Geopark in Focus: Episode 6 - Writers of the Riviera
Prof. Iain Stewart and guests discuss the long history of Authors who have lived in and been inspired by the English Riviera, from Dame Agatha Christie to Charles Darwin, Oscar Wilde, and many more right up to the writers of today. They explore how literature and culture can be used to improve wellbeing and inclusion for members of the local community.
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‘Local history is about who we are. The rich literary heritage of Torbay is a resource that can help us derive meaning from our environment. As it galvanised past visitors and residents, the Bay can inspire us and give us a sense of place, of belonging and understanding in the present.’
Dr Kevin Dixon, Historian and Chair of Healthwatch Torbay. Kevin is a Torquay historian with a particular interest in health, social care and community. He Chairs Healthwatch Torbay and writes and lectures about local culture.
‘Contemporary British writers continue to take inspiration from the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark, standing on the shoulders of the extraordinary group of past masters of the art who found solace or recuperation here over the past 200 years.’
Heather Soderlind, Chair of the International Agatha Christie Festival and of Literature Works
‘As someone who enjoys both walking and swimming in the outdoors and literature as well, I was delighted to be asked to be involved in this project. Torbay has a stunning natural environment that has inspired some of the most famous writers in English literature and continues to do so to this day. There’s nothing better than walking along the coast path around the Bay to blow the cobwebs away and inspire some creativity. If you’ve always thought you have got a book in you, then give it a go!’
Matt Newbury is a manager at Torre Abbey Museum, the home of the International Agatha Christie Festival. As a local social historian, Matt has not only written Agatha Christie's Devon, but this year he has also released a book about the Pilgrims to coincide with the Mayflower 400 commemorations. His next project will be Daphe du Maurier's Cornwall. As a keen wild swimmer, he has co-written two books of the subject including the popular Wild Swimming Walks: Dartmoor and South Devon. Matt also writes regular travel pieces for national publications and has his own wild swimming travel blog at www.justaddwater.org.uk