Sunday, January 18, 2009

Haunted by Whitby

In 1890, Bram Stoker visited Whitby.
Sitting on the top of the East Cliff he imagined a shipwreck. Then he visualised a black dog leaping from the stricken vessel and running ashore. After climbing the 199 steps, the hound was seen disappearing into the graveyard.
That black dog was, of course - Count Dracula.
Stoker found Whitby, with its ruined abbey and 11th century Parish Church, to be a haunting location for a scene in his classic novel.
I too found Whitby an enigmatic place and it was that setting I used for the opening of my first novel, SEA DUST.
Though I have lived in Australia for almost 40 years, it is the places which haunt me from my childhood that I write about.
THE BLACK THREAD (published this month in large print) is set on the Leeds and Liverpool canal. It is a dramatic tale set in the dark days of the inland waterways.

Photo: (Margaret Muir) Caedmon’s Cross stands in the graveyard of St Mary’s Parish Church. It was erected in memory of the poet who died in AD 680


Elizabeth Hanbury said...

Margaret, Whitby is a very atmospheric place, isn't it? I always try and visit when in North Yorkshire. The fish and chips are good too!

Anne Whitfield - author said...

Great post, marg.
I've used Whitby as a setting for one of my modern romance novels, Long Distance Love.
It's such a beautiful place.

Fenella Miller said...

When does the Patagonian one come out? I'm eager to get the Black Thread -it's on order.

Nik said...

A very atmospheric place indeed. Among my many favourite books, Dracula is up there near the top of the list - I envy anyone who comes to this book for the first time. (Ross Morton)

Margaret Muir said...

Hi Fenella,
Thanks for ordering THE BLACK THREAD.

My Patagonian adventure is due in July 2009. It's title is THE CONDOR'S FEATHER.

Mary Hawkins said...

Good to see your post here, Margaret and thanks to Anne for mentioning this on the RWAustralia loop.
Best wishes for the new releases!