Wednesday, 18 April 2012

An accidental pilgrimage

Somehow, whilst on my cycling journey, I made accidental pilgrimages to two places that captured the heart of my inner child; the Alice Liddell memorial in Lyndhurst, and various tributes to the Famous Five at Corfe Castle. 

For those who don't know, Alice Liddell was the inspiration for Lewis Carroll's Alice in her adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. And the Famous Five are...well, how to put them into words? They are Enid Blyton's most masterful creation in my opinion, and I feel sure that before Harry Potter came along, no series of books had captured the imagination of so many children quite like this. (That being said, I don't know how famous they are outside of England...)

I wrote before about how good the journey felt for my soul, and this is one of the main reasons why...

Pictures and more explanations below:

Alice Liddell

Alice Liddell memorial
the discovery

the memorial
This, perhaps, was not such an accidental find. I knew Alice could be found in Lyndhurst, but I had no idea if I would be able to find the right church, or the memorial stone. But I did find her. And it felt remarkable to think how this little girl's joy at a story being told for her, turned into joy for so many other people.

The Famous Five 

The Famous Five can be found at Corfe Castle. There is a shop called 'Ginger Pop' in the village, which sells knick knacks inspired by Enid Blyton's era, even Gollywogs, which I didn't think existed anymore. 

But why Corfe Castle?

Corfe or Kirrin?

I really had no idea at the time, but I found out afterwards that the castle featured in the books set on Kirrin Island was illustrated based on Corfe Castle. I don't know how true it is, but it's nice to find a tribute to one national treasure whilst visiting another...

The Famous Five @ Corfe Castle

Does anyone know of any other literary tributes/sites worth visiting?

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