Rare manuscripts to go on display in London exhibition


Over 150 works by some of the finest literary minds Britain has ever produced, including some never seen before in public, are to go on display as part of a new exhibition being held by the British Library in London.

Called Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands, the event will explore the links between classic literature and Britain’s landscapes.

Among the items on display will be a page from the last chapter of Laurie Lee’s Cider With Rosie, which will be shown to the public for the first time having been acquired by The British Library two years ago.

Another highlight will be a rare glimpse of a diary by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, otherwise known as Lewis Carroll, in which he recounts a day out on the Thames in which he entertained a young girl called Alice Liddell by inventing ‘the fairy-tale of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground’.

Urban landscapes’ role in literature will also be explored, with a notebook belonging to William Blake in which he recorded his thoughts while walking the streets of London, going on display.

The first appearance of Sweeney Todd, published in an 1846 penny dreadful, is also among the exhibits.

“These authors will chime with people immediately but many will not know how the works were influenced by landscapes, whether rural or urban,” said Jamie Andrews, lead curator of the exhibition.

“We are very excited to share the wealth of the country’s literature in the summer of 2012. These rare and unique collections will help give a fascinating and new insight into the creative thinking behind iconic British novels, poems and illustrations.”

Located in St Pancras, the British Library is easy to get to for those staying in hotels in Park Lane and hosts a number of exhibitions throughout the year.

Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands opens on May 11th and runs until September 25th.