It’s time for another Literary Book Blog Hop, hosted by The Blue Bookcase. This week's question has been posed by Robyn who asks:
“What setting (time or place) from a book or story would you most like to visit? Eudora Welty said that, "Being shown how to locate, to place, any account is what does most toward making us believe it...," so in what location would you most like to hang out”?
As one of the great pleasures of reading is to be transported to far away places and different times, this is a truly difficult, even impossible, question to answer. After all, where does one start?
There are so many places and times that spring to mind. I’d quite happily spend time in Tolkien’s Shire, either in Hobbiton itself, especially if it was around the time of a wealthy hobbit’s birthday, or at Farmer Maggot’s house, eating copious amounts of mushrooms and butter and I’d rather enjoy propping up the bar in the Prancing Pony at Bree or relaxing at Rivendell.
If it isn’t to be Middle Earth, how about Jasper Fforde’s Well of Lost Plots? For any lover of fiction, the place where novels are created must be an irresistible lure. Alternatively, if you enjoy the odd alcoholic beverage, to sit in the corner of Simon Green’s Strangefellows bar, deep in the heart of the Nightside, would be an eye-opening experience, although I am not sure I have the constitution to spend much time there. A more gentle drinking experience would be Callahan’s Place, created by Spider Robinson.
Still in the realm of fictional places, most of us would, I am sure, quite fancy going to school at Hogwarts and I’ve always wanted to try butterbeer and chocolate frogs. Also, as a bit of a glutton, Harry Potter’s school dinners are a universe away from those served at my old school.
Moving back to our world, there is always something magical about
, with its faded palazzo, myriad canals and waterways and dream-like luminosity. Spending time with Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti and his family would be very appealing. Venice
Or what about 1980s
, as described in Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities? Or the glory days of the Raj, featured in a wide range of novels, including Forster’s A Passage to New York and Scott’s Raj Quartet. India ? New Orleans ? Paris ? China ? Japan ? Florence? Rome ? The Milan Yorkshire moors? Lyme Regis in Dorset? The Highlands of ? Scotland ? Oxford ? For the literary traveller, almost anywhere at any time is possible. Ancient London ? The Greece of the Ottomans? The Turkey of the Pharoahs? The walls of Egypt ? Troy
So many places, both exotic and more familiar. My chosen place would also depend on my mood and feelings when asked the question so today’s chosen location would, almost certainly not be tomorrow’s. Today, I feel like rest and relaxation and so have plumped for a place of peace and sunshine. In my chosen place, it is always tea-time on a sunny, summer day. It is a place where God is in his heaven and all is well with the world. I have decided that, for today, I would like to hang out at
, ancestral home of P.G. Wodehouse’s Lord Emsworth. Evelyn Waugh wrote of Blandings, “The gardens of Blandings Castle are that original garden from which we are all exiled. All those who know them long to return.” Blandings Castle
I would have some stipulations, however. The execrable Baxter must have been dismissed from his post as Lord Emsworth’s secretary and replaced by another of his former secretaries, Ronald Psmith. Lady Constance Keeble must be in
with her husband. The dastardly Duke of Dunstable must have been banned from the premises and, most importantly of all, the Hon. Galahad Threepwood, Emsworth’s younger brother and member in good standing of the Pelican Club must be firmly ensconced in the castle, armed with a whiskey and soda and a copy of his scandalous unpublished memoirs. To misquote Wordsworth, what bliss it would be in that dawn to be alive and at Blandings. America