Whitby has long been associated with literature. The little North Yorkshire picturesque town carrying out its daily life of fishing and trading, under the serene views of the ruins of the Abbey, has been an inspiration for many authors, artists and music makers. Today, the town still provides a spark of inspiration for storytellers and artists alike.
“There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.”
Perhaps the most famous literature connection remains Bram Stoker’s Dracula. As the BBC’s latest adaptation of Dracula came to a climax in January 2020, the story of Whitby’s connection to the famous Count was resurrected once more. When Bram Stoker visited Whitby in 1890, little did he know that inspiration would strike, and that he would be inspired to write one of the most famous books ever written. However, Stoker wasn’t the only author to be inspired by our beautiful town…
One famous visitor was a young mathematician named Charles Lutwidge Dodgson who visited in 1854. At the time he was a student at Oxford university. His name may not be familiar to you, but perhaps his pen name is; he wrote under the name Lewis Carroll. Yes, the famous story of Alice, the White Rabbit and the Queen of Hearts was part written here in Whitby during his many visits.
Whitby was also a favourite spot for Charles Dickens, and his friends, and is mentioned in his private letters.
Whitby has continued to inspire writers of all genres, and there are many more links to Whitby in literature through to the modern day.
Andy Seed a former primary school teacher, wrote of his experience on a school trip with children in Whitby. The ensuing adventure is a humorous tale, and resonates with teachers and group leaders alike.
Frances Brody’s Kate Shackleton series set following are based around the central character. In the book “Death at the Seaside ” (the 8th in the series), Kate holidays in Whitby and is soon investigating a new case.
As well as setting their stories in Whitby, many authors have been born or reside in, or near, our beautiful little town such as GP Taylor author of Shadowmancer and other books.
Jenny Hesketh, author of The House on Baxtergate & The Farm on the Moors, often opens her beautiful 18th century house which inspired her novel, to the public during heritage weekends.
Alastair Lavers’ “The Whitborough Novels” had their collective name inspired by the names Whitby & Scarborough.