Landscape Behind the Literature

Sophomore Erin McAuliffe and Dr. Gillan pause for a photo during one of their many hikes through England's lake district.
By Aubrey Hastings
Student Life Editor

Sophomore Erin McAuliffe took her love for literature to new heights this summer as she followed closely behind the footsteps of Dr. Richard Gillan and Mrs. Barbara Gillan up the mountains and hills of England’s Lake District.

The Kiplin Hall Summer program spans over a three week period in Richmond and Yorkshire England and Glengariff, Ireland. During their stay in York, England the students reside in the Kiplin Hall Estate. Each morning they attend lecture with Dr. Gillan and traverse through field experiences in the afternoons.

McAuliffe was just one of the 19 students to experience the significant places in literary history throughout the weeks.

“From the dinner at Sir and Lady Daltons house to the many meals at various pubs, this trip was wonderful in every way. The Daltons beautiful estate, which is not open to the public, encompasses many sights to see such as the beautiful stained glass windows within the house, as well as a spectacular library. Sir Dalton gave our group a wonderful tour, after which we all sat down in the dining room to eat a meal together. Sir Dalton asked us questions and gave us a remarkably interesting account of his career as a diplomat. This was a wonderful first taste of English hospitality,” said McAuliffe.

Romantic poets Wordsworth, Coleridge, and the Brontes come to life as students visit the very landscapes that inspired their writings and the very houses in which they resided.

“During the many hikes, we were able to take in some amazing landscapes while also appreciating some of the great literature that was inspired in the very same locations we visited. During our daily lessons, Dr. Gillin would ask us to think about the works we had read by Wordsworth and the Brontes and to try to understand them in relation to the sites we were viewing,” said McAuliffe.

This trip has become one of Dr. Gillan’s lasting legacies at WC and each student comes away with memories of a lifetime. “I now understand the beauty of the mountains and the open land that had been preserved for such a long time and I realized how lucky I was to have to the opportunity to see these things,” said McAuliffe.

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