Inspired by the Capital of Storytellers; Different Customs, Styles, Experiences and Hopes Have Made This a City of Storytellers David Charters Reports on Literary Liverpool

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), June 10, 2005 | Go to article overview

Inspired by the Capital of Storytellers; Different Customs, Styles, Experiences and Hopes Have Made This a City of Storytellers David Charters Reports on Literary Liverpool


Byline: David Charters

ANGER, love, generosity, fear, hate, despair, joy - all the human emotions abound on Merseyside and they are drawn into the thoughts and dreams of our people, making Liverpool the capital of storytellers.

And many of those storytellers have become writers and many of those poets, novelists, playwrights, scriptwriters and journalists have found their way into the halls of fame.

Of course, the Daily Post has been there to record their successes and failures.

Yes, when a vivid imagination, humour and a rich vocabulary, alive with startling and engaging phrases, meets an unquenchable desire to see your name in print, the writer is born.

Sadly, there are those who remain unpublished, having t o satisfy their ambitions in conversation, but others have known the profound satisfaction of seeing someone reading their work on a train or bus.

These are the ones who can pluck an image from the street and shape it into a description which can spread a smile on your lips or tingle your pulse.

When Alan Bleasdale, the novelist and playwright was writing his TV series, The Boys from the Black Stuff, about the recession in Margaret Thatcher's Britain, the whole nation watched and listened.

A Liverpool writer was the soul of the nation. His skill as a writer combined with his compassion t o present a truth, which grazed our feelings and has hooked into our memories.

Compiling lists about great writers is a difficult business, sure to spark debate. But here are some prominent names from Merseyside who have given pleasure to generations of readers.

Felicia Hemans (1793-1835), the Liverpool-born daughter of the merchant George Browne. Her poem Casabianca carried the immortal line, 'The boy stood on the burning deck'. Poetry helped her support five children after she had been deserted by her husband, Captain Alfred Hemans. Her beauty, grace and sensitivity won many admirers among whom were William Wordsworth and Walter Scott.

Among her other famous poems are The Better Land and The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in New England.

Malcolm Lowry (1909-1957), was born in Wallasey, the son of a wealthy stockbroker. He chose to live a life of adventure, fuelled by drink and dreams, but still wrote the masterpiece, Under the Volcano.

Dame Beryl Bainbridge was expelled from Merchant Tailors' School, Crosby, but, after a theatrical start, became one of the country's finest novelists, whose many books include An Awfully Big Adventure and Master Georgie. …

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