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Inspiration for Kirrin Bay, Island and Castle?

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Re: Kirrin Island and Kirrin Castle... Maybe...

Postby Chrissie777 » 02 Feb 2014, 20:09

Lucky Star wrote: Does anyone know if Soper visited the Chanel Islands or Corfe Castle at any time?


I googled for a connection between Soper and the Channel Islands plus I checked my George and Eileen Soper catalogue from some exhibition before 2008. But I cannot find out if Soper ever was on the Channel Islands. Sorry. :oops:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eileen_Soper
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Re: Inspiration for Kirrin Bay, Island and Castle?

Postby Chrissie777 » 02 Feb 2014, 20:29

Julie2owlsdene wrote:I also think that these days, many people want to go on a visit to various locations, that they have read in books, such as The Lone Pine books, which are true locations, and they are reading Blyton's books, such as Kirrin and the island etc, and wondering where that is, and can we go and see it. Many people visit Port Isaac down here in Cornwall, the home of Doc Martin - Port Wenn, totally ficticious of course, but Port Isaac is a real place. And that is probably what Enid's fans are doing trying to find out where Kirrin Island is and the castle, and reading many theories that are incorrect.

I think the reader likes to visualize the places they read about in their own minds, and there is no harm in that at all. For me, when I read a F.F. book I think of Kirrin as Marizion in Cornwall, and Kirrin Island and Castle is Mounts Bay sitting proudly in the bay. I know it's not the location, but that is where it is in my mind, and there is no harm in that, as it brings Kirrin more to life in a way.
8)


Hi Julie, I'm one of these people who love to combine their vacation trips with searching for book or movie locations. The www.imdb.com is very helpful for that purpose.
Since 1981 (I visited Lindisfarne/Holy Island where "Cul-de-sac" by Polanski has been filmed, it must have been one of the first movie locations) I went to more than 100 movie and book settings. And sometimes I was rewarded with discovering unexpected lovely views along the way.

However, the most beautiful movie locations were in Dorset when we found Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door and one other spot where the FF land with their rowing boat in the 1957 CFF movie FOATI.

I've been to Marazion once (the TV movie with Joanna Lumley & Peter O'Toole based on Rosamunde Pilcher in 1995 has been filmed in Marazion with a view of St. Michael's Mount, that was towards the end in "Nancherrow").
BTW I walked over to St. Michael's Mount at low tide and later took the boat back to Marazion. I was so happy when I discovered one postcard with an aerial view of the coastline and St. Michael's Mount at high tide. The foot path from Marazion towards the island was still visible under water. I found that quite exciting.

I also spent a day in St. Ives, Cornwall, Pilcher's model for Porthkerris which is the location of several of her novels. I fell in love with St. Ives and would enjoy coming back one day.

Daphne DuMaurier used lots of real places in her novels:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Enchanted-Cornw ... d+Cornwall

I once read that for DuMaurier the locations, old houses or castles as in "Frenchman's Creek" were the more important aspect than her characters.
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Re: Inspiration for Kirrin Bay, Island and Castle?

Postby Carlotta King » 02 Feb 2014, 20:42

I don't blame Daphne - it's wonderful to create or describe beautiful locations, castles, houses and things. :)

The Cornwall in Daphne's novels is stunning. My mum is a huge fan of Daphne and has every one of her books as well as all the non-fiction books about her and books about the places in Cornwall that she loved, visited and wrote about.
Many years ago my mum actually went trespassing in Daphne's garden and actually met Daphne there, she was lovely to my mum even though she had in effect 'broken in' to her garden, and they chatted for ages and she signed some books for her and wrote some personal messages in them for her. :)

I also love finding out where things were filmed.
I've been to all the places on Exmoor where the Famous Five 90s series was filmed, and I'm always fascinated with finding out where all the ITV Poirots were filmed, and Midsomer Murders, as they are always such beautiful villages, big old houses and seaside locations.
I haven't been to any of the villages from Midsomer Murders as they are all mostly over towards Oxfordshire and Berkshire, but if there are any programmes filmed in Cornwall or on Exmoor, then I've most likely been there, having lived in both areas! :D
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Re: Inspiration for Kirrin Bay, Island and Castle?

