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chesilbeach

The English Counties Challenge

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After seeing a link to another challenge for the US, poppyshake and I thought it would be fun to do the same thing for English Counties.  The idea is to read the most famous book from each county.  Below is a list of all the current counties in England with the most famous book(s) for each one, as we have discussed on this thread.

1. Bedfordshire - My Uncle Silas by H. E. Bates
2. Berkshire - The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
3. Bristol - The Misses Mallett by E. H. Young
4. Buckinghamshire - The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
5. Cambridgeshire - The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers
6. Cheshire - Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
7. City of London - A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
8. Cornwall - Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier
9. Cumbria - Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome [alt. The Maid of Buttermere by Melvyn Bragg]
10. Derbyshire - Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
11. Devon - And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie or The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
12. Dorset - Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
13. County Durham - Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
14. East Riding of Yorkshire - South Riding by Winifred Holtby
15. East Sussex - Winnie-The-Pooh by A. A. Milne
16. Essex - The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James
17. Gloucestershire - Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee
18. Greater London* - The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
19. Greater Manchester - North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
20. Hampshire - Watership Down by Richard Adams
21. Herefordshire - On The Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin
22. Hertfordshire - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
23. Isle of Wight - England, England by Julian Barnes [alt. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (this book is only briefly set on the Isle of Wight but that particular section is famously associated with it)]
24. Kent - The Darling Buds of May by H. E. Bates
25. Lancashire - Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
26. Leicestershire - The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13¾ by Sue Townsend
27. Lincolnshire - The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
28. Merseyside - An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge
29. Norfolk - The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley
30. North Yorkshire - Dracula by Bram Stoker [alt. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot]
31. Northamptonshire - Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
32. Northumberland - The Stars Look Down by A. J. Cronin
33. Nottinghamshire - Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
34. Oxfordshire - The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford
35. Rutland - Set In Stone by Robert Goddard
36. Shropshire - Summer Lightning by P. G. Wodehouse
37. Somerset - Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore
38. South Yorkshire - A Kestral For A Knave by Barry Hines
39. Staffordshire - The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett
40. Suffolk - The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
41. Surrey - Emma by Jane Austen or The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
42. Tyne and Wear - Another World by Pat Barker
43. Warwickshire - Tom Brown's School Days by Thomas Hughes
44. West Midlands - Middlemarch by George Eliot
45. West Sussex - Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
46. West Yorkshire - Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
47. Wiltshire - Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
48. Worcestershire - The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall
 
* There are so many options for Greater London, that you can also look at London Fiction thread.

Edited by chesilbeach

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Actually, I do have a query - I've only done English counties at the moment, but perhaps I should extend it to Wales, Scotland and Ireland, but I have to admit, I don't know much about the geography of them.  What does everyone think?  I can easily update the first post and title of the thread, if you think it should encapsulate the rest of the UK.

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This sounds like fun, and I'm sure I'd learn a lot  ,and probably have a very slim number of Books Read from these specific areas .

 

I'd be interested in playing along, but won't do you guys any good at all on the most famous book for a specific place over there .

 

Are Wales, Scotland and Ireland all considered property that is governed by the UK ? Sorry if I sound like a NumbNut, but I am when it comes to this . (among dozens of other subjects)

 

I think it'd be fun to branch it out into the other areas too . Will we be including the US states in this challenge or will they be done separately ?

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Thanks for setting up this thread Claire .. so exciting :boogie: 

Diana could help us out with Scotland maybe :)

 

Now *rubs hands together in a 'let's get started' fashion* :D It's probably easier to think of our most famous books and then try to place them.

I'd like to put forward Wuthering Heights for Yorkshire (surely .. nothing else sums up Yorkshire quite as well?) and then Pride and Prejudice for Hertfordshire because it's probably our most famous book and though, arguably, bits of it take place in Derbyshire, a lot of it is set in Hertfordshire :) 

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Would they have to be fictional because I was wondering about Cider with Rosie for Gloucestershire? I'm sure it's got a good touch of fiction in it anyway ;)  

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Hey guys

 

 Hope it's ok to post this here. Me and the Hubster have been doing some online searching . I came up with this list, which is taken from an old Goodreads group from 2 years ago -- the original link to it is dead ,so would this be ok to use ?

