After a recovering from bout of illness which has prevented me from carrying out my plan to visit as many Heritage Open Day sites as possible this week I caught up with some yesterday visiting the Weaver's House in Spon End and took part in a guided walk around the City Centre with a literary theme.
Our guide Helen described how former Poet Laureate Philip Larkin had grown up in the City
and that his father Sidney had been a Nazi sympathiser who had attended rallies in Nuremberg and adorned his Coventry City Council office with Nazi paraphenalia until discouraged in the build up to WWI! She also described Philip passing through post-war Coventry on a train and not being able to work out just where he was - I feeling common to many more recent returnees to our city as the landscape continues to change significantly. J.B Priestly got a mention with his description of pre-war Coventry as a well preserved medieval town.
We moved around to visit St Mary's Guildhouse to hear of connections with Shakespeare and listen to a quote from George Eliot's "Adam Bede" - with a description of a courtroom from the book which could clearly still be identified as being modeled closely on the guildhall. After an excursion into Holy Trinity Church (always worth a visit!) we took in the Godiva statue and heard a quote from Tennyson's poem describing her ride through the city.
Helen gave an excellent introduction to some of Coventry's literary connections during the walk. Whilst researching the city's history I quite often come across Coventry links to literary "giants" - more to come........