Jacksonville 904 April/May 2014 : Page 16

R&R ̈ WORDS BY ANGIE ORTH The London Eye Tea time Westminster Abbey Regent’s Park LITERARY LONDON A bookworm’s guide to the English capital. arry Potter, Oliver Twist, Mary Poppins, Bridget Jones and Sherlock Holmes walk into a bar… no, it’s not the beginning of a joke. It’s what happens every so often in London when a book-lover’s imagination runs wild, and the beloved characters born from this fertile literary soil spring to life all at once in a confluence of fantasy and reality. London’s literary cache is un-equaled in the world. For hun-dreds of years, writers have been inspired by the complex, multi-layered historic setting of the United Kingdom’s capital city to dream up interesting charac-ters and stories of intrigue, ro-mance and magic, making the city the true heartbeat of the written English word. The best way to experience the lettered side of London be-gins with research. Often travel-ers will rely solely on travel guidebooks in advance of a vacation, but London is just the sort of place where it makes sense to read stacks of classic novels, too. For the kids, Mary Poppins , the Harry Potter series, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe , and Peter Pan ; for adults, The Importance of Being Earnest , The War of the Worlds , Sherlock Holmes , and Vanity Fair . With so many authors throughout history writing in London and setting their charac-ters in and around its ancient Roman walls, the city abounds with literary landmarks. It would be impossible to visit every site of interest during a short stay in London, a fact that becomes ap-parent while meandering along nearly any street. Blue and brown placards can be seen from just about every corner, commemorating the link be-tween notable historic figures and their domiciles and work-places. It follows that many of the local notables were writers, like William Makepeace Thack-eray at 2 Palace Green, James Joyce at 28 Campden Grove, Charles Dickens at 48 Doughty Street, Virginia Woolf at 29 Fitzroy Square, and T.S. Eliot at 3 Kensington Court Gardens. There are thousands of plaques and never enough time to see them all, so it’s best to choose a H few favorites. Regardless of which authors strike one’s fancy, there are two destinations in London that all bibliophiles should experience. First, start at the British Library, the largest in the world, which offers free access to the public areas and galleries and is home to more than 14 million books. More than 200 rare items are dis-played in the free Sir John Ritblat Gallery, including manuscripts from the Brontë sisters and Lewis Carroll, the last surviving original copy of Beowulf , Captain Cook’s journal, a Gutenberg Bible, the Magna Carta, Anne Boleyn’s copy of the New Testament, letters from kings and queens and Jane Austen’s writing desk. The other must-see literary site in London is Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey’s South Transept. Though this area of the Abbey was not intended as a burial site for scribes, Geoffrey Chaucer, author of the Canter-bury Tales , was interred here upon his death in 1400 because he was the Clerk of Works to the Palace of Westminster. Once the Canterbury Tales had become famous and English literature began to take off, a more elabo-rate tomb for Chaucer was com-missioned. Eventually other writers were entombed around him, including Charles Dickens, Alfred Tennyson, Robert Brown-ing, Rudyard Kipling and Thomas Hardy. Though William Shake-speare, Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë, Lewis Carroll, John Keats, Jane Austen and C.S. Lewis are buried elsewhere, they each have a memorial of some sort in Poet’s Corner, making this spot one of the most popu-lar in the city for visiting literati. Even after a few hours, or days, spent amid the oeuvres and remembrances of departed geniuses at the British Library and Westminster Abbey, the rest of literary London still waits to be explored. The British Library is next door to St. Pancras sta-tion, where Harry Potter discov-ered the magic of Platform 9 ¾. A fun photo opportunity awaits inside for Muggles and wizards, 16 : 904theMagazine.com : April 2014

R&R: Literary London

Angie Orth

LITERARY LONDON

A bookworm’s guide to the English capital.

Harry Potter, Oliver Twist, Mary Poppins, Bridget Jones and Sherlock Holmes walk into a bar… no, it’s not the beginning of a joke. It’s what happens every so often in London when a book-lover’s imagination runs wild, and the beloved characters born from this fertile literary soil spring to life all at once in a confluence of fantasy and reality.

London’s literary cache is unequaled in the world. For hundreds of years, writers have been inspired by the complex, multi-layered historic setting of the United Kingdom’s capital city to dream up interesting characters and stories of intrigue, romance and magic, making the city the true heartbeat of the written English word.

