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Written all over


by Jerome Weeks 17 Mar 2008

You see your town, your country, differently when great artists have written about it. It “thickens” the landscape with reference and insight. A new British TV series sounds rich with possibility: Travels in Written Britain — “the most scrawled over, word-worked, scribbled and scripted on” country in the world, according to host Melvyn Bragg. But it […]

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You see your town, your country, differently when great artists have written about it. It “thickens” the landscape with reference and insight. A new British TV series sounds rich with possibility: Travels in Written Britain — “the most scrawled over, word-worked, scribbled and scripted on” country in the world, according to host Melvyn Bragg. But it won’t be just Wordsworth on the Lake District and Dickens in London — not just “nostalgic heritage Britain,” as Bragg says, not just the testimony of great artists:

“I have worked in the pits since I was six years old, I have four children, two of them were born while I worked in the pit. I worked in the pits when I was in the family way. I had a child born in the pits, and I brought it up the pit shaft in my skirt.”
Betty Wandle (Miner), 1841

In case the show never makes the trans-Atlantic crossing, you can see the preview for it here.

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