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2017 has been named the Year of Literary Heroes by VisitEngland and VisitBritain as part of a new tourism campaign. It celebrates the works, and lives, of England’s best loved authors, attracting tourist attention along the way.
A plethora of literary anniversaries are coming up, and the Visit team will be hosting plenty of activities and events throughout the Year of Literary Heroes. They’ll also be posting a variety of content across their main marketing channels (including social media and their website) which can be used freely. The hashtag #BookEngland is also being encouraged, so if you’re making use of the materials then be sure to join in the conversation on Twitter and Instagram!
To help you get started, we’ve been doing our literature homework and have created a list of famous authors from across the UK. Find your local literary hero below and inspire your holiday cottage guests to explore the works of your area.
Topping the list in Scotland is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Born in Edinburgh, the author of Sherlock Holmes was a leader of the Crime Fiction genre, and today his work is still loved around the world.
Scotland is also home to current Poet Laureate Dame Carol Ann Duffy who was born in Glasgow. She’s held her position since 2009, and is the first Scot to have the influential title.
Cardiff born Roald Dahl is most famous for his children’s books, including titles such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide!
The world can also thank Wales for Dylan Thomas, a poet whose work took the world by storm. He was so popular that he completed a three-year tour of America between 1950-1953.
One of our Northern favourites has got to be Beatrix Potter! Her love of the region inspired her work and took her on a unique journey. Did you know that she was the President of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders’ Association?
The North also gave inspiration to a poet, who created one of the first guides to the Lake District. Wordsworth’s ‘Guide through the District of the Lakes’ was published in 1820. The publication sparked off the first beginnings of mass tourism to the area.
Middle Earth – sorry, the Midlands, set the scene for JRR Tolkien during his childhood. The author grew up in Birmingham and one of his books, The Hobbit, has sold over 100 million copies and been translated into 50 languages.
Sue Townsend, creator of Adrian Mole also called the Midlands home, and was born in Leicester. Her humorous style has had readers across the world laughing as they follow the life of one of Britain’s best loved characters.
South East England
This region can be thanked for numerous iconic characters; Oliver Twist, Miss Havisham, and Tiny Tim were all created thanks to Portsmouth’s Charles Dickens. Regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian Era, Dickens’ work has stood the test of time.
As well as the classic novelist Dickens, the South East gave Enid Blyton and her best-selling series The Famous Five and The Secret Seven to the world. The former was adapted into several formats, including theatre, film, and even video games.
South West England
It would be almost impossible to talk about authors from the South West without mentioning Dame Agatha Christie and her home in Torbay! The queen of crime published 66 detective novels as well as 14 short story collections.
Further down the coast we’ll find Winston Graham’s home of 34 years, Perranporth in Cornwall. This is where he penned Poldark which has since been turned into a popular television series.
Find out more about the Year of Literary Heroes here.
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