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Monday 7th April 2003, 1400 BST
Find out about Berkshire's Literary Connections

   
     
Reading railway station Late November 1919, and T E Lawrence (alias Lawrence of Arabia) changes trains at Reading station. The bag containing the only copy of the first draft of his spectacular book Seven Pillars of Wisdom is stolen and never recovered. T E Lawrence
     
Abbey School in Reading In 1785-1786 Jane Austen went to the Abbey School in Reading with her sister Cassandra. The school, in Kendrick Road, bears some resemblance to Mrs Goddard's Casual School
in Emma.

Jane Austen
     
Crowsley Park gate in Sonning Common One of the inspirations for Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles is said to have been the forbidding gates at Crowsley Park in Sonning Common.
The gates still bear the menacing dog's heads biting what look like spears.
Ian Fleming
     
Church Cottage in Pangbourne Kenneth Grahame, author of Wind in the Willows, was and later lived in Pangbourne.
He didn't write the classic children's story there but much of its setting is along the Thames in Mapledurham.
Kenneth Grahame
     
Eton College Percy Bysshe Shelley lived for a short time at both Windsor and Bracknell. He studied at Eton and embarked on a river trip on the Thames in August 1815, which provided the inspiration for his short poem "Alastor".

Percy Bysshe Shelley
     
The Thames at Windsor H.G. Wells, author of classic novels such as The Time Machine, spent his youth growing up with his uncle Tom, who kept the Surly Inn on the Thames in Windsor.
His memories of punting on the Thames are captured in The History of Mr Polly.
H.G. Wells
     
Berkshire Downs Watership Down, written by Richard Adams, is a tale about the Sandleford Warren rabbits, who come from south of Newbury in the Berkshire Downs. Mr Adams was born in Newbury and was educated at Bradfield College. Watership Down
     
Great Expectations pub in Reading The Great Expectations pub in Reading was formerly the Literary, Scientific and Mechanics Institute, and Charles Dickens gave a public reading at its opening in 1843.
Dickens was also almost persuaded to become the Liberal MP for Reading!
Charles Dickens
     
Joyce Grove Joyce Grove in Nettlebed, now the Sue Ryder palliative care home, once belonged to the family of Ian Fleming, author of the world-famous James Bond novels. His grandfather bought Joyce Grove in 1904 to increase his Nettlebed estate.

Ian Fleming

   
     

 




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