2007.

Bickford H. C. Dickinson, Sabine Baring-Gould: Squarson, Writer & Folklorist 1834 – 1924. David & Charles, Newton Abbot, 1970.

William Purcell, Onward Christian Soldier: a Life of Sabine Baring-Gould, Parson, Squire, Novelist, Antiquary, 1834 – 1924. (With an Introduction by John Betjeman.) Longmans, Green and Co., 1957.

Keth Lister, ‘Half my Life’: The Story of Sabine Baring-Gould and Grace. Charnwood Publications, 2002.

Gerald Brenan

Gerald Brenan, South From Granada. Penguin, 1963.

Gerald Brenan, Personal Record: 1920 – 1972. Knopf, 1975.

Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy, Gerald Brenan: The Interior Castle. Sinclair-Stevenson, 1994.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Margaret Forster, Elizabeth Barrett Browning: A Biography. Vintage, 1998.

Frances Burney

Frances Burney, Journals and Letters. Penguin, 2001.

Hester Davenport, Faithful Handmaid: Fanny Burney at the Court of King George III. Sutton Publishing, 2000.

Kate Chisholm, Fanny Burney: Her Life, 1752 – 1840. Vintage, 1999.

George Gordon Byron

Fiona MacCarthy, Byron: Life and Legend. John Murray, 2002.

Dora Carrington

David Garnett, ed., Carrington: Letters and Extracts from her Diaries. Oxford University Press, 1979.

Gretchen Gerzina, Carrington: a Life of Dora Carrington, 1893 – 1932. Pimlico, 1995.

Jane Hill, The Art of Dora Carrington. The Herbert Press, 2000.

Ronald Blythe, First Friends: Paul and Bunty, John and Christine – and Carrington. Viking 1999.

David Boyd Hancock, A Crisis of Brilliance: Five Young British Artists and the Great War. Old Street Publishing Limited, 2009.

Charles Causley

Charles Causley, Hands to Dance and Skylark. Anthony Mott Ltd, 1979.

Harry Chambers, ed., Causley at 70. Peterloo Poets, 1987.

Bruce Chatwin

Bruce Chatwin, On The Black Hill. Picador, 1983.

John Clare

Jonathan Bate, John Clare: A Biography. Picador, 2003.

John Clare, John Clare by Himself, ed. by Eric Robinson and David Powell. Carcanet. 2002.

Hugh Lupton, The Ballad of John Clare. Dedalus, 2010.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Richard Holmes, Coleridge: Early Visions. Hodder & Stoughton, 1989.

Richard Holmes, Coleridge: Darker Reflections. Harper Collins, 1998.

Charles Dickens

Claire Tomalin, The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens. Penguin 1991.

Daphne du Maurier

Daphne du Maurier, Vanishing Cornwall. Penguin Books, 1974.

Daphne du Maurier, Four Great Cornish Novels: Jamaica Inn, Rebecca, Frenchman’s Creek and My Cousin Rachel. Victor Gollancz Limited, 1978.

Daphne du Maurier, The King’s General. Virago, 2009.

Daphne du Maurier, The House on the Strand. Virago, 2009.

Bret Hawthorne, Daphne du Maurier’s Cornwall. Halsgrove, 2010.

Margaret Forster, Daphne du Maurier. Chatto & Windus, 1993.

Ronald Duncan

Ronald Duncan, Collected Poems, ed. by Miranda Weston-Smith. Heineman/Quixote Press, 1981.

Ronald Duncan, Man: The Complete Cantos. Rebel Press, 1970.

Ronald Duncan, Journal of a Husbandman. Faber and Faber, 1944.

Ronald Duncan, Where I Live. The Country Book Club, 1954.

Ronald Duncan, Devon and Cornwall. Batsford, 1966.

Ronald Duncan, All Men Are Islands. Rupert Hart-Davis, 1964.

Ronald Duncan, How To Make Enemies. Rupert Hart-Davis, 1968.

Ronald Duncan, Obsessed: A Third Volume of Autobiography. Michael Joseph, 1977.

Ronald Duncan, Collected Plays. Rupert Hart-Davis, 1971.

Ronald Duncan (editor), The Writings of Gandhi. Fontana, 1983.

Harold Lockyear (editor), A Tribute to Ronald Duncan by his friends. The Harton Press, 1974.

Krysia Cairns, Ronald Duncan: the man and the artist. University of Plymouth, 1998.

‘A Tribute to Ronald Duncan’, Agenda Vol. 38 Nos. 1-2. Edited by William Cookson. Agenda and Editions Charitable Trust, 2001.

Edmund Gosse

Edmund Gosse, Father and Son. Penguin, 1989.

Harry Buxton Forman

John Collins, The Two Forgers: A Biography of Harry Buxton Forman & Thomas James Wise. Scolar Press, 1992.

