George Orwell’s grave, Sutton Courtenay

George Orwell is arguably the father of modern dystopian fiction. A lot of terms we use in everyday life (perhaps more frequently than we'd like in recent years) come from his most famous work "Nineteen Eighty-Four". "Big Brother", "Room 101", "Thought Police" all come from his nightmarish vision of what was then the future, now... Continue Reading →

Walking Watership Down

Is Watership Down a children's book? It's significantly darker than most books aimed at kids, especially ones where the central characters are bunnies. But whether you read the book or were simply traumatised by the 1978 film, Richard Adam's 1972 book has left an indelible mark and is widely considered a classic. Watership Down itself... Continue Reading →

Light and Literature – Stourhead Library

(Pre-lockdown visit m'kay) This will probably come as a surprise to absolutely no-one, but my favourite part of any big, old house is the library. Frankly, a grand house without a library is just a waste of time. Stourhead in Wiltshire contains one of my favourite grand house libraries. It's a gorgeously light and airy... Continue Reading →

A Kitchen Fit For A King – Hampton Court Palace

(Visited before current events obviously)Henry VIII is an enduring source of fascination for many. His story has enough murder, betrayal, plotting, war, and plague for several Shakespeare plays. In fact, Tudor times, in general, were extremely turbulent - perfect fodder for writers! If you're writing anything set in this particular period of history it might... Continue Reading →

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