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This talk explores the literary highways and byways of Somerset, including the watering holes of Bath and Bristol. Writer and poet James Crowden has produced an intellectual roadmap of Somerset from Roman times through Anglo-Saxon Wessex up to the present day. Here you will find more than 300 writers: early chroniclers and opium addicted Romantic poets, philosophers, pirates and playwrights, eccentric clergymen, diarists and herbalists, novelists and historians, travellers chefs and scientists – From St Gildas and John Locke to John Cleese, Fay Weldon and Terry Pratchett.

Many of the literary connections are well known: TS Eliot and East Coker, Wordsworth & Coleridge in the Quantocks, but did you know that Thomas Hardy once lived in Yeovil ? or that Virginia Woolf had her honeymoon in Holford? or that John Steinbeck lived near Bruton; or that the vicar of Isle Brewers walked naked across Afghanistan? or that Arthur C Clarke was born in Minehead or that JRR Tolkien had his honeymoon in Clevedon and that Cheddar Gorge inspired Helm’s deep in Lord of the Rings.

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