 

 

 

There are 94 counties in all....inc.Yorkshire split into 3

ENGLAND

1. Bedfordshire (Bedford, Luton, Dunstable, Leighton Buzzard, Biggleswade, Sandy)
2. Berkshire (Reading, Bracknell, Maidenhead, Newbury, Windsor, Wokingham, Abingdon)
3. Buckinghamshire (Aylesbury, Milton Keynes, Slough, Buckingham, High Wycombe)
4. Cambridgeshire (Cambridge, Wisbech, Ely, March, Whittlesey, Chatteris, Linton)
5. Cheshire (Chester, Stockport, Ellesmere Port, Birkenhead, Wallasey, Runcorn, Macclesfield, Crewe)
6. Cornwall (Bodmin, Truro, Camborne, Redruth, St. Austell, Falmouth, Penzance, Newquay)
7. Cumberland (Carlisle, Whitehaven, Workington, Penrith, Keswick, Brampton)
8. Derbyshire (Derby, Chesterfield, Glossop, Ilkeston, Long Eaton, Swadlincote, Buxton, Matlock, Ashbourne)
9. Devon (Exeter, Plymouth, Torquay, Paignton, Barnstaple, Tiverton, Newton Abbot, Tavistock)
10. Dorset (Dorchester, Poole, Weymouth, Sherborne, Wimborne Minster, Shaftesbury)
11. Durham (Durham, Sunderland, Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington, Hartlepool, Gateshead, Washington)
12. Essex (Chelmsford, Basildon, Romford, Southend, Colchester, Harlow, Brentwood, West Ham)
13. Gloucestershire (Gloucester, Bristol, Cheltenham, Stroud, Cirencester, Tewkesbury)
14. Hampshire (Winchester, Southampton, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Basingstoke, Newport)
15. Herefordshire (Hereford, Ross-on-Wye, Leominster, Ledbury, Bromyard, Kington)
16. Hertfordshire (Hertford, Watford, St. Albans, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage, Hatfield)
17. Huntingdonshire (Huntingdon, St. Ives, St. Neots, Ramsey, Yaxley)
18. Kent (Maidstone, Canterbury, Bromley, Rochester, Margate, Folkestone, Dover, Greenwich)
19. Lancashire (Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Bolton, Warrington, Barrow-in-Furness)
20. Leicestershire (Leicester, Loughborough, Hinckley, Melton Mowbray, Coalville, Lutterworth)
21. Lincolnshire (Lincoln, Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Boston, Grantham, Stamford, Skegness, Louth)
22. Middlesex (City of London, Harrow, Enfield, Staines, Ealing, Potters Bar, Westminster )
23. Norfolk (Norwich, Great Yarmouth, King's Lynn, Dereham, Cromer, Hunstanton)
24. Northamptonshire (Northampton, Peterborough, Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough)
25. Northumberland (Alnwick, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Morpeth, Hexham, Berwick-upon-Tweed)
26. Nottinghamshire (Nottingham, Mansfield, Worksop, Newark, Retford, Southwell)
27. Oxfordshire (Oxford, Banbury, Witney, Bicester, Henley-on-Thames, Carterton, Thame)
28. Rutland (Oakham, Uppingham. Cottesmore)
29. Shropshire (Shrewsbury, Telford, Oswestry, Bridgnorth, Whitchurch, Market Drayton, Ludlow)
30. Somerset (Taunton, Bath, Weston-super-Mare, Yeovil, Bridgwater, Wells, Glastonbury)
31. Staffordshire (Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Cannock, Lichfield)
32. Suffolk (Ipswich, Bury St. Edmunds, Lowestoft, Felixstowe, Sudbury, Haverhill, Bungay)
33. Surrey (Guildford, Croydon, Woking, Sutton, Kingston-on-Thames, Wandsworth, Wimbledon, Brixton)
34. Sussex (Chichester, Brighton, Worthing, Crawley, Hastings, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Horsham)
35. Warwickshire (Warwick, Birmingham, Coventry, Nuneaton, Rugby, Solihull, Stratford-upon-Avon)
36. Westmorland (Appleby, Kendal, Windermere, Ambleside, Kirkby Lonsdale)
37. Wiltshire (Trowbridge, Salisbury, Swindon, Chippenham, Devizes, Marlborough, Warminster)
38. Worcestershire (Worcester, Dudley, Kidderminster, Stourbridge, Halesowen, Malvern, Evesham)
39. Yorkshire
a) North Riding (Northallerton, Middlesbrough, Scarborough, Whitby)
b) East Riding (Beverley, Hull, Bridlington, Driffield, Hornsea, Filey)
c) West Riding (Wakefield, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Halifax, Harrogate)

