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Explore Berkshire's literary connections

27 July 2021

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Both our Sandhurst and Crowthorne communities benefit from cosy shared lounges and casual outdoor seating areas, perfect spots to sit down and enjoy a good book. Whether it’s a summer evening with a glass of wine outside or a lazy afternoon cup of tea and quiet time snuggled up in the lounge with visiting grandchildren, you can take some time to get stuck into a good book.

Reading is a passion shared by many which got us thinking about the literary connections around our communities, so we’ve explored the famous or notable authors who grew up in, lived in or were just simply inspired by locations in Berkshire.

Some of the famous authors and stories below might take you back to childhood memories or give you inspiration for your next read…

Kenneth Grahame

His name itself might not ring any bells but Kenneth Grahame is the author of the Wind in the Willows, published in 1908, the famous children’s tale based on animal life along the Thames. Mr Toad, one of the four principal characters was inspired by the headstrong nature Kenneth saw in his son. He spent his final years in Pangbourne and is buried in Holywell Cemetery in Oxford.

Michael Bond

Michael Bond is the famous author behind the creation of the much-loved character Paddington Bear. He was born in Newbury and raised in Reading before serving with the British Army. His writing career started in 1945 when he was stationed with the army in Cairo, selling his first short story to a magazine and continuing to produce plays and short stories. Whilst working for the BBC as a cameraman he wrote his first book ‘A Bear Called Paddington’ and thus the lovable character was born. Still incredibly popular today, he’s also been brought to life in films but there’s something particularly special about reading his adventures with the last instalment being published in 2014 entitled ‘Love From Paddington’.

Jerome K Jerome

Arguably one of the great comic masterpieces in literature, Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome was published in 1889 and focuses on the Thames, Berkshire and Oxford countryside. The story follows a two-week boating holiday on the Thames from Kingston upon Thames to Oxford and back. The book was originally intended to be a serious travel guide with accounts of local history, but the humorous side took over. The jokes are seemingly undated and are still as fresh and witty to today’s modern reader.

Richard Adams

Richard Adams is the author of Watership Down, he was born in Newbury and his childhood fondness of the Berkshire Downs inspired the tales of Watership Down which were originally told verbally to his daughters on a road trip, where they encouraged him to put pen to paper and publish the novel. He went on to win both of the most prestigious British children’s book awards, the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.

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If you’re looking for a new home in wonderful Berkshire, then get in touch to find out more about the remaining homes available at our Sandhurst and Crowthorne communities. Contact the Sandhurst team on: 01344 238 138 or e mail: [email protected] or Crowthorne team on: 01344 238 215 or e mail [email protected]