his year’s World Book Day falls on 3rd March, so we thought we’d celebrate the joy of reading by introducing you to some of Devon’s best loved authors. Many of these writers draw inspiration from the beautiful Devon scenery, meaning that adding some of their books to your reading lists will transport you to the county without having to travel!

Of course, we can’t start with anyone but Agatha Christie. Known as the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie was born in Torquay and used several locations across South Devon in her books, including Burgh Island.

Agatha Christie

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, the Lady Mallowan DBE is the creator of detectives Hercule Poirot, who was inspired by the Belgian refugees that moved to Torquay during Christie’s stint as a nurse in WWII, and miss Marple. Throughout the course of her writing career, she published 66 detective novels, 14 short stories and several plays, the Mousetrap being one of the longest running productions in England.
She worked as a nurse during the war, while her first husband Archie was in the RAF and developed an interest in poisons, something you can explore in detail at Torre Abbey, who have a garden full of poisonous plants dedicated to her.

Henry Williamson

We’ve covered South Devon’s most famous export, so now it’s time for one of North Devon’s best loved writers. Henry William Williamson was born in London, but being interested in wildlife, spent a lot of time in the countryside, which inspired much of his writing. After WWII, he moved to Devon and took up farming. He moved to Ox’s Cross, Georgeham, where he built himself a small house to write in. It was here that he began to write his series of fifteen novels in the Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight series. His best known work is Tarka the Otter, which was set in and around Barnstaple and inspired the Tarka Trail, a cycle track that takes in several important places in the North Devon region.
In later life, he suffered from ill health and was moved to a hospice in Ealing but was buried in North Devon at St George’s Church, Georgeham. Ted Hughes delivered the memorial address.

Michael Morpurgo

Though born in St Albans, Sir Michael Andrew Bridge Morpurgo OBE, FRSL, FKC has become a huge part of the Dartmoor community. He and his family have lived in the Dartmoor region for over 40 years, even founding a charity offering children from cities the chance to spend time in the countryside. He has been writing since the 1970s, releasing at least one book a year since then. One of his most famous works is the War Horse, which was inspired in part by the landscape of Dartmoor and has been adapted for stage, screen and radio.
Morpurgo has also had the honour of being the Children’s Laureate and has received numerous accolades for his writing.
He has said that one of his greatest influences was Ted Hughes, who lived in Devon for a time himself.

R F Delderfield

Ronald Frederick Delderfield is most associated with the town of Sidmouth in East Devon, though he too was born in London. His family moved to Devon after his father bought the Exmouth Chronicle and became its editor in the 1920s. Delderfield began his writing career by joining the staff and later, becoming editor himself.
He had his own house built on Peak Hill in Sidmouth, which is now known as Gazebo, but at the time went by Dove Cottage. Following WWI, he began running an antiques business in Budleigh Salterton alongside his writing career. Initially, he wrote plays, but began writing novels in the 1950s.

Celia Moore

Celia Moore grew up on a small farm on the outskirts of Exeter and moved to London to become a Chartered Surveyor before working her way back to Devon. On moving back to the county she started working as an outdoor adventure instructor, teaching rockclimbing and mountaineering, taking advantage of the beautiful scenery. She has written a trilogy of books set on Fox Halt Farm, which is set on Dartmoor.

Christopher Robin Milne

Did you know the inspiration behind Christopher Robin in the Winnie the Pooh stories was a writer himself? Christopher Robin Milne is the son of A A Milne. He was born in London and educated in Surrey, but after getting married, he moved to Dartmouth where he and his wife opened up the Harbour Bookshop. The shop was in business until 2011. During the 1970s and 1980s, he wrote five novels, but retired in the late eighties due to ill health. He died at home in Totnes.

Flora Thompson

Born Flora Jane Timms in Oxfordshire, Thompson married her husband in 1903 and the pair moved initially to Bournemouth and spent time living on the south coast exploring Devon and Dorset. It was here that inspired her best known work, Lark Rise to Candleford, a series of books that are semi-autobiographical. She died following the death of her younger son who was fighting in WWII, suffering a heart attack in Brixham. Her final resting place is in Dartmouth.

Liz Shakespeare

Born and raised in Devon, Liz Shakespeare’s six books have all been influenced by the region’s strong history and the picturesque countryside. She still lives in Devon and can regularly be found visiting various markets and shows in the county to meet her readers. Catch her at the region’s literary festivals.

There are a host more writers drawing inspiration from Devon, than we have the room to talk about here – but we figured, there was more than enough for you to start exploring the Devon of their stories.