Novels that evoke British places very well ...please recommend

(73 Posts)
revolvenotevolve Tue 20-Aug-13 19:53:27

Id love to read some novels set around Britain and that really evoke the place so it inspires a visit ! Any recommendations ?

comfortablymum Tue 20-Aug-13 20:03:51

I really enjoyed 'Notes from a Small Island' by Bill Bryson quite a few years ago now. He's an American writing about his travels along the south coast and his affectionate, humorous and quite accurate observations of the geographical areas covered and of the British in general - observations that only a foreigner could make. There's a lovely bit when he arrives in West Bay and describes a restaurant he comes across in an episode of what could only be described as serendipity that prompted me to do the same a few years ago and that restaurant continues to be one of my (and now my children's) favourites. I don't know how much West Bay has changed since Broadchurch was filmed there but it won't have been spoilt.

Quangle Tue 20-Aug-13 21:12:48

Salt by Jeremy Page is fantastically evocative of East Anglia.

I don't actually think you can beat Dickens for a sense of place - Great Expectations for E Anglia and London. I think of Dickens so often as I walk around London - he is everywhere! I went up the Shard recently and seeing how tightly packed everything is and how the Victorians just thought "stuff Southwark Cathedral - we're putting a railway across there" - Dickens captured all that and London still has his spirit, I think.

Great idea for a thread.

Dracula - Whitby
Persuasion - Lyme Regis

AndyMurraysBalls Tue 20-Aug-13 21:17:35

Wuthering Heights.
Rebecca.

hotair Tue 20-Aug-13 21:17:59

rivers of london- made me feel like I was living in soho again!

Morgause Tue 20-Aug-13 21:19:06

Any Poldark novel - Cornwall
How Green was my Valley - The Welsh Valleys

LordEmsworth Tue 20-Aug-13 21:44:52

North & South - Manchester and Hampshire.

tripfiction Wed 21-Aug-13 08:40:23

Rivers of London is a great suggestion for Soho. Enjoyed that.

You can try the following which is a random selection from the blog:
Cornwall: tripfiction.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/UK%20%28Cornwall%29
Isle of Man:
tripfiction.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/UK%20%28Isle%20of%20Man%29
Scarborough:
tripfiction.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/UK%20%28Scarborough%29
Yorkshire:
tripfiction.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/UK%20%28Yorkshire%29
A collection of novels to evoke the British coastline:
tripfiction.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/Novels-that-capture-the-flavour-of-the-British-Coast.html
And two UK Roadtrips:
tripfiction.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/Road-trip-Britain-via-books.html

Hope you find something.....

JassyRadlett Wed 21-Aug-13 08:46:40

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society has a good feel of Guernsey to it - at least, the Guernsey I've visited, I've never lived there.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 21-Aug-13 08:52:20

Jamaica Inn for Cornwall. I've never been but feel like I have.

DuchessofMalfi Wed 21-Aug-13 09:07:22

Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel - two more Daphne Du Maurier novels set in Cornwall.

Hardy's novels for Dorset. Tess for North Dorset's Blackmore Vale. Mayor of Casterbridge for Dorchester etc.

DuchessofMalfi Wed 21-Aug-13 09:08:27

And The Book of Ebenezer le Page by G B Edwards for Guernsey.

revolvenotevolve Wed 21-Aug-13 10:08:32

Thanks for ideas so far and tripfiction for the links thanks any other ideas anyone - perhaps some modern stuff too?

bibliomania Wed 21-Aug-13 12:41:06

Some crime fiction can be good - Ann Cleeves for Shetland and Northumberland. I'm not a major fan of Ian Rankin and the Inspector Morse, but they might give a feel for Edinburgh and Oxford respectively.

The Mapp and Lucia books by E F Benson for Rye.

The 39 Steps for Scotland.

On Chesil beach.

The French Lieutenant's Woman, also for Lyme Regis.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Wed 21-Aug-13 14:14:17

I'd agree with lots of the above (haven't read the rest!)

The Peter May trilogy for the Outer Hebrides if you'd like to venture that far afield.

Definately yes to the Morse books for Oxford. Also Larkin's Jill for another Oxford book.

bibliomania I love Fowles' FLT, my favourite of all his novels.

Ooh yes to 'Jill.' Also, Forster's 'Maurice' and Waugh's 'Brideshead Revisited.'

SconeRhymesWithGone Wed 21-Aug-13 14:22:17

Another mystery writer: P.D. James.

clearsommespace Wed 21-Aug-13 14:23:33

'Waterland' by Graham Swift really evokes the Fens but I'm not sure it would inspire a visit.

Ellisisland Fri 23-Aug-13 07:48:16

NW by Zadie Smith for modern day London

Selks Fri 23-Aug-13 07:50:22

Tess of the D'Urbervilles.

Selks Fri 23-Aug-13 07:52:48

George Mackay Brown's short stories for their impressions of Orkney.

crumpet Fri 23-Aug-13 14:41:20

9 Tailors by Dorothy L Sayers -the fens.

AphraBehn Fri 23-Aug-13 15:10:50

Bath is still very much like how Jane Austen describes it in Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.

SmokedMackerel Fri 23-Aug-13 15:20:45

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, for the Scottish highlands (it is set in the eighteenth century though!)

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