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Richard E Grant smiling, and reading an open copy of the book: Pompeii

Write Around the World

Richard E. Grant travels in the footsteps of great writers inspired by Italy, France and Spain.

About this series

In this three-part series Richard E. Grant follows authors from the past and present whose work has been inspired by the culture, history, cities and landscapes of southern Italy, southern France and southern Spain.

Discover the range of qualifications and modules from the OU related to this programme:

Actor Richard E Grant smiling, with his arms outstretched. Greenery and mountains are in the distance behind him.

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Talking Literature with Richard E. Grant

Watch an exclusive interview with Richard E. Grant, as he answers questions put to him by our expert OU academics Dr Joanne Reardon and Professor Nicola J. Watson, on how reading books in the locations they were set brings places, people and history to life.

What was it like to experience for real the places described in the books he was reading? What’s his personal perspective on walking in the footsteps of the writers and characters whose lives and stories inhabit the places he visited? Reflecting on his adventures from Victoria Hislop's Spain during the Civil War to Scott Fitzgerald’s French Riviera, Richard reveals how these books deepened his experience of places he visited and how he hopes it will inspire others to follow him.

Meet the OU experts

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Professor Nicola J WatsonProfessor of English Literature - Faculty of Arts and Social SciencesVIEW FULL PROFILE
A photograph of Professor Nicola J Watson
Professor Nicola J WatsonProfessor of English Literature - Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

I trained at Oxford in the literature and culture of the Romantic period, studying with Jonathan Wordsworth, Marilyn Butler, and Paul Hamilton. In 1985, I took up a Frank Knox Fellowship to Harvard University and spent four years there, before moving to Northwestern University, Chicago. Ten years later, I came back to Oxford, before joining the Open University in 1999.

My research interests are based within the Romantic period but extend backwards into the eighteenth century and forwards into the nineteenth. I specialise nowadays in the cultural afterlives of authors and texts, with special reference to literary tourism. forms of literary commemoration, and related practices of adaptation.

A photograph of Dr Joanne Reardon
Dr Joanne ReardonLecturer in Creative Writing - Faculty of Arts & Social SciencesVIEW FULL PROFILE
A photograph of Dr Joanne Reardon
Dr Joanne ReardonLecturer in Creative Writing - Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences

I am a writer of drama, prose and poetry with interests in ekphrastic practice arising from my collaborative work with visual artists on site specific projects in museums and art galleries.  

I'm a Lecturer in Creative Writing and joined the OU as an Associate Lecturer in 2006 having worked at Lancaster University and Edge Hill University where I was a Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing.  I have an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and a PhD from Lancaster University and was awarded Fellowship status by the Higher Education Authority in 2016. I also have an MBA from Aston University.

I have examined how writers find voices for their characters, in relation to setting in my PhD and related academic work.

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