Top stops on a Yorkshire road trip for avid readers

Author Glenda Young with the first in her Seaview cosy crime series in Scarborough's South BayAuthor Glenda Young with the first in her Seaview cosy crime series in Scarborough's South Bay
Author Glenda Young with the first in her Seaview cosy crime series in Scarborough's South Bay
Coastal routes, city to city and landmark by landmark – Road trips come in all lengths and stops. One other way of seeing the county is by literary links.

Stirred by its diverse landscape, individual vernacular and tradition, authors and poets from far and wide have been inspired to put pen to paper, creating countless works that capture a sense of the county.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage hails from Marsden in West Yorkshire and has captured the county not just in his poetry but prose, too, including far reaches of Yorkshire in All Points North, Walking Home and Scarborough in his novel the Green Man.

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It’s impossible to track down every single piece of Yorkshire literature and we are taking a look at some of the most notable work to come out of God’s Own County.

Haworth: the Brontes

Sisters Anne, Emily and Charlotte will always be associated with Haworth and the wild and windy Top WIthens – crucial to the atmosphere of Emily’s Wuthering Heights. All of the were drawn to the coast – FIley and Scarborough influenced Anne’s Agnes Grey and the Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

Anne died in Scarborough and is buried in St Mary’s Churchyard in the Old Town.

Whitby: Bram Stoker

Stoker headed to Whitby to scope out its family holiday potential and discovered an atmospheric place complete with Gothic churches, abbey ruins, tombstones and bats. Stoker had found the perfect backdrop for Dracula.

West Yorkshire: Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath

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Husband and wife poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath lived at Lumb Bank, near Hebden Bridge. Collections such as Remains of Elmet and Birthday Letters reference Yorkshire as a bleak and desolated but all the while beautiful place.

Hughes also represented the distinctive Yorkshire accent and dialect in his work.

Their home is now owned by writers’ organisation the Arvon Foundation. Plath is buried in St Thomas A Beckett Churchyard, Heptonstall, which lies between Lumb Bank and Hebden Bridge.

Yorkshire Moors Frances Hodgson Burnett

The beginning of the classic children’s tale The Secret Garden e is set in India where young Mary Lennox loses both parents to a cholera epidemic. She is sent to live with an uncle she's never met at his estate called Misselthwaite Manor between Harrogate and York.

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In the 1993 film version, Duncombe Park in North Yorkshire served as the manor.

Scarborough: Eliza Clarke and Glenda Young

Eliza Clark’s Penance was a stand-out novel from last year. It will be out in paperback this year. It is set in a thinly disguised Scarborough – cpomplete with arcades, chalets and well-known characters- only the names have been changed.

It is a cleverly-constructed ‘untrue’ true crime novel which delves into the murder of a 16-year-old, exploring how slippery the quest for truth can become, gender politics, evils of social media, class and money.

Young’s cosy crime series could not be more contrasting. The plots crimes revolve round Helen Dexter, the landlady of the Seaview Hotel, and her crime-solving nouse. Titles in the series include: Murder at the Seaview Hotel, Curtain Call at the Seaview Hotel and, her latest, Foul Play at the Seaview Hotel.

Halifax: Benjamin Myers

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The Gallows Poleis the story of the violent life of Cragg Vale Coiners and is set in 18th-century Calderdale. It inspired a BBC adaptation, screened last year.

Myers’ The Offing, a coming of age drama, was set in Robin Hood’s Bay. It was adapted for the stage and had its premiere at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre.

East Riding: Winifred Holtby

WInifred Holtby’s South Riding and is set in Hull, Withernsea and also references surrounding villages including Rudston where the author was born and is buried. The leading characters are Sarah Burton, an idealistic young headmistress; Robert Carne of Maythorpe Hall; Joe Astell, a socialist, and Mrs Beddows, the first woman alderman of the district.

The third book in the hugely popular Matthew Shardlake series, Sovereign primarily takes place in York in 1541 during Henry VIII’s state visit to the North.

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Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak are already in the city as a murder case pulls them into deeper mysteries around the royal family.

It also includes Holme-on-Spalding Moor and the area around the East Riding village.