This week is National Storytelling Week and really, who doesn’t love a good story? From the moment we enter the world we are spoken to, told stories, we have books read to us until we are old enough to read ourselves. Through storytelling we can enter new worlds, visit far-off places and even travel through time.
East Sussex has had its fair share of pretty amazing storytellers over the years, whose tales have been told and read around the world, so we thought this would be a great opportunity to sing their praises.
Probably our most famous literary export is childhood favourite Winnie the Pooh, with Ashdown Forest being the basis for the Hundred Acre Wood. AA Milne, Pooh’s creator, lived in the village of Hartfield at the north edge of the forest and wrote the stories for his son, the real-life Christopher Robin, and was inspired by his stuffed animal collection. Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner can be read here.
Part of the famous Bloomsbury set, Woolfe – originally from London – often stayed at her sisters’ Charleston Farmhouse, an artist’s retreat, near Firle before herself moving to Firle, then Lewes and finally settling just outside at Rodmell, overlooking the river Ouse. Two of her most famous novels, Mrs Dalloway and Orlando are available to read here.
Arthur Conan Doyle
The world’s most famous detective creator lived in Crowborough from 1909 until his death in 1930. He was an active member of the community and on the outbreak of World War 1 formed the local Home Guard. He was also a keen golfer and captain of Crowborough Beacon Club for a time. You can read several of his Sherlock Holmes stories here.
Writer and Nobel Laureate Kipling was born in India which greatly influenced his most famous novel The Jungle Book. In 1902 Kipling moved to Bateman’s, a house built in 1634, just outside Burwash. He lived there until his death in 1936 and the house was left to the National Trust upon his wife’s death in 1939. It can be visited and is now a museum dedicated to the writer. The Jungle Book and Just So Stories can be read here.
To celebrate the work in our libraries we will be hosting some special storytimes including dual language, autism friendly and Makaton storytimes. We will also be delivering a book bag session to adults at Mencap. If you can’t make it to an event in person then watch storyteller John Kirk sharing his telling of The Gingerbread Man. And remember, listening to stories is not just for kids! There are more than 4,000 eAudio books available in our fantastic eLibrary.
For more information on all these events visit the East Sussex Libraries website.