Postby Maggie Knows » 02 Feb 2014, 21:01

Fascinating stuff this.

I don't think I've ever gone hunting for book or film locations, except twice:

* In the Lakes I was interested to look for the place that reputedly inspired Wild Cat Island (Swallows and Amazons): it's meant to be Peel Island in Coniston Water
* When on Mull I went looking for the isle of Erraid - where David Balfour got marooned in Kidnapped (that episode from that story always fascinated me...)

Small islands are a bit of an obsession of mine, I've even got a list of all the ones I've been to, and I'm always going out of my way to add more. I wonder if this can be traced back to the number of times I read the stories set on Kirrin Island and Whispering Island when I was a kid - it's entirely probable ... :) -
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Re: Inspiration for Kirrin Bay, Island and Castle?

Postby Carlotta King » 02 Feb 2014, 21:15

I bet it certainly is the books that have inspired you!!

I know for a fact that reading of things like Five Go Down To The Sea and numerous other coastal-set books of Enid's that feature rocky coasts, caves, smugglers, wreckers etc etc was a definite factor in my lifelong obsession with coasts, water, Cornwall, wreckers etc!
And reading books that feature old houses and castles has also inspired my obsession with those too! :)
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Re: Will the real Kirrin Castle Stand Up?

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 02 Feb 2014, 23:12

Chrissie777 wrote:André and I will be on Jersey on 15th and 16th of May and take pictures of Elizabeth Castle.
When we'll meet at the Spade Oak, we can all look at them on the digital camera if you want.

Elizabeth Castle is in a beautiful location and looks like an interesting place to visit. However, it's not at all certain that it inspired Kirrin because there are other small islands in Jersey which have castles or forts and which can also be reached by a causeway at low tide. These include Portelet Bay and St. Aubin's Fort (both mentioned in this thread) and maybe others as well.

Carlotta King wrote:Many years ago my mum actually went trespassing in Daphne's garden and actually met Daphne there, she was lovely to my mum even though she had in effect 'broken in' to her garden, and they chatted for ages and she signed some books for her and wrote some personal messages in them for her. :)

Fabulous! Your mum must have been over the moon!
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Re: Inspiration for Kirrin Bay, Island and Castle?

Postby Julie2owlsdene » 02 Feb 2014, 23:29

How fabulous your mum met and spoke with Daphne DuMaurier, Cathy. Fowey as you probably know where Daphanie lived hold a festival there yearly and it attracts thousands of people. I think it is her son who still owns the house over looking the water there.

8)
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Re: Inspiration for Kirrin Bay, Island and Castle?

Postby Carlotta King » 02 Feb 2014, 23:42

Thanks Anita and Julie, yes my mum was so happy, she was only a very young woman at the time so to meet Daphne at her home and spend time with her was an amazing experience for her!

She quite often goes to Fowey although she's not keen on crowds so tends to avoid the busy times of the festival. There's a second-hand bookshop in Fowey that sells a lot of Daphne-related books and strangely enough, a few years ago my mum bought a book from there (can't remember what book she said it was) and folded inside it between some pages was an order of service from Daphne's funeral - so the book must have belonged to someone close to her who was there, and obviously no-one had found the order of service sandwiched in the book! I'll get her to send me a photo of it. :)
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Re: Soper and Maxey

Postby Moonraker » 03 Feb 2014, 13:47

John Pickup wrote:I have also been to several locations mentioned in Malcolm Saville's books and they have been nothing like I imagined.

Hmm, quite the opposite for me. I visited Witchend, Ingles' Farm and Hatchholt last year, and they enhanced my imaginary places ideally. The Long Mynd, Devil's Chair and Stiperstones were also as I had expected. I really felt as though I was in Lone Pine territory.
Julie wrote: Personally I prefer Soper. Her illustrations have more depth and more thought going into her work. The other illustrator's work has no depth.

