Shropshire related Literary Heroes
Shropshire’s infinitely varied landscapes have inspired many literary works including authors such as Dickens, Henry James, Housman, Wilfred Owen, Mary Webb, Bruce Chatwin and Malcolm Saville. People love following in the footsteps of favourite authors and seeing the places which inspired them.
Has any county enjoyed a better copywriter than A E Housman? His claim that we have quietest places under the sun have made us world famous, along with immortal phrases such as the “blue remembered hills” that mark “the land of lost content” come from “A Shropshire Lad“.
The great opportunity in this year lies in visiting the intact survival of the Shropshire places which inspired our writers and story-tellers. The Rev. E Donald Carr must rank as one of Shropshire’s Literary Heroes. Without risking life and limb the visitor may share his peril through his “A Night in the Snow or, A Struggle for Life” which includes a challenging walk right at the end.
Wilfred Owen, best known for his poem “Dulce et Decorum Est” was brought up in Shrewsbury. In celebration there is a self-guided walk Tracks to the Trenches which takes in many landmarks of his life.
If you’re looking for Cinemascope or Vistavision panoramas you’ll find them on the high open moorland of the Long Mynd, the tops of the Clee Hills and the Stiperstones Ridge. These were used to stunning effect for the filming of Mary Webb’s Gone to Earth (book published in 1917) and you can follow in the footsteps of the filmmakers with our driving tour. Or stop and walk a while in the footsteps of the Lone Pine gang where author Malcolm Saville set these children’s adventures, perhaps taking some refreshments at The Bog visitor centre which is a short walk or drive from Lower Farm.
The Shropshire Hills have been the setting for a number of Grand Designers who would have had Kevin McCloud salivating. Henry James wrote of it in 1877 “as regards domestic architecture few parts of England are still more vividly old-English.” Stokesay Court provided the magnificent backdrop for the filming of Ian McEwan’s novel Atonement . Further south and Bromfield just outside of Ludlow provided the setting for a Brother Cadfael story by Ellis Peters cited as one of the top five mystery writers ever by NYT. Celebrate with a Cadfael Car Tour following the plot lines or a walk around the local heritage.