Descendant of famed poet to join marathon read in Lake District

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21 February 2017 8:01PM

A DESCENDANT of a much-loved poet is to join the marathon reading of a classic children's story in the Lake District.

Christopher Wordsworth, the great-great-great-great-grandson of William Wordsworth, will read a chapter of Swallows and Amazons this summer at Coniston.

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He joins a list of celebrities and enthusiasts who will take part in the day-long event to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of the author Arthur Ransome, who created the children’s adventure tale.

The reading will be staged by the lakeshore north of the Coniston Boating Centre on Sunday September 3. It is expected that the book's 31 chapters will take around nine hours to read.

Christopher Wordsworth, whose family still own the house at Rydal Mount near Ambleside where William Wordsworth lived for most of his life, said: "As a man fast approaching middle age, I am certain to get as much pleasure from these books as I did when a child."

Another reader will be screenwriter Andrea Gibb who adapted Swallows and Amazons for a new film version last year.

The event is being organised by Dr Chris Routledge from Liverpool University, in association with the Lake District National Park and the Arthur Ransome Trust.

Dr Routledge said that he had been inundated with requests to read a chapter of the book.

"It's clearly still a favourite with many people who are well past their own childhood," he said.

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However, there will also be young readers: Dr Routledge’s 13-year-old daughter Caitlin will be joined by Elizabeth Kaye, the 11-year-old daughter of Jonathan and Caroline Kaye, owners of Windermere's Cedar Manor Hotel, and 14-year-old actor Hannah Jayne Thorp, who played the part of Peggy in last year’s film version of Swallows and Amazons.

Also supporting the reading are Stephen and Janine Sykes who live at Hill Top, Ransome’s last home in the Lake District.

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