Last year I came across the ‘Year in Books’ initiative by Laura over at lovely blog Circle of Pine Trees. The idea behind the project is to make space in our busy lives to read a book a month. At the start of each month everyone taking part shares their choice via blogs, Twitter and Instagram, together with a few thoughts on the previous month’s read. It’s a fantastic way to find recommendations, and as a result of following 2014’s posts I enjoyed some great books that I wouldn’t have stumbled upon otherwise.
This year I’ve decided to take part myself and, as These Four Walls focuses on interior design and creative living in and around Bristol, I’ve chosen to concentrate on books set in the city or written by Bristol authors. I’m keen to see how the place I know and love is portrayed in literature, and I’m sure I’ll come across some new sides of Bristol along the way.
First up is Evelina by Fanny Burney. First published in 1778, it charts the title character’s entrance into 18th-century society. It’s often lauded as a precursor to the work of Jane Austen and shares much of the same satirical wit, although I have to confess I hadn’t heard of the novel or the author before. Much of the action takes place in Hotwells, then a fashionable spa resort for the well-to-do, so it will be fascinating to find out how Burney depicts an area that has changed hugely over the past couple of centuries.
I can’t wait to curl up by the fire and get stuck in (what better way to spend chilly January evenings?), and I’m looking forward to discovering more excellent reads with a Bristol link over the course of 2015 – if you can recommend any, please leave a comment below!