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Famous Authors Inspired by Snowdonia

Published on 20 Feb 2015 by Gwion Llwyd

With it’s majestic mountains, beautiful beaches, rivers and waterfalls, Snowdonia is magical. You won’t be surprised that its been a source of literary inspiration, but you might be surprised as to works included in the line up……

THE GOLDEN COMPASS by Philip Pullman
Pullman lived just above Llanbedr and it was here that provided a great deal of inspiration for Northern lights (AKA The Golden Compass). He says that ‘Good God Corner’ on the way from Llanbedr to Harlech and the bridge over the meeting point of the rivers Artro and Nanctol in Llanbedr are specific landmarks that inspired him along with the Rhinogydd mountains and Welsh mythology.

OUT OF AFRICA by Karen Blixen (pen name Isak Dinesen)
Whilst obviously the book itself is not based on the area (we don’t have many lions roaming around this neck of the woods), one of the main characters is very much connected. Denys Finch-Hatton, the lover of Karen Blixen in her autobiographical novel lived in The Plas, Harlech. His family renovated the former coaching inn and from the age of 18 to his eventual exploits in Africa, this was his family home.

RUPERT THE BEAR by Alfred Bestall
Alfred was responsible for the plots, story telling and illustrations from 1935-1965, making him the most influential in terms of Rupert’s place in UK culture. The illustrations of Rupert The Bear were one of the reasons for Rupert’s popularity and these were very much inspired, if not directly taken from Snowdonia whist Alfred stayed at his holiday home in Beddgelert.

Beatrix Potter spent time holidaying with her family in Llanbedr – she says it was the first time she had witnessed the sky meet the sea other than from a train window. Spending time walking with sketch book in hand, she took inspiration for her work from the area.

Tolkien was inspired by North Wales. As well as the landscape, he adapted Welsh grammar and its phonetics to create the languages in his books and he drew on Welsh town and village names for his own fictional places.

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