The best way to experience the lettered side of London begins with research. Often travelers will rely solely on travel guidebooks in advance of a vacation, but London is just the sort of place where it makes sense to read stacks of classic novels, too. For the kids, Mary Poppins, the Harry Potter series, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, and Peter Pan; for adults, The Importance of Being Earnest, The War of the Worlds, Sherlock Holmes, and Vanity Fair.

With so many authors throughout history writing in London and setting their characters in and around its ancient Roman walls, the city abounds with literary landmarks. It would be impossible to visit every site of interest during a short stay in London, a fact that becomes apparent while meandering along nearly any street. Blue and brown placards can be seen from just about every corner, commemorating the link between notable historic figures and their domiciles and workplaces. It follows that many of the local notables were writers, like William Makepeace Thackeray at 2 Palace Green, James Joyce at 28 Campden Grove, Charles Dickens at 48 Doughty Street, Virginia Woolf at 29 Fitzroy Square, and T.S. Eliot at 3 Kensington Court Gardens. There are thousands of plaques and never enough time to see them all, so it’s best to choose a few favorites.

Regardless of which authors strike one’s fancy, there are two destinations in London that all bibliophiles should experience. First, start at the British Library, the largest in the world, which offers free access to the public areas and galleries and is home to more than 14 million books. More than 200 rare items are displayed in the free Sir John Ritblat Gallery, including manuscripts from the Brontë sisters and Lewis Carroll, the last surviving original copy of Beowulf, Captain Cook’s journal, a Gutenberg Bible, the Magna Carta, Anne Boleyn’s copy of the New Testament, letters from kings and queens and Jane Austen’s writing desk.

The other must-see literary site in London is Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey’s South Transept. Though this area of the Abbey was not intended as a burial site for scribes, Geoffrey Chaucer, author of the Canterbury Tales, was interred here upon his death in 1400 because he was the Clerk of Works to the Palace of Westminster. Once the Canterbury Tales had become famous and English literature began to take off, a more elaborate tomb for Chaucer was commissioned. Eventually other writers were entombed around him, including Charles Dickens, Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, Rudyard Kipling and Thomas Hardy. Though William Shakespeare, Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë, Lewis Carroll, John Keats, Jane Austen and C.S. Lewis are buried elsewhere, they each have a memorial of some sort in Poet’s Corner, making this spot one of the most popular in the city for visiting literati.

Even after a few hours, or days, spent amid the oeuvres and remembrances of departed geniuses at the British Library and Westminster Abbey, the rest of literary London still waits to be explored. The British Library is next door to St. Pancras station, where Harry Potter discovered the magic of Platform 9 ¾. A fun photo opportunity awaits inside for Muggles and wizards, alike. Just around the corner is the Fitzroy Tavern on Charlotte Street, where writers Dylan Thomas and George Orwell caroused between World War I and II. It’s still a great place to have a pint while reading 1984 or pondering all those who sought inspiration within. A visit to literary London wouldn’t be complete without taking in a Shakespeare play at the Globe Theatre, a replica of the original found on the banks of the Thames.

While it’s relatively easy to find literary landmarks in London, organized walking tours are helpful ways to acclimate to the city and before setting out solo to explore. Context Travel (contexttravel.com) offers several walks including “Charles Dickens: Storyteller of Victorian London” and “From Shakespeare to the Globe: The Evolution of Theatre in London.”

For the imaginative bookworm peering out a coffee shop window on a foggy day, it can be tough to discern which of the passing characters are real or imagined; which are historic, fictional or truly alive in the present day. One thing is certain—London is the perfect place to find inspiration, to write and to encounter both colorful literary heroes and the footsteps of the writers who brought them to life.

GAME ON

U. S. national team warms up for World Cup tourney with a match in Jax

The 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off in June. But one need not book a flight to Brazil to watch the U. S. Men’s National Team in action on the soccer pitch. The team will play a three-match tune-up series in the States before heading to South America, including a June 7 game versus Nigeria at EverBank Field.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the schedule we have put together for the Send-Off Series,” says national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “We have some fantastic opponents that will help us get prepared for the teams we will meet in the World Cup.”

The June 7, 6 PM, game in Jax is the second time the U.S. has faced Nigeria. In the lone previous match, the U.S. defeated the Nigerian “Super Eagles” 3-2 on June 11, 1995.

Tickets to the EverBank Field game range from $30 for end zone seats to $350 for on-field passes. After the match, the U.S. team will travel to Sao Paula, Brazil, its base camp location during the World Cup. Ussoccer.com by John O’Mara

Read the full article at http://trendmag2.trendoffset.com/article/R%26R%3A+Literary+London/1682031/204356/article.html.

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