Famous Dartmoor Authors and Their Brilliant Books
Want to set the scene for your next Dartmoor holiday? Reading one of the books from the list below is a great way to get in the mood for a memorable holiday. Forget reading on the beach, these books will have you dreaming of the moors.
Each of these wonderful books has been penned by famous Dartmoor authors. From novels to non-fiction, these books and their famous authors will get you excited about booking your next holiday to Dartmoor national park.
Which Dartmoor authors are famous?
It’s impossible to make a list of famous Dartmoor authors without including the iconic murder mystery novelist, Agatha Christie. Growing up in Torquay, Christie spent many holidays around the River Dart. Greenway House was her family holiday home, where she spent many summers and hours writing. She described Greenway as “the loveliest place in the world”. These picturesque surroundings were used as the location for one of her novels.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’, lived on Dartmoor while writing his novel. The story of Sherlock Holmes and Watson’s most famous case is set on Dartmoor. The tale makes great use of the changeable weather conditions, thick fog, and statuesque Tors.
Taking up Doyle’s story, Laurie R. King extends the older tale a little further with her female protagonist, Mary Russell. ‘The Moor’ uses many of the same settings as ‘The Hounds of the Baskervilles’ and adds new plots, twists and mysteries. Although King doesn’t live on Dartmoor, she did spend time at Lewtrenchard Manor. She spent time exploring the moors and chatting with locals about the many mysteries Dartmoor holds before writing her story.
Non-fiction by Dartmoor authors
Cultural environmentalist and Dartmoor enthusiast, Dr Tom Greeves has written extensively about Dartmoor. In 2021, Dr Greeves received the Dartmoor Society award for his outstanding contribution to the area. Dr Greeves now lives in Penzance, Cornwall. His non-fiction books ‘Dartmoor’s Earliest Photographs’ and ‘Called Home: The Dartmoor Tin Miner 1860 – 1940’ are essential reading for anyone interested in Dartmoor’s history and people.
If you’re looking for a real-life drama on Dartmoor, look no further than ‘All the Tors’ written by Emily Woodhouse. The non-fiction book details her inspiring solo challenge to trek across Dartmoor, visiting all 119 tors over 10 days in horrendous weather conditions. The challenge takes her through fog, bog and to the limits of her strength and survival knowledge.
Dartmoor’s landscape has been home to humans for millennia. From early hunter-gatherers to today’s modern populations, people have been inspired, challenged and enchanted by the unique setting. From folklore to history and onto outright fantasy, Dartmoor authors all agree the area is the ideal place for writing captivating stories or reading one of the well-loved books mentioned.