In this post I will be focusing on “Fields of Lavender, Hitchin” by Matt Freestone.
Hertfordshire is a county in the South of England boarded by Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Buckinghamshire and Greater London. The county town Hertford, once the main market town for the medieval agricultural country, derives its name from hart (stag) and a ford (passing) used as the components of the county’s coat of arms and flag. The county’s landmarks span many centuries including Six Hills net to the new town of Stevenage which was built by inhabitants during the Roman Britain centuries.
Hertfordshire has a wealth of literary links such as famous female writer Jane Austen who’s critically acclaimed novel Pride and Prejudice is primarily set in Hertfordshire. Scholars place the town of Meryton either as Hertford or Hemel Hempstead, based on ow far Mr Collins travels from Watford in an “easterly or westerly direction.” The former location pitches the Bennet family home Longbourn as the town of Ware.
English novelist and short story writer E.M.Forster’s novel Howard’s End (which tackles social conventions, codes of conduct and personal relationships) was based on Rooks Nest House just outside Stevenage. In the novel, Forster describes Hertfordshire as “England at its quietest.”
George Orwell is said to have based his allegorical, dystopian novella Animal Farm on Wallington Village where he lived between 1936 and 1940. Manor farm and The Great Barn feature in the story.
If that isn’t enough to satisfy any literature lover, Hertfordshire is the location of Jack Worthing’s country house in Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest and the location of Mr Jarndyce’s home in Charles Dickens’ novel Bleak House is near St Albans.