Did you know that Fowey is Cornwall’s centre of literature? Nope, me neither. I discovered this when I stayed there a few weeks ago. Fowey’s most famous residents were Daphne du Maurier and Kenneth Grahame (author of The Wind in the Willows).
Daphne du Maurier wrote her first novel in Fowey… and as a result, she met her first husband. (Forget dating websites – from now on this is my new dating strategy.)
Apparently, Frederick Browning read The Loving Spirit and was so moved by the writing and setting that he set out to see the Cornish coastline for himself. He heard that Daphne was convalescing from an appendix operation and invited her out on his boat. They fell in love and married a year later!
Don’t you just love stories like that?
The Wind in the Willows began as bedtime stories which Kenneth Grahame told to his son Alastair (affectionately known as Mouse). As Mouse grew older, the stories grew.
Whilst staying in Fowey, Grahame wrote Mouse letters continuing the adventures of Toad, Ratty, Mole and other inhabitants of the river bank. These letters (written on the letterhead paper of the Fowey Hotel) became The Wind in the Willows.
I’m not surprised Fowey inspires writers. It really is a special place. I spent my holiday reading, walking and taking photos of the sea (the photo at the top of the post is my favourite). In short, it was a blissful week. Just what my slightly frazzled brain needed!