JK Rowling

Exeter given UNESCO City of Literature status

Exeter Cathedral
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Exeter has become the first city in the UK to be given UNESCO City of Literature status.

The Devon city joins 65 locations across the world in becoming part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network after it's bid for inclusion was successful.

It highlighted the Exeter Book at the city's cathedral – one of the oldest and best-preserved collections of old English verse in the world, and is older than famous texts such as Beowulf – but also what reading and writing means to residents in Exeter.

Dom Jinks, Director of Exeter Culture, said: “This is so positive for Exeter. The bid made much of the city’s wide variety of historical assets. But it is actually much more about culture supporting the well-being of everyone in the city today, including those who may not currently see themselves engaging with culture."

The University of Exeter hosts the archives of works connected to famous writers such as William Golding, Ted Hughes, Agatha Christie, Daphne DuMaurier and Sir John Betjeman.

Writer of the Harry Potter series JK Rowling studied at the University of Exeter and graduated in 1986 after earning a BA in French and Classics.