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Countrystride #110: ELIZA LYNN LINTON and THE LAKE COUNTRY which we visit Crosthwaite to shine a light on one of Lakeland's most neglected historic figures – remarkable Eliza Lynn Linton, the first female salaried journalist in England. In the company of author Philippa Harrison, Keswick Museum curator Nicola Lawson and academic Sue Wilkinson, we learn about Eliza's traumatic childhood and the self-education that allowed her to escape the family home and embark on a writing career among the literary elite of her day. Reflecting on the passionate attachments Eliza formed with both men and women, we turn to Eliza's beautiful The Lake Country, a 'love book' to Cumbria that inspired Alfred Wainwright, and which Rawnsley thought would never be bettered. As we make our way to the overgrown Lynn family grave, we consider the contradictions of a contrary life; of Eliza's complex views on sexuality; of the great U-turn that saw her abandon her one-time progressive feminist ideals; and of the curious fact that this once infamous writer – and her superlative guidebook – are now barely acknowledged, even in the margins of Cumbrian history.

Eliza's beloved 'Crosthwaite Vale' from Walla Crag,

Our guests for the podcast: (from left) Sue, Philippa and Nicola.

St Kentigern's Church, where Eliza's father was vicar.

Removing foliage from around the Linton family tomb.

The remarkable woman herself: Eliza Lynn Linton.

Title page of The Lake Country, a book that Rawnsley thought would never be bettered.

One of William James Linton's beautiful engravings found in The Lake Country.


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