Thursday, April 28, 2011

Writers and locations

click photo to enlarge
When I was growing up in the Yorkshire Dales I was always aware of the relative proximity of "Bronte Country", the hills around Haworth where the Bronte sisters and their family lived, worked and wrote. I also noted that in more recent times the northern Dales assumed the title, "Herriot Country" on the back of the popularity of James Herriot's books and their TV adaptations, though I confess to never having read or seen any of his work. This mania for giving areas names based on the works of writers or painters is of relatively long standing, though it does seem to have increased in the past thirty years or so.

Thomas Hardy's books are largely set in Wessex, an old name that describes an area that includes including Dorset, Berkshire, Devon, Somerset and Wiltshire. He gives fictional names to actual towns - Puddletown becomesWeatherbury, Bridport is changed to Port Bredy, Bournemouth to Sandbourne etc - and this has, for tourist authorities and readers, created an area that is now recognised as "Hardy's Wessex". This kind of association is sometimes disputed when more than one artist is connected with a location. Thus, the Lake District in the minds of some is linked with Beatrix Potter, but others see it as closely intertwined with the "Lakes Poets" - Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey and others.

What has this to do with my photograph of oilseed rape and ash trees? Well, it was taken over the past couple of days when I spent some time walking, cycling and driving in a small part of England that has acquired the title of "Tennyson Country". The rolling hills of the south Lincolnshire Wolds in the vicinity of Somersby, Bag Enderby and Harrington is the area where Alfred (later Lord) Tennyson was born, grew up, and where he wrote much of the early poetry that led to him becoming the most admired poet of Victorian England.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 28mm
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/250
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On