In this post I will be focusing on “St Michael’s Mount” by Henry James.
St Michael’s Mount is a small tidal island in Mount’s Bay, Cornwall. Its Cornish language name means “the grey rock in a wood” which is believed to refer to a time before Mount’s Bay was flooded as trees can be spotted in the water surrounding the island. This picturesque location has been used in many films such as the 1979 film adaptation of Dracula where it was used for the exterior of the source material’s famous castle.
As to be expected, this beautiful piece of landscape has its own literary links:
Irish-Scottish writer Arthur Conan Doyle achieved extraordinary fame with his stories abouot a Baker Street based Detective Sherlock Holmes. His short story The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot” was the fifty-sixth of these shorter adventures Doyle wrote featuring the famous detective. The story sees Sherlock and Watson having to solve an unusual death in Cornwall during Spring.
English Crime novelist, short story writer and playwright Agatha Christie is most known for her works on Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. The latter has a short story titled The Cornish Adventure which takes place in Polgarwith, an imaginary market town in Cornwall.
The boy wizard Harry Potter even has links to Cornwall with some scenes from the final instalment Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows taking place in this stunning location: specifically chapters twenty-four and twenty-five when the trio seek refuge in Shell Cottage after escaping Malfoy Manor. The cottage is situated in a fictional village called Tinworth.
A recent favourite of mine,. Daphne Du Maurier actually lived in Fowey, Cornwall and many of her novels use this location as a setting such as her more well-known novel Rebecca.