Musings on children's and YA literature, the academy, and the relationship between them, from an English professor and mother.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Literary Holidays

A post in the Guardian's Books Blog today asks, "If you were choosing a vacation destination on the basis of its bookish associations, where would you go?" You might not find the answers that surprising:
Travel website TripAdvisor has come up with a list of the world's top 10 literary spots, according to its editors. So, in order: London, Stratford-upon-Avon, Edinburgh, Dublin, New York, Concord in Massachusetts, Paris, San Francisco, Rome and St Petersburg.

I've been to 7 of these spots (not Paris, Rome, or Edinburgh), but I've only made a point of seeing the literary sites in Concord. (Well, I went to a play in Stratford-upon-Avon, but I didn't actually do a tour.) For sheer beauty and saturation of literary associations, I'd choose the Lake District in England, myself--in addition to Wordsworth and Coleridge you get Ruskin and Arthur Ransom, author of the Swallows and Amazons series, and some of the most glorious scenery in England. And then, as one commenter has already noted over on the Guardian blog, you could also choose Haworth and the Yorkshire moors for its Bronte resonances. How about Oxford, home of Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Philip Pullman, and setting of my favorite Dorothy L. Sayers novel, Gaudy Night?

Where would you go?

1 comment:

  1. Monterey Bay, for Steinbeck (maybe this is just an extension of San Francisco); Prince Edward Island, for Anne of course; and the Lake District, partly for all the books you mention but also for Beatrix Potter.

    Gaudy Night and Domesday Book are my favorite Oxford novels ever, but Tolkien had the west country in mind when he wrote about Middle Earth, didn't he?