There is no place with a greater literary history than Britain. From Geoffrey Chaucer to J.K. Rowling, Britain boasts the best of the best of writing talent. So this Writing Britain: Wasteland to Wonderland exhibition at the British Library is a must for any bookworm or literature aficionado. Once you enter, you will be surrounded by legendary pieces of writing from the behemoths of the fiction world as well as the lesser known but no less important novels.
At almost every turn, there's an original manuscript delicately displayed, on occasion original drawings are sprawled beside them and the experience is truly awe inspiring.
In one corner, there are tales from Charles Dickens and George Elliot, there's even a book claiming to be one of the earliest references to werewolves and nearby is Dracula by Bram Stoker. Using your imagination the air is alive with literary characters and being amongst such famous tomes is spine tingling. Perhaps most impressive is the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. Did you know that it is because of those poems that we speak English in such a wide spread fashion? At the time rhyming couplets, in which the Tales are written, were seen as the height of beauty but English was the language of the peasants. Yet, when Chaucer read his poems to the nobles they saw that English could be a beautiful language so they started speaking it as well.
Nearby is a sample of A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh and with it comes a drawing of The Hundred Acre Wood, a favourite of every child's. Then there's Alice in Wonderland written in Lewis Carol's cramped handwriting. There's also Angela Carter lurking nearby, as well as Jane Austen.
Yet perhaps one of the manuscripts garnering the most attention was J.K. Rowling's original manuscript of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Scribbled through and crossed out, it's evident that the most successful living author put a lot of thought into her debut, and there's evidence that Hedwig had not always gone by that name.
It is a treasure trove of creative writing goodies and is a fantastic reminder of our writing heritage and it's only there until the 25 September so make sure you book your ticket.