4 Great Authors Who Stayed and Wrote on the Isle of Wight

Guest post by K Newey

England’s fantastic natural wonder, the Isle of Wight, has a history of drawing literary geniuses to its shores for a bit of rest, relaxation and inspiration. Each of the following authors drew creative insight from the island’s scenery, beaches, and walks, and left their mark on the walls and rooms of many hotels and inns still active today as well as on the rolling hills of downs and plains.

The list of talented writers who have graced the island with their presence and creative works, is quite extensive but here are a few of the most well known authors to have stayed on Isle of Wight:

Poet Laureate, Alfred Lord Tennyson once wandered on the downs of Isle of Wight seeking insight and a creative muse to aid him in his poems. Now, one of the downs bears his name and hosts a memorial cross in his honour. While he lived here Tennyson found his home at Farringdon, now a destination full of wonderful historic self-catering cottages surrounded by beautiful gardens and footpaths. It’s not hard to see why Tennyson found such inspiration here. Stay here and visit Tennyson’s home itself, full of insight into the life of this great and much loved poet.

The renowned poet John Keats stayed at Carisbrooke in 1817 where he began work on his famous poem Endymion. He returned in 1819 and stayed at what was then known as Eglantine Cottage, and is now the Keats Cottage Bed & Breakfast for three months during which time he completed work on Larnia, Otho the Great and likely other poems for which he is now greatly respected.  Keats fans will be especially pleased to know that the room where Keats wrote and stayed has been recently refurbished and is available for rent.

Victorian Novelist Charles Dickens lived and wrote on the Isle of Wight in Bonchurch in 1849. While he was here he stayed at Winterbourne House for several months during which he completed work on David Copperfield. Every day he would write until 2pm, and then venture out into the beautiful gardens and beaches surrounding the area and host social events. Winterbourne House is still an active hotel offering many fantastic comfortable rooms, and the chance to roam where Dickens roamed and perhaps be inspired by the same natural wonders.

Beloved author & poet Lewis Carroll is rumoured to have spent many summers around the small seaside town of Sandown on the Isle of Wight, wandering on the beaches. His love for the sea and playful encounters with gleeful children inspired him. It is here that he allegedly came to begin writing his much loved adventures of Alice and it is rumoured that he wrote The Hunting of the Snark near Sandown’s Pier.

Full of literary heritage, and fantastic places to stay, there are endless possibilities for inspirational retreats on this great and glorious Island. It truly is a thing of beauty and it’s easy to see why it has captured the hearts of so many over time.

K Newey is a writer based on the South East of England and finds much inspiration from classic writers, such as those listed above. There are many Isle of Wight self catering and bed & breakfast accommodation options available to suit your preferences, whether you wish to stay and begin work on your own novel, or simply to rest and relax where one of your favourite authors once stayed. Visit www.wightlink.co.uk for ferry details and accommodation offers.

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