Independent Bookshop Week
Let's mark Independent Bookshop Week by celebrating some of the authors from the region, and the beautiful coast and countryside which inspired them
It’s independent book shop week, and if you’re anything like me, you can while away hours amidst the shelves of these Aladdin’s caves of literary delights. Many of our local towns are luck enough to have these gems, which like all high street stores – need our support during these challenging times.
So, what you might you find with local links? Well, the West Country has for hundreds of years inspired some of the greatest writers in our history. Thomas Hardy, William Barnes, T E Lawrence, the ‘Princess of Palaeontology’, Mary Anning, R F Delderfield and Samuel Taylor Coleridge are just a few famous local residents.
Think of Emma, Dunkirk, Far From the Madding Crowd, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, On Chesil Beach or Moonfleet and I’m sure visions of the stunning coast and countryside we are lucky enough to have on our doorstep spring to mind, iconic back drop to these classic films.
But did you know that the region has inspired authors such as Beatrix Potter, Jane Austen and Enid Blyton? Some of the views painted in Potter’s Little Pig Robinson are of Lyme Regis where Potter used to holiday, and which, with Sidmouth and Teignmouth, was the inspiration behind the fictional town of ‘Stymouth’. Jane Austen rarely used real places in her work, yet Persuasion was one of the few exceptions, being set in Lyme Regis, with the town having featured in 3 screen adaptations of the novel. Enid Blyton holidayed in the Purbecks, and Corfe Castle and Brownsea Island feature as Kirrin Castle and Whispering Island in her Famous Five books.
On a book shop visit, a while ago, I discovered Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household, a brilliant novel set in Dorset, however I was completely distracted from the plot by trying to fathom out and follow where events were taking place!
So, pop along to your local bookshop, hopefully you’ll find a good read, perhaps inspired by the beautiful countryside surrounding us.
We’re lucky to have these book-lover’s paradises on our office doorsteps
Archway Bookshop, Axminster
The Book Shop, Bridport
The Dorset Bookshop, Blandford
The Book Rest, Ilminster
Do check their websites for current opening arrangements.