Inspiration

World Book Day – Literature in Yorkshire

‘I feel very happy to think that when the Mr Men and Little Misses are 100 years old, their readers will always be five.’
Roger Hargreaves

 

Literature

Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë 1847

Considered the most haunting and tormented love story ever written, Wuthering Heights is the tale of the troubled orphan Heathcliff and his doomed love for Catherine Earnshaw.

Dracula - Bram Stoker 1897

A Victorian gothic novel telling the story of a vampire named Count Dracula who tries to move from Transylvania to England in pursuit of new blood. Published in 1897 it has since become the basis for an entire genre of literature and film.

All Creatures Great and Small – James Herriot 1972

The warm and joyful memoirs of the worlds most beloved animal doctor; James Herriot and his menagerie of heart-warming, funny, and tragic animal patients.

Mr Men – Roger Hargreaves 1971

The Mr Men books have captured the hearts and imaginations of children for generations. Among the favourites are Mr Bump, Mr Happy, Mr Silly and of course Mr Tickle.

The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien

This epic fantasy novel tells the story of a war in the fictional world of Middle-earth. An all powerful ring is discovered by Bilbo Baggins in the earlier novel The Hobbit. The free people of Middle-earth, such as Men, Elves, Dwarves, and Hobbits, must overcome dark powers and destroy the ring.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll had strong connections to Yorkshire. His father was Canon at Ripon Cathedral while his uncle and grandfather both resided in East Yorkshire. Locals believe that a carving of a rabbit in St Mary’s Church in the market town of Beverley bears a striking resemblance to the White Rabbit in Carroll’s literary masterpiece; Alice in Wonderland. Ripon Cathedral is also home to some spectacular medieval woodcarvings one of which shows a griffin catching a rabbit who subsequently escapes down a hole. Coincidence? We think not!  

 

Areas

Brontë Country

Haworth is the epitome of the Brontë's legendary work. There's an enchanting mystique to the wild and rugged moors that surround this beautiful village - you can practically hear the echoes of Catherine and Heathcliffe around every cobbled and heather strewn corner. Follow the path beside the Brontë Parsonage and you'll be out the wilds in minutes, climbing up and out of the village and into a world of labyrinthine trails. Spot the signs to Top Withens - the inspiration for Earnshaw's house in Wuthering Heights - and make tracks to the beautiful Brontë Falls.

Whitby

Cosy taverns, unique boutiques and quirky gift shops adorn Whitby’s streets, while fishing trawlers and lifeboats fill the harbour that sits beneath the awe-inspiring Abbey which formed the inspiration to Bram Stokers Dracula. Whitby’s sweeping, sandy beach is the perfect place for families to spend an afternoon. Little ones will enjoy rock pooling with a fishing net and bucket to store their newly found treasures or catching crabs off the pier. On the beach itself, you’ll find donkey rides, picnic food stalls and even lifeguards watching the waves – perfect for a relaxed family outing.

Thirsk

Wonderfully positioned midway between the stunning North York Moors and the beautiful Yorkshire Dales; Thirsk is a perfect base for anyone visiting Yorkshire. Surrounded by rolling hills and spectacular limestone valleys, where historic castles and ancient abbeys whisper secrets about times gone by. So put your best foot forward from your cottage, tent or B&B and get ready to start exploring.

Tolkien Triangle
Tolkien

Tolkien resided in the East Riding of Yorkshire from April 1917 until October 1918. Much of his early mythology and invented languages was written during this time. Tolkien even directly copied some East Yorkshire place names into his work, with the village of Wetwang, appearing in the Fellowship of the Ring. This area is now fondly referred to as the Tolkien Triangle.

Cleckheaton (Huddersfield)

This quirky corner of West Yorkshire, combines inspirational scenery with traditional market towns. Explore the riverside villages of Holmfirth and Marsden or culturally diverse Huddersfield. With picturesque moors, the picture-postcard town of Holmfirth, or the towpaths of the canals and rivers of the Holme Valley. A great opportunity to discover the breath-taking outdoors of Yorkshire.

 

Attractions

The World of James Herriot

The World of James Herriot is an award-winning museum and visitor centre which attracts lovers of BBC's All Creatures Great and Small from all around the world. Visitors see where James Herriot, the world’s most famous vet, lived, worked and relaxed. See the car he drove, step into the TV set, try your hand at being a vet and even experience what it was like to hide in a World War 2 air raid shelter.

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey was recently named Britain’s most romantic ruin.  Founded in 657 Whitby Abbey has over the years been a bustling settlement, a kings’ burial place, the setting for a historic meeting between Celtic and Roman clerics and the home of saints including the poet Caedmon. Discover how over 2,000 years of history make the Abbey one of England’s most important archaeological sites.

Brontë Parsonage

Set in the picturesque village of Haworth against the stunning landscape of the Yorkshire moors, Haworth Parsonage was the home of the Brontë family from 1820 to 1861 and the place where Charlotte, Emily and Anne wrote their great novels. The parsonage is now a beautifully preserved museum that still retains the atmosphere of the time when the Brontë's lived there. The rooms are filled with their personal possessions and furniture including the original table where Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre were created.

 

Literary Festivals    

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival
Harrogate, North Yorkshire
July 2020

The award winning Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival, celebrates the very best in crime fiction. A favourite in the literary calendar it has achieved acclaim for the programming organisation. In its 17th year, the festival returns to the Old Swan Hotel, where the mistress of crime writing Agatha Christie, disappeared in 1926.

Huddersfield Literature Festival
Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
March 2020

Huddersfield’s annual celebration of books and authors, poetry and performance returns for another year. Meet your favourite authors, discover new talent, hone your own skills or simply enjoy the entertainment on offer.

Books by the Beach Festival
Scarborough, North Yorkshire
April 2020

This year’s festival will begin with a tribute to Anne Brontë at St Mary’s church where she is buried. Other events include Scarborough-based Professor Joann Fletcher bringing her knowledge of Ancient Egypt to life, BAFTA-nominated filmmaker and former inmate of HMP Wandsworth; Chris Atkins, Desert survivor Claire Nelson and stand-up comedian Jenny Éclair.

Bradford Literature Festival
Bradford, West Yorkshire
June/July 2020

Bradford Literature Festival is hailed as one of the most inspirational and inclusive festivals in the UK. With over 500 events packed into iconic venues across 10 days, this festival celebrate the written and spoken word in all its wonderful forms. Every year organisers invite world-renowned authors, poets, speakers, musicians and artists to visit this spectacular city and share their knowledge and passions with you, the audience.

York Literature Festival
York, North Yorkshire
March 2020

York Literature Festival is back with its annual celebration of the written and spoken word. Starting on 19 March 2020, it runs for a ten-day period packed with over 50 events featuring well-known personalities, authors, poetry, history, politics and a special day devoted to the writing of crime. Topping the bill will be cultural icon Melvyn Bragg, The Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen and TV presenter Kate Humble.

Settle Stories
Settle, North Yorkshire

Settle Stories use the transformative power of story to change lives. They gather people together, bring into focus hidden stories and enable the vulnerable and disenfranchised to have a voice. Their flagship festival (this year 31st July – 2nd August 2020) and year round events are refreshing, dynamic and unexpected.