Showing posts from January, 2017

D ... Down the Devon roads to Dunkeswell - A-Z of Devon Places & Devon Women Writers

 If you've stumbled upon this piece you might wonder what it is. If so, please take a look at From the Devon Ridge where a Book Began, where I explain this blog... So I've reached D in this A-Z of places linked with Devon's women writers. There are several places I could have featured, but I decided on Dunkeswell, because the parish is the hub of a whole district towards the eastern edges of the, county s broad sweep of lands during the late C18 early C19 were owned and to a large extent, controlled, by one family, the Simcoes. It is usually General John Graves Simcoe, first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, you're likely to encounter if you search the family online. But my interest here is his wife, Elizabeth Posthuma Gwillim Simcoe. You won't find it hard to gather information about the Simcoes. There is a gallimaufry of data out there about them. I have written of Elizabeth Simcoe in another blog. She appears in Devon Women: Travelling and Writing; and in D…

C ... Caribbean Seas at Cheriton Fitzpaine

C  ... Caribbean Seas at Cheriton Fitzpaine

A to Z of Devon places and Devon women writers - B

During the very early 1960's  for almost a couple of years two of the twentieth century's now most famous women writers lived within twenty miles of one another, in mid Devon. One was Sylvia Plath, who moved to North Tawton, in 1961 and left there late 1962; the other Jean Rhys, who moved to Cheriton Fitzpaine in 1960 and stayed there until her death in 1969. Plath and Rhys are probably the two foremost C20 writers whose Devon home base must appear on this A to Z of Devon women writers places. Both authors have drawn countless followers and admirers to seek out their Devon homes and in Rhys' case, grave, in Cheriton's churchyard. One of these visitors remarked that finding the grave was a 'moving moment'  Another, the poet Olive Senior, wrote a long poem called Meditation on Red about her visit to the Cheriton grave, which both conjures up the sensual response of the po…

B - Beside the Sea at Brixham and Budleigh Salterton

      A to Z of Devon places and Devon women writers - B

B for Brixham
It's unlikely that you reading this don't know of Brixham, in Torbay in the south of Devon. Chances are you may have been there. Brixham is one of the county's prime tourist places as well as one of Devon's most famous fishing towns, In my first post in this A-Z of Devon places and women writers I noted that, as I've trawled the county in search of places associated with various authors, it has often happened that my quest to find one or other writer has coincided with individuals from my own family history. The coincidence has happened enough to make me decide to include snippets of our own family genealogy as a kind of sub-text in my own MS., Voices from Wildridge. Sometimes, that has meant that a writer was living in the place during the same time as certain people in my own family; sometimes the author lived at a house or home nearby where a branch of the family lived. In either case, for me …

A for the ashes - Ashton and Ashridge.

A is for ... 
This track, leading to Ashridge Court, in mid Devon, is typical of this part of the county. It has always seemed to me that Devon's lanes, almost always edged with the high hedges associated with the county and also, intersecting with one another in maze-like interconnections, are unique.The first feature means that if you're in such a lane invariably you can not see over the top of the bank to the vista the other side; the second leads to visiting strangers becoming hopelessly lost in the lane labyrinth. These features match the experiences I have sometimes had with material for my book Voices from Wildridge. At times, in the early stages of writing, overloaded with material, and in the middle of a chaos of papers, I have sometimes struggled to find a way in, or indeed, out again.
But that does not really explain why I have inserted the image of Ashridge lane at the head of this post. Any Devon lane would have served the purpose! But Ashridge is and was s…

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Women Writing on the Devon Land More Posts

Cottage at Cheldon

The cottage holiday-home of author Elizabeth Stucley in the 1960s. See Her-Story at Hartland.

Cheriton Fitzpaine Church

At Cheriton Fitzpaine church where Jean Rhys is buried. Gravestone on left of porch. See Caribbean Seas at Cheriton Fitzpaine.