In the press release, the HHA says:
"Authors as diverse as D.H. Lawrence, Charlotte Brontë, Roald Dahl and George Eliot are all connected with HHA Member houses. Our varied Member houses are all independently owned and many have been in the same families for generations.
Perhaps you’ll be shown around by a descendant of one of these literary greats? Maybe the author will sign your book? Can you find the desk where your favourite novel was written?"
What's that got to do with Tudor history? You may ask. Well, some of the houses also have links to Tudor people too, plus I know that many of you love literature. I didn't know, for example, that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had stayed at Hever Castle, but there he is in the guest book! (See photo). Find our more about the trail at http://www.hha.org.uk/SearchTrail.aspx?tr=8
Here are photos of a few of the properties featured in the literary trail - Cawdor Castle (Shakespeare/Macbeth connection), Grimsthorpe Castle (links to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and Jane Austen), Hever Castle (Boleyn family home but also visited by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and George Bernard Shaw), Hutton-in-the-Forest (the legendary Green Knight's castle in the Arthurian tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight), Norton Conyers (the inspiration for Jane Eyre), Old Medicine House (a 16th century house and home to author Alan Garner) and Wilton House (home to the Earls of Pembroke and also where the King's Men performed to James I in 1603).
HHA Director General Ben Cowell said:
"It’s no surprise that so many Historic Houses Association Member houses have links to literary heroes of the past – from William Shakespeare to Jane Austen. What is less well known is that some of our Members’ houses remain the lived-in homes of authors today, who draw inspiration from the beauty of their surroundings. Visiting these special places helps to preserve them for future generations. We hope you enjoy the many houses on our trail, and the literary masterpieces with which they are associated."
To find out more, access the trail at http://www.hha.org.uk/SearchTrail.aspx?tr=8 and click on the pins to uncover the stories. Please check opening dates and times before visiting.
The Historic Houses Association (HHA) is a not-for-profit organisation that represents more than 1,600 of the UK’s independently owned historic houses, castles and gardens. More than 500 of these properties open their doors to visitors for days out, special tours, school visits, film locations, weddings and events, or as memorable places to stay. Members range from iconic stately homes such as Blenheim Palace and Knebworth House, to more intimate houses such as Traquair in Scotland, Treowen in Wales and Belle Isle in Northern Ireland. Most are still family homes. The Association was established in 1973 to help owners conserve these wonderful places in the interests of the nation and carries out lobbying, advisory and marketing work on behalf of Member properties. Over 50,000 Friends of the HHA can visit many of these houses for free.