Connection: Thomas Hardy

The Inseparables, Paul Cézanne and Émile Zola,

Art critic John Berger says the region in which an artist passes their formative years plays an important role in the constitution of his or her vision. This was certainly the case for both the painter Paul Cézanne and the writer Émile Zola. In their schooldays they formed a brilliant alliance and their ‘debauches of… Read more »

Paul Cézanne

Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) was a Post-Impressionist painter often recognised as the father of Modern Art and the bridge between the Impressionists and the Cubists.

Man of Appetites, Alexandre Dumas

In the summer of 1869, an old and ailing Alexandre Dumas moved to Roscoff, a seaside retreat in Brittany famous for its onions. Despite his extraordinary success as one of the nineteenth century’s greatest literary figures, he was now hard up. In Roscoff he could live cheaply while writing furiously for income. His final undertaking… Read more »

Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas (1802 – 1870) was one of the most popular and prolific authors in France, known for his plays and historical adventure novels such as The Three Musketeers.

Messing About in Boats, Kenneth Grahame

When Kenneth Grahame first arrived in Fowey in 1899 he was on the retreat from an ardent admirer, Elspeth Thomson. She was thirty-seven, a tricky age for the times. She considered Kenneth an ideal catch. His position as Secretary of the Bank of England was solid and respectable, yet he had also written three books,… Read more »

On Chesil Beach, Ian McEwan

Florence and Edward are both twenty-two and know little to nothing about sex. They believe themselves to be deeply in love, but they are anxious about what will shortly take place on the four-poster bed – big and white, and waiting in the next room. So begins this novella written by an author at the… Read more »

Cornwall: A Literary Introduction

These quotes are a small selection from the many writers and poets who have been drawn to Cornwall. With the exception of Percy Shelley who may or may not have visited Cornwall at all, and Paul Theroux who travelled through the county only briefly, they all lived here for a time; for some, the place… Read more »

T.E. Lawrence’s Clouds Hill

The Lawrence/Elgar connection T.E. Lawrence was introduced to Elgar by his friends George Bernard Shaw and his wife Charlotte in 1932. Lawrence owned ten recordings of his works and although the Second Symphony was his favourite, it was Elgar’s Concerto in B Minor, Op. 61 (Elgar conducting the London Symphony Orchestra) that was on his… Read more »