Literature in our locality – a series of informal talks at Penrith’s Bluebell Bookshop

If you’re looking for some interesting events to attend as the evenings drawn in, then you might be interested in the following:

You are warmly invited to join a series of free informal talks to be held at Penrith’s excellent Bluebell Bookshop! Alongside probably being Cumbria’s most lovable independent book retailer with particularly fine selections of books on Cumbrian themes, social and environmental matters, and for children – The Bluebell Bookshop also serves as a very convivial community space with good quality refreshments available on hand. As many of you are probably aware, Derek Robinson, the friendly proprietor, often holds interesting get-togethers there. One very recently, and laudably, raised £320 in aid of Pakistan’s flood victims.

For details of the forthcoming series of informal talks, please see below.

Bluebell bookshop
Angel square,  Penrith
01768 866660
Attendance free
coffee and cakes available at reasonable prices


a series of informal talks by Robin Acland

  1. Friday 17 September – 7.00  Wordsworth, Dorothy and Mademoiselle
  2. Friday 8 October- 7.00  Keats Walks Cumbria
  3. Friday 29 October- 7.00 Mary Powley, Stalwart of Langwathby
  4. Friday 19 November- 7.00 Wartime Poets in Penrith

Wordsworth, Dorothy and Mademoiselle
An exploration of our hero’s affair with Annette Vallon, drawing on the limited evidence
available. Why did he leave her, when she was well advanced in her pregnancy? What do we make
of the strange gap of several months when his movements a little later cannot be traced? How
did all these events really affect Dorothy?
Keats Walks Cumbria
Keats spent a week walking the length of Cumbria with his friend Charles Brown in 1818. Their
letters and journals are extensive. But perhaps there is a critical undisclosed event that academics
have not tumbled to. They may also have underestimated the extent to which his time in Cumbria
influenced all Keats’s later poetry
Mary Powley, Stalwart of Langwathby
Eldest child of a prominent farming family in Langwathby, Mary Powley published a collection of
fine if conventional Victorian verse, plus some effective dialect pieces. More extraordinarily, for a
woman who perhaps never went beyond Cumberland and Westmorland, she translated several
poems from the Danish. How come? Does her will throw any light?
Wartime Poets in Penrith
With the evacuation to Penrith of Newcastle Royal Grammar School in the Second World War, a
surprising influx of poets appeared in Penrith. Central was Michael Roberts, later editor of the first
Faber Book of Modern Verse. Eventually more famous was Kathleen Raine. Even T S Eliot appeared.
There are plentiful insights into wartime life and literature here.

—————————- If you could pass the word or post the flier below where it can be noticed, it would be much appreciated, Thank you

list of talks