Monday, March 16, 2009

Further afield

Todays adventure takes me a long way, but to a familiar place. Over the weekend, I spoke to my parents, who live in Lyme Regis, Dorset,UK. Lyme is a place that I spent much of my youth, from holidays at the seaside, to snatched hours after school for fish and chips.

The conversational journey centered on JRR Tolkien, (amoungst other literary figures) who enjoyed Lyme, and vacationed there every year when he was young.

Apparently, Tolkien spent much time drawing and illustrating whilst visiting, and based many of his fictional places on actual places around Dorset, including 'Hobbiton' - supposedly the Marshwood Vale.

This was all fascinating news to me. I have loved the works of Tolkien since I was a child, and Lyme Regis has also always been close to my heart. My Dad is going to investigate further, to see what else he can learn of Tolkien's connection with Lyme - so I look forward to hearing more about it!

Here is a detail of a window of Lyme Regis. The window itself is bigger, but the picture is a little blurry!

The location of Lyme Regis was used in the film 'A French Leiutenants Woman' with Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons.


  1. Ah! Lyme Regis - a lovely place, and what a beautiful work of stained glass.

    As a young man, I spent some hours with a man who had a diary account of a First World War disaster - the loss of HMS Formidable on New Year's Day 1915. I wondered why everyone was so excited when I mentioned his name. He was, of course, the author of A French Lieutenant's Woman, John Fowles. My friends were even more impressed when I was, on a separate occasion, invited back to his home for afternoon tea and a guided tour of his research room - a huge room at the top of the house and at the centre of which contained a table the size of which I had never seen. It might have seated fifty, but was piled with separate research projects . . . Oh what I lovely day I spent there!

  2. What a wonderful story Laurie! I love hearing all the little coincidences. My Dad - who is now researching Tolkien's association with Lyme, recently visited the Catholic Church there, (to find information) and again, coincidently - the Vicar had met Tolkien when he was a young man, so on it goes! It makes it all so much more interesting!
    I also love the mental image I now have of Fowles' enormous table - like a small island!