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From Dickens to Ginsberg - Deborah Mulhearn unveils Liverpool's literary histories

This summer Bluecoat presents three literary walks devised by local writer and journalist Deborah Mulhearn to reflect the literary histories of the city. The walks extend Bluecoat's year round programme of fiction and poetry out into the streets of Liverpool. 

From Dickens to Ginsberg, there is a rich history of famous authors with Liverpool links. 

Deborah Mulhearn, creator of Bluecoat's summer Literary Walks, said: “It's amazing how many writers were either born here or have connections, often because it was a seaport and a crossing point for millions of emigrants and immigrants. The walks are woven around their experiences and use literary themes - families, love, war, the sea, societal changes, travel and so on - with material from Liverpool-born writers but also those that passed through or lived here for a short while, and that could be anyone from famous authors to unknown diarists. The challenge was to create interesting walks that could evoke long gone lives, places and events.

“But there's no shortage of material - Liverpool has always inspired a great diversity of fiction, poetry, plays, biography, letters, journalism and more - we love the written and spoken word! I am always adding to the walks, too, with new research and also contemporary material because the city continues to inspire writers in inventive new ways.

“This is the fourth year of the Bluecoat literary walks. The walks are all based around Liverpool's literature, and came out of Mersey Minis, a set of books I produced which anthologised Liverpool's rich literary heritage through the centuries. I wanted to use the research I'd done for Mersey Minis to evoke the stories and lives of our city.”

Some of the writers referenced in walks are:

Radicals and Renegades - Adrian Henri, Allen Ginsberg, Ken Campbell, May Sinclair, Edward Rushton

Visiting Victorians - Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Margaret Oliphant, Arthur Hugh Clough, Henry James

Down to the Sea in Ships - John Masefield, Nicholas Monsarrat, James Hanley, Jack Kerouac, Beryl Bainbridge

The walks take place on the afternoon of the last Sunday of the month in June, July and August. They proceed at a gentle pace, on average 1.5 – 2 miles long, and take between 1.5 – 2 hours to complete.

Click here to find out more and book. 


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Bluecoat is Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, the oldest in the UK. Our landmark building, located in the ...

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October Half Term at Bluecoat

published by Barry

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