Lindum Books (Lincoln)

As I am due to leave Lincoln until I return in September for the MA, I have been celebrating my freedom from exams by exploring the city! I love the up-hill part of Lincoln, as you will have seen my previous ‘Trips Out’ posts are situated around this area.

During this weeks adventure I came across one of my favourite things: an independent bookshop, Lindum Books. It is situated in the Bailgate section of the Cathedral Quarter, and also next to the amazing Ice Cream Parlour. This is automatically a winner for me- books and a plethora of ice cream flavours- yes please!

Lindum Books is in keeping with surrounding aesthetic of the Bailgate area, mixing the traditional look of the outside with the large bay windows, whilst inside offering a contemporary, clean cut space. I am gutted that I didn’t find this bookshop sooner; Lindumalongside offering current fiction/non-fiction and new releases (upon entry I spied Caitlin Moran’s Moranifesto) there is also an excellent classics section, many of which I needed to read throughout my degree. But the best part… upstairs they have a second-hand book department! As I’m sure many students would tell you, grabbing materials for your course at a bargain price always stirs a feeling of triumph! But for any reader, a saving here and there is certainly appreciated. I will definitely keep this place in mind when sourcing texts for my studies next year.

Naturally, I couldn’t leave without making at least one purchase…. At one point I was clutching six books in my arms, remembered that I hadn’t done the food shop, and decided as an adult I cant justify not eating for the week in order to feed my fiction addiction. Regular reader’s will not be surprised to learn that I kept hold of an Ian McEwan that I have not yet read, The Children Act. However, the abandoned five are now on my summer hit list!

As a final point, the staff were really friendly and informative, and Lindum Books has a fabulous range of both fiction and non-fiction. For me, it was the perfect independent bookshop!

Do you have a favourite independent bookshop near you? Do you prefer independent to branded stores, or both? Have you discovered some new books you simply have to get your hands on? I would love to hear from you, so please like and comment, it would make my day! Thank you very much for reading.

 

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Newstead Abbey (Nottinghamshire)

As part of the Georgian module, my university arranged a trip to poet Lord Byron’s gothic home, Newstead Abbey. Byron being revered as “mad, bad and dangerous to know” indicated that the trip was going to be truly fascinating.

Corinna outside Newstead

We were extremely fortunate to have a guided tour of several of the rooms. These included the Great Hall, where Byron practiced his shooting, the dining room, where Byron held many raucous parties, the Library, and a room where Byron’s items from his university room is housed, including a model of Byron’s skull cup from which he drank. We also got to see the table at which Byron wrote one of his famous poems.

One of the facts the tour guide revealed was Byron’s love of animals. He always kept dogs, but upon being informed by the Dean he could not keep domesticated animals in his university room, Byron kept a bear (stating he could keep it, as it was not domesticated after all). This bear moved with Byron to Newstead Abbey, where it wandered the grounds and house. Another favourite animal of Byron’s was his Newfoundland dog Boatswain. Upon the dogs death, Byron had a monument erected in the gardens, where a beautiful poem is inscribed.

Newstead Abbey Info.jpg

After the brilliant tour, we were given free reign to explore the vast gardens of the Newstead Abbey grounds. Armed with the map, we weaved our way through the different sections of the gardens. I personally loved the Japanese Garden, complete with stepping stones, pagoda style outhouses and blossom trees. There are 19 different gardens or natural sites of interest in the Abbey, meaning there was lots to discover around the next corner of the footpath.

The great impression of both the building and grounds upon viewing means it is easy to see why Newstead appears in some of Byron’s works. It is referenced both in Canto 1 of Childe Harold (the work which made Byron famous) and the final Cantos of Daun Jaun.

I had a fabulous day visiting Newstead, and I implore anyone with interests from religion, history, art, architecture, landscaping, literature etc to take a look if you get the chance. Even if you have no particular interest in any of the above, the beauty of the grounds themselves definitely makes the site worth a visit.

Corinn in gardens.jpg

Thank you for reading! I hope you have enjoyed my post and that I did Newstead justice. I love the fact that I can use my blog to show literature is so much more than words on a page.

Have you come across any of Byron’s work? Have you yourself visited Newstead- or if not will you consider it now? Have you ever visited an author’s home or a museum dedicated to a particular writer or type of literature? I always enjoy hearing from you, so please like, share and comment away!

The Lincoln Cathedral Library

LibraryFirstly, apologies for not posting recently, I’m coming up to the last three weeks of my BA so university work has taken priority (over what feels like ALL aspects of my life).

Recently, my parents came up to visit me, which was a welcome break from my studies! I took them to visit the Lincoln Cathedral. Situated at the top of Steep Hill, we opted to go on a tour that takes you to the top of the Tower, to take advantage of the picturesque views. They were truly breath-taking! Whilst I was there, I couldn’t resist the chance to take a look around the Library!

