Throughout the decades there have been many authors connected to the Cotswolds. My favourites include Jane Austen, who stayed with her Leigh family cousins in the small village of Adlestrop during the 1790s. It is believed that she used the manor house, Parsonage House & Adlestrop Park as the inspiration for Thornton Lacey in Mansfield Park. Many plots in Jane’s books were inspired by the Leigh families’ inheritance problems and colourful lives.
The poet Edward Thomas is also connected to Adlestrop, which originally had a railways station, all that remains is the station sign which adorns the village bus shelter. During a journey the train made an unscheduled stop 100 years ago where ‘no one left and now one came’ which is still true of this sleepy Cotswolds village today.
M.C Beaton much loved for her Hamish Macbeth novels and the Cotswolds Agatha Raisin series is centred on the North Cotswolds villages. I must admit to having read every single one of these books and can picture Agatha tottering through the streets. I feel her home town is modelled on the village of Blockley; which also had an issue with bottling spring water in 1990s similar to the plot in the ‘Wellspring of Death’ novel (although luckily no-one was killed)
I have yet to explore the Rebecca Tope murder mystery series based within the glorious slice of English countryside. But many guests who visit feel they have stepped on set of Midsomer Murders, and this is certainly true of fans of Father Brown. During a recent tour I bumped into the actor John Burton, who was rather unusually dressed (although I do not want to spoil that for you!)
Tolkien used many sites throughout the Cotswolds for inspiration in the Lord of the Rings books, The Bell Inn in Moreton in Marsh, Rollright Stones, Four Shires Stone & Broadway Tower to name a few.
The Cotswolds also has links to Sir James Barrie, best remembered as the author of Peter Pan and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who enjoyed a summer of cricket in Stanway.
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