Thomas Hardy

Claire Tomalin, Thomas Hardy: The Time-Torn Man. Viking, 2006.

Robert Stephen Hawker

R. S. Hawker, ed., C. E. Byles, Cornish Ballads and Other Poems. John Lane: The Bodley Head, 1904, 1908.

R. S. Hawker, ed., Piers Brendon, Hawker’s Cornish Ballads. Elephant Press, 1975.

R. S. Hawker, ed., C. E. Byles, Footprints of Former Men in Far Cornwall. John Lane: The Bodley Head, 1903.

Piers Brendon, Hawker of Morwenstow: Portrait of a Victorian Eccentric. (With a Foreword by John Fowles). Pimlico, 2002.

C. E. Byles, The Life and Letters of R. S. Hawker (sometime Vicar of Morwenstow). John Lane: The Bodley Head, 1905.

Patrick Hutton, I Would Not Be Forgotten: The Life and Work of Robert Stephen Hawker. Tabb House, 2004.

Michael Williams, Hawker’s Morwenstow. Bossiney Books, 1988.

Jeremy Hooker

Jeremy Hooker, Welsh Journal. Seren, 2001.

David Jones

Jonathan Miles, Eric Gill & David Jones at Capel-Y-Ffin. Seren, 1992.

John Keats

Aileen Ward, John Keats: The Making of a Poet. Secker & Warburg, 1963.

Robert Gittings, John Keats. Heinemann, 1968.

Andrew Motion, Keats. Faber and Faber, 1997.

Robert Woof and Stephen Hebron, John Keats. The Wordsworth Trust 1995.

Francis Kilvert

Richard Maber and Angela Tregoning, ed., Kilvert’s Cornish Diary: Journal No. 4, 1870. From July 19th to August 6th, Cornwall. Alison Hodge, 1989.

William Plomer, ed., Kilvert’s Diary, 1870 – 1879. Penguin, 1977.

Charles Kingsley

Susan Chitty, Charles Kingsley’s Landscape. David & Charles, Newton Abbot, 1976.

Susan Chitty, The Beast and the Monk: a Life of Charles Kingsley. Hodder and Stoughton, 1974.

D. H. Lawrence

Geoff Dyer, Out of Sheer Rage: In the Shadow of D. H. Lawrence. Abacus, 2008.

John Worthen, D. H. Lawrence: The Life of an Outsider. Penguin, 2006.

Keith Sagar, The Life of D. H. Lawrence: An Illustrated Biography. Methuen, 1980.

Katherine Mansfield

Claire Tomalin, Katherine Mansfield: A Secret Life. Penguin, 1988.

Wilfred Owen

Dominic Hibberd, Wilfred Owen: A New Biography. Wiedenfeld & Nicolson, 2002.

Samuel Pepys

Robert Latham, ed., The Illustrated Pepys: Extracts from the Diary. Bell & Hyman Limited, 1982.

Ferdinand Mount, Jem (And Sam): A Revenger’s Tale. Vintage, 1999.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Richard Holmes, Shelley the Pursuit. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1974.

Reverend John Skinner

John Skinner, Journal of a Somerset Rector, 1822-1832. Edited by Howard Coombs and The Rev. Arthur N. Bax. John Murray, 1930.

John Skinner, Journal of a Somerset Rector, 1803-1834. With an essay by Virgina Woolf. Edited by Howard and Peter Coombs. Oxford University Press, 1984.

John Skinner, West Country Tour, being the Diary of a Tour through the Counties of Somerset, Devon and Cornwall in 1797. Edited and introduced by Roger Jones. Ex Libris Press, 1985.

Gillian Garnham, The Good Man of Camerton. Biscuit Publishing Ltd, 2009. (This is a novel about Skinner, not a biography.)

Robert Louis Stevenson

Ernest Mehew ed., Selected Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson. Yale University Press, 1997.

Lytton Strachey

Paul Levy, ed., The Letters of Lytton Strachey. Viking 2005.

Michael Holroyd, Lytton Strachey: the New Biography. Vintage, 1995.

R. S. Thomas

Byron Rogers, The Man Who Went Into The West. Aurum, 2006.

J. R. R. Tolkien

Mathew Lyons, There and Back Again: in the footsteps of J. R. R. Tolkien. Cadogan Guides, 2004.

Henry Williamson

Brocard Sewell, ed., Henry Williamson: The Man, The Writings. Tabb House, 1980.

Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson, Dreaming To Some Purpose: an autobiography. Century, 2004.

Gamel Woolsey

Gamel Woolsey, The Collected Poems of Gamel Woolsey. Warren House Press, 1984.

Gamel Woolsey, One Way of Love. Virago, 1987.

Dorothy Wordsworth

Dorothy Wordworth, The Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals. Oxford University Press, 2008.