WALES (including Monmouthshire)

40. Anglesey/Sir Fon (Beaumaris, Holyhead, Llangefni, Amlwch, Menai Bridge)
41. Brecknockshire/Sir Frycheiniog (Brecon, Builth Wells, Hay-on-Wye, Talgarth, Llanwrtwd Wells)
42. Caernarfonshire/Sir Gaernarfon (Caernarfon, Bangor, Llandudno, Conwy, Pwllheli, Porthmadog)
43. Carmarthenshire/Sir Gaerfyrddin (Carmarthen, Llanelli, Ammanford, Llandovery, Kidwelly, St. Clears)
44. Cardiganshire/Ceredigion (Cardigan, Aberystwyth, Lampeter, New Quay, Tregaron)
45. Denbighshire/Sir Ddinbych (Denbigh, Wrexham, Ruthin, Abergele, Llangollen)
46. Flintshire/Sir Fflint (Mold, Flint, Rhyl, Prestatyn, Connah's Quay, Holywell, Buckley, St. Asaph)
47. Glamorgan/Morgannwg (Cardiff, Swansea, Merthyr Tydfil, Barry, Caerphilly, Bridgend, Neath, Pontypridd)
48. Merioneth/Meirionnydd (Dolgellau, Bala, Tywyn, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Barmouth, Harlech)
49. Monmouthshire/Sir Fynwy (Monmouth, Newport, Blackwood, Cwmbran, Abergavenny, Chepstow, Tredegar)
50. Montgomeryshire/Sir Drefaldwyn (Montgomery, Newtown, Welshpool, Machynlleth, Llanidloes)
51. Pembrokeshire/Sir Benfro (Pembroke, Milford Haven, Haverfordwest, Fishguard, Tenby, St. David's)
52. Radnorshire/Sir Faesyfed (Presteigne, Llandrindod Wells, Knighton, Rhayader, New Radnor)

