The UK has a rich and diverse literary heritage, with many well known authors, poets and playwrights born or based in Yorkshire. Whether you like to read, listen or go to the theatre, Yorkshire has something for you.
Inspired by the landscape
Yorkshire’s distinctive, and often wild, landscape inspired classic writers; most famously the Brontë sisters – Anne, Charlotte and Emily – who between them wrote ‘Wuthering Heights’, ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Agnes Grey’. Ted Hughes, one of the greatest poets of the 20th century, was born in Yorkshire and his poems are heavily influenced by both its landscape and language.
‘Dracula’, written by Bram Stoker in 1897 was set in Whitby, North Yorkshire and ‘The Woman in Black’ – recently made famous by Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe taking the lead role in the film – was written by Susan Hill in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.
J. R. R Tolkein who wrote ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’, was Professor of English Language at the University of Leeds, and the Yorkshire landscape is said to have inspired the Shire described in his books, and featured in the films which followed.
Playwrights Alan Ayckbourn and Alan Bennett are both indelibly linked with Yorkshire. Alan Ayckbourn was the artistic director of the Library Theatre, Scarborough for almost 40 years, and Alan Bennett was born, educated and had a house in Yorkshire for many years.
A fascinating way to understand more about Yorkshire’s literary heritage is to attend one of the many literary festivals in towns and cities across the county, many of which are supported by their university.