Friday, 3 October 2008

Literary landscapes



I'm off to Knutsford tomorrow, to speak at the Literature Festival, and I'm really looking forward to seeing the place where Mrs Gaskell lived, and transformed into Cranford. It's the ideal setting to talk about 'Daphne', too, given that my novel is partly about real and fictional landscapes, and the blurring of the boundaries between the two; and how writers are inspired by actual places, which also come to represent emotional territories; and then of course there's the way that truth and fiction are woven together into a myth (by Mrs Gaskell in "The Life of Charlotte Bronte", and Daphne du Maurier in "The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte"); all of which I'm trying to explore in 'Daphne'.
After Knutsford, I'll be rushing to the Literature Festival at Ilkley -- a Yorkshire town much liked by Charlotte Bronte. As Juliet Barker writes in her excellent book, "The Brontes", Charlotte visited there in 1853 with her friend, Miss Wooler. "The two friends could wander the wide, tree-lined streets, admire the grand new hotels, visit the mineral water spa on the hillside above the town and walk up to the moors where the skyline was dominated by the sombre outline of the Cow and Calf rocks."
Sadly, I'll have no time to sample such delights -- it's straight back to London for me, via a late train from Leeds...

10 comments:

Juxtabook said...

I am managing to miss seeing you talk again! Family things mean I am unable to come. Are you in the north of England anywhere else after Ilkley?

Moannie said...

I do so admire the elegance of your writing, obvious to me why you are published and I am not.

oxford-reader said...

I hope you have a lovely time at both of these - perfect places for literary discussions.
AND you included a picture of Judi Dench -- you've risen ten points in my estimation (which was already rather high!)

Justine Picardie said...

Juxtabook -- I'm so sorry we won't meet. And I don't think I'll be back in the north of England until the paperback of Daphne comes out, next year.
Moannie -- very kind of you to say my writing is elegant; not that elegance necessarily gets you anywhere. And don't give up writing, whatever you do.It's the doing that counts (as my grandmother used to say).
Oxford Reader -- Hurrah for Judi Dench!

Justine Picardie said...

PS: Moannie: just read your blog about your mother, and it's fascinating. More reason for you to carry on writing!

Gondal-girl said...

have a lovely time, shame you can't stop to sample the mineral waters

Juxtabook said...

Never mind! Hope you enjoyed Knutsford and Ilkey.

Jenny said...

hello!

Wow, thats really great that you have your own blog!
I'm reading 'Daphne' and I think it's fantastic.
Are all things you have written about Daphne du Maurier real?
I'm looking forward to get some books from Daphne du Maurier, but I'm from Austria, and so it's not easy to get them.
Jenny

Justine Picardie said...

Jenny -- thanks for you comment. If you click on the links on my blog, you'll find some pieces I've written about Daphne du Maurier, which give more detail about her life, and also the background to my book.
Gondal Girl -- I wish you'd been there with me at Ilkley and Knutsford. There were lots of Bronte and Gaskell experts in the audience.

Gondal-girl said...

sounds like lots of fun Justine