SCOTLAND

53. Aberdeenshire (Aberdeen, Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Inverurie, Huntley, Ellon, Turriff)
54. Angus/Forfarshire (Forfar, Dundee, Arbroath, Brechin, Montrose, Carnoustie, Kirriemuir)
55. Argyllshire (Inveraray, Oban, Dunoon, Campbeltown, Lochgilphead, Tobermory)
56. Ayrshire (Ayr, Kilmarnock, Irvine, Saltcoats, Kilwinning, Largs, Troon, Cumnock)
57. Banffshire (Banff, Buckie, Keith, Macduff, Portsoy, Dufftown)
58. Berwickshire (Greenlaw, Duns, Eyemouth, Lauder, Coldstream)
59. Buteshire (Rothesay, Millport, Brodick, Lochranza)
60. Cromartyshire (Cromarty, Ullapool)
61. Caithness (Wick, Thurso, Halkirk, Castletown)
62. Clackmannanshire (Clackmannan, Alloa, Tillicoultry, Tullibody)
63. Dumfriesshire (Dumfries, Annan, Lockerbie, Moffat, Sanquhar, Langholm, Gretna)
64. Dunbartonshire/Dumbartonshire (Dumbarton, Clydebank, Cumbernauld, Helensburgh, Alexandria, Kirkintilloch)
65. East Lothian/Haddingtonshire (Haddington, North Berwick, Dunbar, Tranent, East Linton)
66. Fife (Cupar, Dunfermline, Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, St. Andrews, Cowdenbeath, Burntisland)
67. Inverness-shire (Inverness, Fort William, Kingussie, Newtonmore, Portree)
68. Kincardineshire (Stonehaven, Banchory, Laurencekirk, Inverbervie)
69. Kinross-shire (Kinross, Milnathort)
70. Kirkcudbrightshire (Kircudbright, Castle Douglas, Dalbeattie, New Galloway)
71. Lanarkshire (Lanark, Glasgow, East Kilbride, Hamilton, Motherwell, Coatbridge, Carluke)
72. Midlothian/Edinburghshire (Edinburgh, Musselburgh, Penicuik, Dalkeith, Bonnyrigg)
73. Morayshire (Elgin, Forres, Rothes, Lossiemouth, Fochabers)
74. Nairnshire (Nairn, Auldearn, Cawdor, Ferness)
75. Orkney (Kirkwall, Sromness, Balfour)
76. Peeblesshire (Peebles, Innerleithen, West Linton)
77. Perthshire (Perth, Crieff, Pitlochry, Callander, Blairgowrie, Rattray, Coupar Angus, Kincardine)
78. Renfrewshire (Renfrew, Paisley, Greenock, Johnstone, Port Glasgow, Barrhead, Kilmalcolm)
79. Ross-shire (Dingwall, Stornaway, Tain, Alness, Invergordon)
80. Roxburghshire (Jedburgh, Hawick, Kelso, Melrose, Roxburgh)
81. Selkirkshire (Selkirk, Clovenfords, Galashiels)
82. Shetland (Lerwick, Scalloway, Baltasound)
83. Stirlingshire (Stirling, Falkirk, Grangemouth, Kilsyth, Bridge of Allan, Denny, Alva)
84. Sutherland (Dornoch, Helmsdale, Brora, Golspie, Lairg, Durness, Tongue)
85. West Lothian/Linlithgowshire (Linlithgow, Livingston, Bo'ness, Broxburn, Whitburn, Armadale, Bathgate)
86. Wigtownshire (Wigtown, Stranraer, Newton Stewart, Whithorn)

NORTHERN IRELAND

87. Antrim (Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne, Lisburn, Newtownabbey)
88. Armagh (Armagh, Newry, Craigavon)
89. Down (Belfast, Newry, Dundonald, Newtownards, Bangor)
90. Fermanagh (Enniskillen, Lisnaskea)
91. Londonderry (Londonderry, Coleraine, Limavady)
92. Tyrone (Omagh, Cookstown, Dungannon, Strabane)

 

Edited by julie

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Is it where an author was born? Daphne Du Maurier was born in London but lived and wrote in Cornwall.

It's where the books are set .. I believe :blush2: .. I immediately thought of Cornwall with Rebecca but apparently the county itself was never mentioned. Of course Jamaica Inn would definitely qualify and also My Cousin Rachel :smile: 

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Chalie

I'm not sure which way they will want to do it . The USA one seems to have the books listed by the state the book took place in ,but others do challenges based on where the author was from . I'd think you could do it whichever way you liked ,actually .

I'd need some major help on this one since I'm not from there and know a total of ZILCH about the counties ,etc over there .

 

Also finding the books or authors to match might be a bit of a challenge but it's do-able !

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Yea, that list may give people some books to choose from . I'm sure you guys know lots of the popular classics and what location they took place in . I'll bet you could get that list filled in if you did enough searching . I don't guess everyone would have to read the same books,would they ? Just any book that would fit the place .

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Sounds like a great idea, but Brixton is not in Surrey - it's in London, and so are Wandsworth and Wimbledon. Other towns in Surrey include Epsom, Farnham and Camberley - and of course Dorking near where I live.

Edited by Talisman

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Sounds like a great idea, but Brixton is not in Surrey - it's in London, and so are Wandsworth and Wimbledon. Other towns in Surrey include Epsom, Farnham and Camberley - and of course Dorking near where I live.



It is now, but Brixton certainly used to be in Surrey, as were Wandsworth and Wimbledon.

The list Julie has got hold of is, I think, a list of pre-1889 counties before the reforms carried out that year, which included the formation of a new "County of London". They were pretty much the historic counties of England. They stayed pretty much like that until 1974 and the huge reforms then, which saw the end of the administrative county. Local government now is such a messy structure, that trying to use them for a challenge like this would be pretty horrible.

