As England is obviously the home of the English language, it is natural that some of the best English literature would arise in England or be inspired by it. There are countless novels, memoirs, and nonfiction works to choose from that will be a fantastic companion to you as you navigate your way around England. Here are a few of our favorites!
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling, 1997-2007
For anyone growing up in the last two decades, it is difficult to reach adulthood without having read at least a few Harry Potter books or seen all of the films—and why not? They are fantastic! While J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world doesn’t necessarily reflect life in day-to-day England, it touches upon many important themes and often cameos certain landmarks around England that the Harry Potter-Obsessed traveler can visit in real life. A visit to London isn’t complete without a stop at King’s Cross station and Platform 9 3/4. Pick up a copy (or seven) and get started!
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding, 1996
For something that more accurately reflects the reality of living in London for non-wizarding folk, Bridget Jones’s Diary will do just the trick. Chronicling the life and struggles of a London woman in diary form, this novel explores the experience of living in the British middle class and the typical issues that women face in the modern day. Comedic and original, this novel is sure to relate to some of our female interns heading off to London for the first time and experiencing working life—but that’s not to say that this award-winning book can’t be enjoyed by everybody.
Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson, 1995
Back at it again with a hilarious travel memoir, Bill Bryson brings us Notes from a Small Island, an account of his final trip around Great Britain after living there for over twenty years. Weaving in and out of British history and taking us on a tour from the farthest reaches of the country, Bryson’s tale is hilarious, witty, and educational. It demonstrates the very real experience of traveling around a country which you’ve learned to call home, but this time with a new set of eyes.
Any Novel by Jane Austen, 1811-1817
Possibly one of the most well-known female writers ever, Jane Austen is famous for her novels such as Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park, and more. Her novels, which comment on and critique the social lifestyles of Great Britain’s upper class. Most often her themes revolve around the role of women, particularly as it relates to marriage, morality, and independence. Her novels paint a picture of what life was like in Great Britain during the turn of the 18th century, and it is fascinating to examine what traditions still remain and how far society has come since the Georgian era.
Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby, 1992
Have you ever wondered about the British obsession with football? While the US calls it soccer, the rest of the world calls it a way of life. This long essay by acclaimed writer Nick Hornby dives into the deep passions held by thousands of British citizens and the role that is plays in their lives. Hornby hilariously captures the highs and lows, the antics and absurdities of the UK’s most famous sport and favorite pastime. Whether you are a football fan or not, this short memoir will help you understand UK football culture on a much deeper level, and help you join in the fun when it comes to attending your first match!
Have you read any of these or have a different favorite book that takes place in England? Let us know on Twitter!
Are you ready to start your journey to intern or study abroad in England? Get in touch with one of our program advisors or apply today!
Posted by World Endeavors on August 25, 2016
World Endeavors believes that international travel has the power to change lives, broaden horizons, and deepen intercultural understanding. The world is undergoing rapid changes, with societies becoming more interconnected and environmentally aware; at the same time a more challenging global economy inspires in many a need to reach out and make a positive difference while seeking personal growth opportunities. There has never been a better time than now to travel abroad.