Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Literary Europe V - Poet's Corner & George Orwell

Hello again!

On my most recent trip to London, I went inside Westminster Abbey to see Poet's Corner, and then I went to Islington to go to a house George Orwell used to live in!

Unfortunately, they don't allow photos to be taken inside Westminster Abbey, so while I saw Poet's Corner, I have no photos to show for it.  However, if anyone is thinking of going to London, and really likes British authors, I'd definitely recommend coughing up the 16 quid to go in and see it.  Although it is frustrating that you can't document your visit, it is still really cool to see all these memorials and burial sights of so many literary giants.  They have plaques, busts, floor tiles, and stain glass windows to commemorate Shakespeare, D. H. Lawrence, Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Milton, Dylan Thomas, Lewis Carroll, and many more.  A couple of these famous authors are buried here, including Dickens, who was apparently buried here somewhat against his will.  Westminster Abbey is also in itself a beautiful cathedral, with some great detail work - almost too much to take in.  This is also where most of England's royalty is buried, and they have memorials and burial sights to many of history's greats - such as Newton, Darwin, and many more.  It is expensive, but worth the visit if you have the time to wander around - took me about 2 hours, and I walked through most of it quickly (except Poet's corner, of course).

After that I took the "long" journey out to Orwell's house in the burroughs of Islington.  Got a bit lost as it isn't a super touristy part of London, but I was ecstatic when I found it, and probably ended up looking suspicious taking so many pictures of his home.  Anyway, at least I have photos to show for something!

Canonbury Square.
Walking up to the front of his house.

Plaque confirming it is George Orwell's house!  (Though, probably more of a flat.)

Of course, the sign said that the entrance to his house wasn't at the front...

...and I just had to find out how he got into his house...

And this is it!

I happened to come by right when the postman was delivering mail, so I got to sneak a quick peak inside!

After finding his house, I decided to stop for a break from my walking at The George Orwell:

It's a nice bar within about a 15 minute walk from Orwell's house.

It has a really nice, relaxed atmosphere, with a pretty friendly staff.
Then for dinner I went to "The Shakespeare" - closer to central London.  The food was okay, definitely not my best meal out in England.

But all in all, despite getting lost several times, I had a pretty good day at Poet's Corner and going to George Orwell's house :)

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