I would suggest that the structure we use are the modern day ceremonial counties of England, preserved counties of Wales, lieutenancy areas of Scotland, and the old counties/county boroughs of Northern Ireland (the latter are preserved for purposes of lieutenancy). They, in very broad brush terms (except for Wales, follow the structure of the old counties/shires. In England a number of counties have been added that cover urban conglomerations (e.g. West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Tyne and Wear). This would have the advantage of books that focus on the main cities here not displacing books that might be sited in the rural areas that once would have been part of the same county (thus books based on Liverpool and Manchester wouldn't displace books from more rural Lancashire), whilst still retaining a reasonably familiar county structure. Some counties have seen changes (e.g. Berkshire lost quite a bit of territory to Oxfordshire), whilst a couple have disappeared completely (e.g. Westmoreland, Huntingdonshire), but the latter could be included if an appropriate book was found! The other big change was the structure of Yorkshire, but I'm sure that won't be a problem! Wales could be slightly more problematic, and the historical counties might be preferred. Personally, I think it is likely to be hard to find books covering what in some cases are some pretty small places.

This list of 91 counties (with the possibility of adding Westmoreland and Huntingdonshire) would therefore look like this:

England (48 counties)
Bedfordshire
Berkshire
Bristol
Buckinghamshire
Cambridgeshire
Cheshire
City of London
Cornwall (including Isles of Scilly)
Cumbria
Derbyshire
Devon
Dorset
County Durham
East Sussex
Essex
Gloucestershire
Greater London (excluding the City of London
Greater Manchester
Hampshire
Herefordshire
Hertfordshire
Isle of Wight
Kent
Lancashire
Leicestershire
Lincolnshire (including North Lincolnshire. and North East Lincolnshire
Merseyside
Norfolk
North Yorkshire (including Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, York, and Stockton-on-Tees south of the River Tees)
Northamptonshire
Northumberland
Nottinghamshire
Oxfordshire
Rutland
Shropshire
Somerset
Staffordshire
Suffolk
Surrey
Tyne and Wear
Warwickshire
West Midlands
West Sussex
East Riding of Yorkshire (including Kingston-upon-Hull)
South Yorkshire
West Yorkshire
Wiltshire
Worcestershire

Wales (8 counties)
Clwyd
Dyfed
South Glamorgan
Mid Glamorgan
West Glamorgan
Gwent
Gwynedd
Powys

Scotland (35 counties)
Aberdeen
Aberdeenshire
Angus
Argyll and Bute
Ayrshire and Arran
Banffshire
Berwickshire
Caithness
Clackmannanshire
Dumfries
Dunbartonshire
Dundee
East Lothian
Edinburgh
Fife
Glasgow
Inverness
Kincardineshire
Lanarkshire
Midlothian
Moray
Nairn
Orkney
Perth and Kinross
Renfrewshire
Ross and Cromarty
Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale
Shetland
Stirling and Falkirk
Sutherland
The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright
Tweeddale
West Lothian
Western Isles
Wigtown

Northern Ireland
Antrim
Armagh
Down
Fermanagh
Londonderry/Derry
Tyrone
Edited by willoyd

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Would we ever find books to match all those counties? .. I think that's a challenge in itself :D 

Some books are going to have really stiff competition and others will have none at all :D 

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Would we ever find books to match all those counties? .. I think that's a challenge in itself :D 

Some books are going to have really stiff competition and others will have none at all :D 

 

That's half the fun!

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It's where the books are set .. I believe :blush2: .. I immediately thought of Cornwall with Rebecca but apparently the county itself was never mentioned. Of course Jamaica Inn would definitely qualify and also My Cousin Rachel :smile: 

 

I think it would be more interesting that way too.

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While I don't want to really participate in any challenge, it's great to read what some of you are doing! This is an interesting challenge, I look forward to see which books you pick :). I have quite a few books written by British authors or that take place in the UK, I quite like reading books that take place in the UK. I'm not so good with which place is where though, I can point to some bigger places but otherwise I'd really need a map to see where some of these counties are located (but then again, I doubt most of you could say where our Dutch provinces are so maybe I shouldn't feel too bad). I don't normally note so much where exactly on a map a book takes place, ie. if a placename is mentioned and I don't know where it is on a map, but I know roughly where it is, I don't go and look it up, perhaps I should.. Anyway, I look forward to see where this challenge will go!

