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Arts festival to celebrate local literary heroes

Tue 28 Feb 2012

Arts festival to celebrate local literary heroes

Individuals on Isle of Wight holidays this spring may get the chance to learn about some of the island's literary greats as part of the Isle of Arts festival.

Among the events taking place will be two literary walks run by phographer David White, who will lead guests on a tour of some of the area's most notable locations, Ventnor Blog reports.

Setting off from East Dene on April 21st, visitors will be taken around the homes and haunts of writers such as John Keats, John Sterling and Edmund Peel - cousin of prime minister Robert Peel.

Along they way, they will discover why novelist Henry de Vere Stacpoole donated a pond to Bonchurch village and the supposed inspiration for one of Charles Dickens' most memorable characters.

Local folklore tells how the writer based Great Expectations' Miss Havisham on Bonchurch resident Margaret Catherine Dick who, like the literary figure - was jilted on her wedding days.

Those with a passion for Dickens may also like to attend a one-man show that Ventnor Blog claims will offer an illuminating insight into the creative process of the famous author.

Lloyd Lee takes the part of Dickens in Charles Dickens – the Squire of Gads Hill, depicting the writer as he works on his final novel and shares memories of his past creations with the audience.

The performance takes place on April 21st at East Dene, a location that can claim its own connection with Dickens, who stayed nearby while he was working on David Copperfield.

At the time, East Dene was home to the Swinburne family and Dickens' children played with young Algernon Swinburne, who would later go on to find his own literary fame as a poet.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Dickens' birth and events were recently held around the country to commemorate this.

These included a 24-hour readathon that saw fans from 24 countries around the world read extracts from his works and a service at the writer's grave in Westminster Abbey attended by Prince Charles.

Posted by Adam Pearson
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