Dreaming at Durdle Door


In the first of an occasional series of places featured in ‘The Novel in the Viola’, here is Durdle Door. Kit imagines taking Elise here and spending an afternoon dawdling in Burt’s boat, The Lugger. Durdle Door separates two beaches — one called ‘Durdle Door Beach’ and the other ‘Man o’ War Bay’.

While writing the book, I used to come down to this beach and picture Elise walking along the shore. The grind of pebbles against the tide is so distinctive — I actually prefer stoney beaches to sandy ones.

Today was spent in the summerhouse (in between baking work-avoidance flapjacks) and Mr S and I read a good bit of Ted Hughes. I just marvel at what Hughes can make language do. He breaks it apart and makes it work in new ways. I love his use of light — my editor once commented that I light each scene as I describe it — this is what inspires me. Light in this poem is dynamic and full of movement.

From ‘The Horses’

‘And came to the horses.
There, still they stood,
But now steaming and glistening under the flow of light,

Their draped stone manes, their tilted hind-hooves
Stirring under a thaw while all around them

The frost showed its fires.’

10 Responses to “Dreaming at Durdle Door”

  1. Allie says:

    Oh that is a gorgeous poem. It is also a gorgeous place.

  2. Margaret Powling says:

    As I said on another part of your website/blog, I’m currently reading The Novel in the Viola and am absolutely loving it. It has everything – wonderful characters, atmospheric setting and flowing and detailed plot. I just don’t want it to end, surely that’s the mark of a good book?

  3. Natasha Solomons says:

    Thanks Margaret! I’m thrilled you enjoyed ‘Viola’ and thanks for taking the time to write to me — I really appreciate it.

  4. Elanor says:

    I just finished The Novel in the Viola and my eyes are puffy from crying. Its wonderful…

  5. Natasha Solomons says:

    Thanks Elanor. I’m glad I made you cry… In a good way. Not in an evil way. x

  6. [...] little photo and some comments about taking inspiration from Durdle Door on Natasha’s website here (I’d just like to note – now I’ve started talking about our shared love for the [...]

  7. Cate says:

    I have just finished reading The Novel in the Viola after being very excited to see another novel by you in the local library. Oh, what a joy it was to read and even more exciting was the fact that I felt I could really picture the setting. I have a pen-friend who lives in this part of England and it is difficult getting a picture of her home in my head. Australia is just so different to the UK. Now I have a point of reference and I look forward to exploring the area when I visit her in 2012. Thanks so much for your excellent work. Cate from Bendigo, Australia

  8. Susan Howard, Canada says:

    I just finished reading “The Novel in the Viola”…..absolutely beautiful….I am looking forward to reading your other books.

  9. Natasha Solomons says:

    Hi Susan,

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for getting in touch.

  10. Nina says:

    Beautiful photo. I stayed up all night last night reading The House at Tyneford and woke up this morning feeling like I wanted to read it a second time. Instead I looked up your website and have been enjoying your blog. Looking forward to more novels! You are a wonderful author, it’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a book as much as this.

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