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Saturday 5th April 2003, 0900 BST
Take a trip through literary Berkshire

Our trip through literary Berkshire takes us from the leafy banks of the Thames to - believe it or not - Slough.
Read on to find out which authors resided here and which places and landmarks appear in famous works of literature.
Back to Big Read Berkshire home page

Richard Adams

Richard Adams, author of Watership Down, was born in Newbury and was educated at Bradfield College. In his childhood he grew to love the open countryside of the Berkshire Downs, south of Newbury.
See Sandleford Warren photos

audioListen to BBC Radio Berkshire's Louise Price speaking to Watership Down expert Chris Boyce.

Three Men in a Boat, one of the great comic masterpieces in Literature, centres on the Thames and the Berkshire/Oxfordshire countryside, including some pubs that still exist.
Author Jerome K Jerome is also none too complimentary about Reading!
See the real 'Three Men in a Boat' and read Berkshire excerpts with pictures!
Jerome K Jerome

Oscar Wilde The Ballad of Reading Gaol was written after Oscar Wilde served a two-year sentence there for gross indecency (homosexuality).
The poem is a poetic meditation on suffering and a pungent social criticism of capital punishment.
About Oscar Wilde
How did prison life affect Oscar Wilde?

Wind in the Willows author Kenneth Grahame spent his final years in Pangbourne, and wrote his world-famous children's tale based on animal life along the Thames. His memorable characters Ratty, Toad, Mole and Badger are still favourites today.
Find out about Kenneth Grahame.
Kenneth Graham

Michael Bond

Michael Bond was born in Newbury and is the world-famous creator of the much-loved Paddington bear.
He bought the teddy bear for his wife and called it Paddington after the station they lived near to.
Find out about Michael Bond and Paddington Bear.

John Betjeman published his poem Slough in 1937 after the town was becoming increasingly industrialised.
In the poem he wills the destruction of Slough, something which some residents take offence to.

Read the poem
Find out about John Betjeman

John Betjeman

The eighteenth century poet Alexander Pope lived for part of his life in Binfield. Find out about his life and work.

Alexander Pope

Alexander Pope



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