Monday, 15 August 2011

Historical Inspiration. How does the past influence our creative work?

I missed out on entering this week's Inspiration Avenue challenge because we went to visit nearby Lanhydrock House.  The house and surrounding estate are beautiful. Inside the rooms are set up as they were during the Victorian period and the glorious attention to detail allows visitors to be transported into the past in vivid detail. The history  and story of the last family to live there was told through the rooms, artifacts & literature. Even my seven year old, who originally hadn't been keen on going, thoroughly enjoyed getting caught up in the stories and splendour. Unfortunately, with no flash photography allowed inside, I was unable to get clear pictures indoors. However here are a few outdoor shots.
The manicured gardens closest to the house were a contrast to the woodland and surrounding farmland.

Following a very long woodland drive you arrive at this gatehouse. 
Grand frontage with circular drive for carriages.

Story book architecture.

These are just a few photos but I took plenty more that I shall be using as fiction inspiration and are liable to appear in future Wright Story Extra editions as part of my TIC TOCC prompts.  I came home wanting to write a story that had developed in my imagination during our visit. I also found myself longing to lose myself in some historical fiction and films.  I was lost to my daydreams of being Lady of Lanhydrock!

History and the past, recent or distant, can provide a wealth of inspiration and learning.

  • How has your creative work been influenced by the past? 
  • Is there a period of History that particularly inspires you?
  • How has your own past had a direct bearing on what you create?
If you're visiting Cornwall I highly recommend a visit to Lanhydrock House.  I also recommend a visit to any local place of historical interest. The stories you uncover may fuel new creative ventures.

Okay I'm off to go and daydream further about being Lady Wright....

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  1. What a beautiful place to visit and to use as inspiration for a story. My past definitely plays a part in many of my stories. Sometimes I am not even aware of the connection until I am finished and sometimes something or someone is the inspiration for the whole thing. I try to live very much in the present moment so that I can capture all of my experiences for many reasons. One of those being that I know those special moments can be relived through a story that I write. That way everyone can have an opportunity to enjoy them.

  2. I live in an area that is rich in history. The civil war and the revolutionary war were fought in and around here. Many presidents lived within a few miles of my door. Visiting sites from long ago always leaves me in awe. The place you visited looks very beautiful and inspiring. I am sure you will come up with many stories and art from this experience.

  3. Wow, how beautiful, the gate house alone is awesome! so cool. My past totally influences a lot of what I write, there's always some part that relates to some sorta experience I've had. Oh, and so you know I said thanks to you on my acknwoledgemnet page of my e-book.

  4. i would love to know what story spills forth from your mind from this! have you read I Capture the Castle? i instantly thought of that book when I saw these pictures!

  5. Ginny - you sound like a born storyteller always looking for, observing & remembering for future storytelling. Wonderful!

    art2cee2 - wow it sounds like you live in an area rich in inspiration - fab!

    Missy - oh wow how exciting - thank you for including me on he acknowledgement page. Thank you :-)) Xx

    aimee - I capture the castle sounds familiar but I don't think I've read it. I'm buzzing with ideas but now need to focus and find time and energy to do them justice. Meanwhile, notes & doodles are being scribbled :-)
    Thanks all for stopping by
    Kat Xx

  6. Hi Kat :-) I so wish I could visit the UK. I can only imagine how beautiful it must be. Wonderful post! Thank you for allowing my imagination to take a little trip to the Lanhydrock House with you! Hugs always! Rhonda

  7. That looks like an amazing place to visit! I'm sure you found plenty of fodder for your imagination there and you'll share lots more with us, too (yay!).

    I think my past influences my creativity more than any specific time period in history. I'm always wary of writing stories set in the past because I'm afraid of messing up historical details.

    I wanted to tell you that I finally read the book Her Fearful Symmetry. I remembered that you had mentioned it in a comment once. I really enjoyed it.

  8. What an amazing place. I love the photos! I'm working on a really cool felted piece that is being influenced by my materials from the past. It is a donation piece for victims of a recent tornado near my home. Artists collected a bunch of stuff from the aftermath of the devastation and asked other artists to make art out of it. I found a basket with embroidery thread I'll be using in the piece. There will be an auction next week of all the work that will benefit the victims. Honored to be a part of it and will share more about it soon. (And BIG thanks for your recent comments on my blog. Happy to come see what you've been up to!)

  9. Rhonda - if you visit the UK I'd be happy to take you to Lanhydrock in person!:-) Xx

    Anne - yes, I too would be afraid of writing an historical novel for those reasons. Glad you enjoyed Her Fearful Symmetry. It's a good book although will never compare to The Time Traveller's Wife which I adored! Xx

    Shannon - your felt piece sounds cool & the project it's for sounds wonderful. I shall keep an eye out for more on your blog. XX

    Kat :-)


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