Oh, me too. Of course, it is all down to one's personal preferences, but to me, there is no comparison. Maxey's George didn't look at all how I imagined george to look, but then, my imagination of how George looks is down to reading the original books back in the 50s!
In the other persons work there is no reflections at all. It's just what I would call a rough sketch drawn in haste.

Yes, I see it as a sketch and not a true illustration. I look at Soper's Kirrin Island, and I feel as though I am really looking at it.

Of course, my feelings/opinions are heavily influenced by my 'first' illustrator, Eileen Soper - everyone else is just copying! I was fortunate to read my Blytons' in the original books, and didn't have to rely on Armada paperbacks and other later editions, many with updated text and illustrations. I can, however, quite understand how people reading books with Maxey's work can see merit in her drawings.
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Re: Inspiration for Kirrin Bay, Island and Castle?

Postby number 6 » 06 Feb 2014, 19:34

I thought Kirrin Castle was based on Corfe Castle in Dorset. The reason I never questioned this, despite Enid's letter, is due to a conversation I had with Gillian Baverstock in 2006. I was introduced to Gillian by Viv (Ginger pop) whilst I was in Corfe. I was invited to walk around the village with them both. Later, I found myself alone in the Ginger pop shop whilst Viv nipped for a few minutes. I took the opportunity to ask Gillian about her Mothers connection with Dorset. One of the questions I asked her was ' What Castle was Kirrin Castle based on'. Without hesitation Gillian replied, "Corfe Castle..without a doubt"! So, naturally, I assumed it was fact. How she came to that conclusion I will never know, because Viv came in at that moment & it was time for Gillian to return to Knoll House where she was staying. I can only assume she asked her Mother the same question before or after the first F5 was published. I know this proves nothing, but You just can't discount Gillian's word. She was adamant she was right! :D
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Re: Inspiration for Kirrin Bay, Island and Castle?

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 06 Feb 2014, 22:43

It's interesting to hear Gillian Baverstock's point of view (I remember that she said the same thing to Viv when Viv asked her), but if Gillian had spoken to Enid Blyton about it I suppose she might have been able to give us some more information about the Jersey location.
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Re: Inspiration for Kirrin Bay, Island and Castle?

Postby Viking Star » 07 Feb 2014, 09:22

Mysteriouser and mysteriouser! :D
This is a Green Knight Book which means that it is a book by one of the most popular authors of all.
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Re: Inspiration for Kirrin Bay, Island and Castle?

Postby Julie2owlsdene » 07 Feb 2014, 21:07

So I guess reading the post of number 6, that Gillian too thought that Kirrin was based on Corfe Castle, according to her own mother. How interesting. So maybe Kirrin Island was inspired by an island that Enid saw out in the Channel Islands, and Corfe which we know she'd seen, she described to Eileen Soper and she drew her own version of Kirrin from Enid's description. It's a thought. :)

8)
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Re: Inspiration for Kirrin Bay, Island and Castle?

Postby pete9012S » 15 Feb 2014, 12:22

Image

Above is a fragment of page 84 from Imogen's 'A Childhood At Green Hedges'
She is describing a Summer holiday,just after the war in 1945,according to the previous page.
Notice she says in the first paragraph;
'...Corfe Castle, which my mother used in later stories..'

By 1945 there had already been around four Famous Five stories published,and Kirrin Castle would by then, have been very well known surely.
Notice Imogen does not link Kirrin Castle to Corfe Castle ,which she surely would if that was the inspiration?
So then,if that is correct,what are the 'later stories' in which Corfe Castle was used???
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Re: Inspiration for Kirrin Bay, Island and Castle?

Postby Julie2owlsdene » 15 Feb 2014, 12:31

I guess that is something we may never now, know, Pete. Enid like most writers use their own imagination and take a bit of the country from there, a castle from there and a cottage or island from somewhere else, mix it up in the pot, and imagine their own locations! Which is really what Kirrin and it's island probably is, all Enid's imagination taken from different locations from all over that Enid has seen. :)

8)
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