I posted this photograph a couple of years ago as I was starting work on my current novel. It’s Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden and its relevance to my novel is that it is the place which I visualise as Radcliffe Court, the theological college in Cambridge where Judy’s uncle is Principal. And here I am, back in this lovely old building working on the run-down to a final version of The Picture of a Forest Girl. I chose to come here for a few days of uninterrupted writing simply because I love the place. It is not far from Delamere where my story is set, but that is incidental.
I didn’t fully realise until I arrived how much being here would help me to enter into how Judy felt whenever she stayed with her aunt and uncle as a complete unbeliever amongst a community of ardent believers bordering on the fundamentalist. Now that I’m here I can much more easily sit alongside Judy at Radcliffe Court. Not that the ever-changing community here is anything like the student population of Uncle Freddie’s college but there are sufficient correspondences to greatly assist the imagination. This was definitely the right place to come for a working break.
Judy’s grandfather owned a pub – so when I go out to the Glynne Arms this evening I will still be working. Writing’s like that!