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London in Literature

Heather is a Primary Teacher from Canada who is currently working in London through Protocol Education. Dedicated blogger Heather in nearing the end of her time in London and shares with us some reflections on her time here.

As I near the end of my journey (sentence) here in London, I reflect back on all the wonderful things I’ve been exposed to that only a city like London can offer. Since my passion was in literature (by now you’ve probably guessed), I find it immensely enriching to understand the references that are made in so many of the literature classics!

From Sherlock homes illustrating the Bakerloo Station platforms, and the actual plaques that commemorate the habitants of ancient buildings scattered through central London, living here has truly added to the sense of awe that is felt in the ghostly great writers’ footsteps left beyond their existence here in the city.

While I work my way through the BBC’s top 100 books list, I continuously come across ‘local’ places that at one point, seemed so distant and out of reality. Now, I can actually picture the area, understand the feeling, and relate the writer on a deeper level of humanity, as I truly understand the area and the vibes that are encompassed in just the word of ‘Camden’ or ‘Cheapside’.

These places seemed so estranged, and yet, I can actually feel some of the unspoken text that is all encased in the term of a location specific to the character of London.

My time here hasn’t been the easiest. While I came hoping to travel, I experienced a fire in my shared flat, and worse encounters that caused what little I had to seep away in unaccountable and frustrating ways. When I read these works though, I find a sense of peace. I actually feel the writer, as if he and I shared similar experiences of London – the burdens it bares upon us, and the miraculous and inspirational moments that the architecture and occasional in-touch human beings we encounter evoke.

I understand the importance of so many of these beings who seem so great, and will always be remembered as their works echo beyond their years. Yet, I also feel a sense of wonderment and admiration for the way in which they convey the love and bittersweet recollections of London. Whether in a completely conflicting portrayal of the life they lived – a poverty stricken author with innately upbeat characters and settings, or the undermining disgust and betrothing emotion they feel for the city in which they choose to remain.

London has been an adventure, and the students who have the chance to relate to these books and overlook their mystifying relevance to those who aren’t a citizen, may be granted a shallow appreciation of such ‘common sense’. To those of us not here, it is important to instil pride in those who read these works and acknowledge how great and legendary London becomes as it’s illustrated to the English and literate world.

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Tags: Heather, LondonNorth, Canadian-trained, teacher, travel, opportunities, lessons-learnt, London, literature

Category: Australian Teachers


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