Words have shaped civilizations. Within literature, fiction has been able to transport readers into an infinite number of worlds. These places that authors create and the landscapes that they weave are able to seize audiences’ attention and it is this ability to reign imagination and curiosity that is so powerful in shaping minds, especially those of children.
Children authors are tasked with the burdensome responsibility of creating entire universes that are magical but also resonate with children, an enormous task since anyone that has regular contact with children knows, they are often very hard to please. With the turn of the 19th century, children’s literature had begun to sweep through every school and become a staple within every household. Worlds of fantasy and magic began to flow from pens of mathematicians named Lewis Carroll and from paintbrushes of botanists named Beatrix Potter, pioneers that brought their diverse backgrounds and experiences into their places of make-belief. Places like the 100 acre woods, Wonderland, the Chocolate Factory, Hogwarts – these are regions that are so rich they are almost characters in the story itself.
Through this travel prize, I explored landscapes that are home to iconic children authors from Great Britain, which has produced some of the world’s most renowned children authors and whose works have stood the test of time. I looked at how the environment around these authors significantly inspired some of the landscapes in their work by seeing what sensory elements can be recreated and translated into ink and paper. I’ve selected 6 authors from all around the UK and visit their childhood landscapes or landscapes that have specifically inspired these literary places.
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