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keswick's literary links...

The town has strong associations with many literary artists of the 19th/early 20th centuries, among them several of the Lake Poets who inspired the first tourists to come to the area.

Robert Southey (1774-1843), Poet Laureate in 1813, lived at Greta Hall and is buried at Crosthwaite Church. His tomb was restored by the Brazilian government in 1961 in honour of his writing the first history of Brazil. He was a close friend of Samuel Taylor Coleridge as their wives were sisters.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) also lived at Greta Hall, but deserted his family for a life of opium addiction in London, leaving Robert Southey to support them. Best known for his ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner' and ‘Kubla Khan'.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850) and his sister, Dorothy, stayed at Old Windebrowe, near Keswick, for several months to nurse a sick friend, Raisley Calvert. Calvert left a large sum of money in his will to William, which enabled him to pursue his career as a poet. The house is now owned by the Calvert Trust, which provides adventure holidays for the disabled.

Sir Hugh Walpole (1884-1941) came to live at Brackenburn Lodge on the shores of Derwentwater. Walpole was a popular writer in his time, producing 42 works, the best known of which is The Herries Chronicles, based on the local area.

Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) spent many summers on the shores of Derwentwater at Lingholm and Fawe Park, and some of her illustrations and stories are inspired by scenes around the lake. The tale of Squirrel Nutkin is based on Derwentwater, with Owl Island being St Herbert's Island; and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle's home is on Catbells.

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