The Library consists of many documents, ranging from 15th Century Manuscripts to 17th Century early printed books. Although many items have restricted access, when I visited there was a very helpful guide there who was more than happy to answer any of my questions. Also, if you arrange it prior to your trip, you can have a guided tour of the Library.

It was fascinating to be able to look such historic texts, and it was great to see how well preserved and cared for they were. I also enjoy learning about the rich history of Lincoln- I go to university here so it would be a shame not to learn about the areas past.

On the 4th May 2016 I will be returning to the Wren Library of the Cathedral. The University has invited me to attend a symposium of the MA Students from the English School, as I have secured a place to continue study on an MA in 21st Century Literature in September 2016. I can’t wait to return- I love the fact that the university is engaging with one of the many historic locations in Lincoln. The fact it is the Cathedral Library makes it even better!

 

Thanks for reading! Is there anything similar near you? Have you visited anywhere of historical importance recently? Are you from an area with a rich history? Or, have you found a new bookworm spot? Let me know below in the comments and please like and share!

The Bookstop Cafe (Lincoln)  

Living in Lincoln I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by some brilliant bookworm hideouts! One of these is The Bookstop Cafe halfway up Steep Hill.

Today was my first visit, but I loved the location in the historic Cathedral Quarter of Lincoln. The cafe is in the refurbished basement of Imperial Teas of Lincoln, meaning there is a great range of coffees and tea. As you settle down into the plush leather sofas or wicker chairs, you are surrounded by bookshelves holding a range of fiction and non-fiction. There is even a shelf especially dedicated to books by local authors!

Whilst I was enjoying my hot chocolate (decorated with cream and marshmallows, of course) I spotted an original Bloomsbury cover version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I snatched the copy from the shelf, eager to see how much it would be. I’ve been trying to collect the original covered books as they were the ones I had as a child. Expecting Rowling’s book to be quite pricey, as they are online, I was delighted to see the price was only £1.50!

Content with my carrot cake, hot chocolate and newly acquired Harry Potter, I settled down to have a quiet read. The Bookstop Cafe is the perfect environment for this, the size meaning it is never noisy and they often play tranquil, classical music.

I’m so glad I gave it a try- I have a feeling I will be popping up the hill for a couple more visits!

As always, thank you for reading! Do you have a favourite place to go for a quiet read? Where do you find some bargain best sellers? Please feel free to comment/like/share!

Visit to The British Library

During the sumBL photomer in 2015, I visited the British Library (BL) in London to conduct some archival research for my undergraduate dissertation. It was an amazing experience and I would highly recommend a visit.

However, due to the library housing over 170 million items and many extremely rare objects, there are some things you need to consider- but not to worry it is all explained on the British Library webpage. You need to register for a Readers Pass, a process you can start online before you actually go. If you pre-register you can then also use the online system to source and reserve the items you want to view when visiting the reading rooms.

When you attend the BL you will firstly have to complete your registration at the Registration Office. You will have to bring some documents and also have a chat with one of the registration workers to explain your research (again all the details can be found online).

But once this is completed you are free to explore the items of the British Library! I had to put my bag and coat in a locker, and was provided with a clear plastic bag where I could put my notebook and pencil (pens aren’t permitted) to take to my assigned reading room. I had to show my newly acquired Readers Pass to the security guard at the door before I was allowed in. Personally, this made me realise how precious the items are that BL, and made the experience even more valuable. I then went to the main desk, where my requested items were waiting.

When I visited I looked at the private letters and diary entries of Virginia Woolf. I found it fascinating to be viewing Woolf’s archival documents, and being given the opportunity to use such interesting research in my dissertation. I also experienced viewing a microfilm for the first time! The microfilm was given to me in a box… And I had literally had no idea what I was supposed to do with it.

I was surrounded by very important looking people, looking at very precious documents (some were wearing gloves- you may laugh but at the time it was intimidating), and I looked like the only undergraduate in the room. So, when I was presented with this film I did not want to admit I had no clue what to do. I saw a sign above a huge machine with microfilm on so I guessed it was a sure bet…. but you had to input the film into this scary machine yourself! After some fiddling and trying to look like I knew what I was doing, I gave in and finally asked for help. But I needn’t have worried, a member of the library staff was so friendly and helpful, and got me set up with machine straight away.

I would highly recommend anyone interested in literature with to visit the BL, but also to anyone in the general public. The British Library often have exhibitions on, currently there is an Alice in Wonderland Exhibition on until the 17th April 2016 which is open to public viewing.

To close, it was just a great day out. I took a train to London, and immersed myself researching a topic I loved.