should have included these pics
last autumn we took a wonderful short break to torquay ~ stayed in agatha christie’s honeymoon hotel and visited greenway, her holiday home, where we sat on her lawn looking down to the river dart (as per photos of the great lady herself with her family). you won’t be surprised to know we read “the body in the library” for our holiday reading. the boys got thoroughly into the mood as well, insisting we should all have character roles (i was designated miss marple, of course).
all excellent fun.
@applegroupie – thanks so much for taking the time to post your thoughts on this thread. How inspiring to hear that reading Susan Howatch’s book led you to such enjoyable holidays in Wales. Following in the footsteps of a novel’s characters and locations really adds something to a trip, doesn’t it?
Hope you get to Menabilly – aka Manderley – too. How different is the experience visiting a location that’s both real and fictitious, do you think?
I’m really looking forward to visiting Bosa soon, on the west coast of Sardinia and the inspiration for Deriu, home of Rosanna Ley’s The Little Theatre by the Sea: http://www.rosannaley.com/blog.php – stay tuned to Silver Travel Advisor to see how I get on stalking Rosanna’s main character Faye, as she helps to restore the traditional theatre in this traditional Sardinian village.
I read Susan Howatch’s “The Wheel of Fortune” back in the late 80s which was set in Gower, South Wales and was depicted so beautifully in the book that we booked a 5 day break to Wales the following year. We stayed in a hotel in Llanelli as our base for the 5 days and travelled daily to different parts of South Wales. The Gower Peninsula was the first place on our agenda and it did not disappoint. We also visited Swansea, Kidwelly Castle, and Tenby.
I would also like to visit Manderley, the fictitious estate in Daphne du Maurier’s novel “Rebecca”, which was partly based on Menabilly, the home of Daphne du Maurier near Fowey in Cornwall. There are two holiday cottages for rental on the Menabilly estate and it is on my wish list to stay there.
Wow, thanks for the great suggestions everyone, about books that have transported you to different locations.
Keep that inspiration coming…
And just in case you need any more, and are off to Europe or the Americas soon, here are some suggestions for classic 20th century novels rooted in those locations:
I remember visiting Cannery Row in California’s Monterey in the 1980s, not long after Nick Nolte had memorably brought John Steinbeck’s classic character Doc to vivid life in the 1982 film version.
On a cruise to South Africa I thoroughly enjoyed James A Michener’s ‘The Covenent’
“James A. Michener’s masterly chronicle of South Africa is an epic tale of adventurers,
scoundrels, and ministers, the best and worst of two continents who carve an empire
out of a vast wilderness. From the Java-born Van Doorn family tree springs two great
branches: one nurtures lush vineyards, the other settles the interior to become the first
Trekboers and Afrikaners. The Nxumalos, inhabitants of a peaceful village unchanged
for centuries, unite warrior tribes into the powerful Zulu nation. And the wealthy
Saltwoods are missionaries and settlers who join the masses to influence the wars
and politics that ravage a nation. Rivalries and passions spill across the land of The
Covenant, a story of courage and heroism, love and loyalty, and cruelty and betrayal,
as generations fight to forge a new world”.
I’m at present, reading A House in Sicily, by Daphne Phelps, prior to our upcoming trip to the island in June. It is Daphne’s first and last venture into autobiographical writing, as the book was published when she was eighty-eight! Daphne’s story is inspirational as well as insightful into the real life of provincial Sicily. I’d highly recommend reading it if you are considering a trip to Sicily, as it has certainly influenced the itinerary for our trip.
Another wonderful read is ‘Duende: A Journey in Search of Flamenco, by Jason Webster. It is a captivating story of Jason’s unceremonious ‘dumping’, by his long term girlfriend and his subsequent travels in Spain in search of ‘Duende’, the essence of the quintessential Spanish art form, flamenco. It is an unputdownable read and if you love Spain, captures the soul of this beautiful country, totally.
This is a lovely idea. I love the idea of reading a book related to the place you are visiting. I loved ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ by Louis de Bernieres and his evocative description of the sea around Cephalonia and was lucky enough to visit on a cruise. The sea was every bit as turquoise as he described.
Nelson seems to feature heavily in our Mediterranean cruise destinations too; my husband read his autobiography and often mentions that Nelson visited wherever we have just docked.