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I've been working on some suggestions, and am most of the way there with English counties.   In the process, I've gone for separate suggestions for Westmoreland and Cumberland, rather than just one for Cumbria (neither of which are Swallows and Amazons, in spite of my passion for them!).  However,  I notice the title of the thread: are we talking English counties or UK counties? I thought the latter.

 

Incidentally, to what extent does one include children's books, or semi-fiction?  I've tried to go for adult books unless a children's book is (a) really place evocative and (b) there isn't a good adult/YA alternative.     Thus, for me, the outstanding author for Dorset is Thomas Hardy.  Cider with Rosie looks a good book for Gloucestershire as already mentioned, but it is a memoir, and that would then beg the question what about other memoirs?  I've also tried to go for no more than one book per author, but think that might prove difficult in Scotland especially.

 

One big stumbling block I have encountered: Durham!  Anybody any suggestions?, 

 

I'll post what I've got later tonight, but haven't got the list to hand at present (I'm on lunch at work!).

Edited by willoyd

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I think we need to take one county at a time and discuss the books we think should be included. They are supposed to be the most FAMOUS and so not necessarily the best loved or what we, individually, like best etc.

I must admit to preferring Claire's original list .. it seems more achievable but am happy to rack my brains over a longer list if that's what's preferred by everyone else (very democratic :blush2:).

I must put the case for Cider with Rosie :blush2: .. surely there is no better book .. or more famous book .. associated with Gloucestershire? It is often mistakenly filed in the fiction sections because it's very storylike .. and also I've read more than one biographer say that it is a slightly fictionalised version of Laurie's life. That is our criteria I think .. the book that's most famously linked to each of these counties. If that is a YA or children's book or memoir then I think that's what we should go with. 

 

I agree with you Willoyd that, though I don't always like his novels, Thomas Hardy is forever linked to Dorset and, imo, he should be included. Swallows & Amazons though is the book that comes straight to my mind when thinking of Cumbria .. the only other one I can think of is The Woman in White but to me S&A is the more redolent.

 

Are we all agreed yet .. that there is no more famous book set in Hertfordshire than Pride and Prejudice? It would be a start :giggle: 

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I think we need to take one county at a time and discuss the books we think should be included. They are supposed to be the most FAMOUS and so not necessarily the best loved or what we, individually, like best etc. I must admit to preferring Claire's original list .. it seems more achievable but am happy to rack my brains over a longer list if that's what's preferred by everyone else (very democratic :blush2:).

I would suggest that we should also consider famous for what? A book that is famous for its setting, or is particularly redolent of an area, is perhaps a better book to include than one that is famous, but has no real relationship with its setting.

 

I think you'll find both lists include the difficult counties - the list I suggest merely allows for more books to be included from the easier parts of the country - but am happy to fit in whichever way.  What about Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales?

 

I must put the case for Cider with Rosie :blush2: .. surely there is no better book .. or more famous book .. associated with Gloucestershire? ...That is our criteria I think .. the book that's most famously linked to each of these counties. If that is a YA or children's book or memoir then I think that's what we should go with.

 

FWIW I'm more than happy with Cider with Rosie, and agree with everything you say. This is what I was meaning above: it's not just the fame of the book, but its fame at being associated with the county (if possible!). Like you, I can't think of a book more of Gloucestershire than CwR!. 

Swallows & Amazons though is the book that comes straight to my mind when thinking of Cumbria .. the only other one I can think of is The Woman in White but to me S&A is the more redolent

 

I had Melvyn Bragg's Cumbria books down - particularly The Maid of Buttermere.  Much as I adore S&A (I've not read any Bragg yet), he came to mind first.  (I had pencilled in Secret Water for Essex though!).

 

Are we all agreed yet .. that there is no more famous book set in Hertfordshire than Pride and Prejudice? It would be a start :giggle: 

 

I had something else down, but can't remember what, partly because I put Emma down for Surrey, and was trying to keep it to just one book per author!  It was a genuinely famous one, but have to agree that it would be hard to beat P&P!

 

Later edit:  I remember now: it was Howard's End, based on a real house near Stevenage.

Edited by willoyd

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