I promise I will continue my series on why we collect books, but I also want to begin another series on literary tourism. This will be continuing and occasional depending, not surprisingly, on where my travels take me and what I hear from you about where your travels take you. As I said in the Preface to my 1998 book Lewis Carroll’s England An Illustrated Guide for the Literary Tourist, “Every traveller should have a passion—a driving force that spurs him on from one site to the next and binds his wanderings into a unified whole.” For me, at times, Lewis Carroll has been that passion, and my travels in his footsteps have taken me to places I never would have discovered had I not been following that particular passion. As I wrote, “From the sparkling cliffs that tower over the English Channel to hidden valleys that carve through the bleak beauty of the Yorkshire moors, the trail of Lewis Carroll will let you experience the variety of English landscape. From the quiet village of Daresbury to the glories of London, follow Carroll and he will lead you through the spectrum of English life.”
But we will follow not just Lewis Carroll in these blogs (though I do hope to introduce you to some of his favorite haunts). We’ll catch up with Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, C. S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, possibly even Winnie-the-Pooh and Harry Potter. It’s hard to travel far in England without stumbling upon the rich literary heritage of this island, and as I am currently in residence in Peter Byerly’s cottage in Kingham, my upcoming blogs are likely to explore that history. I found out recently that Jane Austen paid a several visits just a few miles from here. I’m going to investigate that and let you know what I find out.