Writers and the City; UWE academic edits new book on the Bristol's literary tradition

Issue date: 15 September 2015

Literary Bristol: Writers and the City a new book edited by Marie Mulvey-Roberts, Associate Professor in English Literature from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), will be launched at Foyles bookshop in Bristol on 15 September 2015, 18:00 – 20:00.

Literary Bristol tells the story of Bristol through its writers. Bristol has been recognised as a thriving port and commercial and industrial centre, yet insufficient attention has been paid to its literary importance. There are over one hundred significant authors, poets and playwrights linked to Bristol, which allow it to take its place as one of the world's great literary centres. Bristol can lay claim to a significant number of literary firsts in poetry, prose and drama. Novels with Bristolian connections include Treasure Island, Gulliver's Travels, Frankenstein and Dracula.

The book is the second in a series produced by Redcliffe Press and the Regional History Centre at UWE Bristol, and takes the reader on an armchair tour of Bristol, linking writer and place from the late eighteenth century up to the present day. Leading experts on Bristol's literary tradition act as virtual tour-guides, pointing out the Romantic poets, early women writers, Gothic novelists, Victorian authors, dramatists and modern novelists who have left their mark on Bristol's cultural cityscape.

Publicity from the book reads: 'The streets of Bristol, its factories and wharves, Avon Gorge and bucolic views have influenced some of our greatest authors, poets and playwrights.

'From Chatterton's ingenious hoaxing and Robert Southey's morbid interest in vampires, to Charles Wood's Dingo - a play that shook the foundations of post-war theatre - the book guides us through the ages. We walk the decaying streets of Clifton with Angela Carter, with the Romantic poet Robert Southey we scramble up the Gorge to the 'high-hanging forest of the wind' and we are tormented by half-dead visitors to the Spa. We eavesdrop on Ann Yearsley, weeping for the 'bleeding victims' of Bristol's trade in human cargo, and discover, unexpectedly, the stage for the first performance of Tom Stoppard's first play.'

The first book in the series A City Built Upon the Water: Maritime Bristol 1750 to 1900, edited by Professor Steve Poole (ACE, UWE) is also available from Redcliffe Press.

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