Looking southward from the cathedral over Winchester College towards St Catherine’s Hill. Photo reproduced by kind permission of Joe Low.

Winchester has been an inspiration for some of England’s greatest writers for over one thousand years. Its literary history can match or exceed any other city in the country and its claim to be the birthplace of the English language is peerless. However, not all of the writers associated with Winchester sing its praises and there are several who write with a jaundiced pen.

This anthology of the city’s literary story takes a wide-ranging view of its literature and includes diaries, memoirs, travel and topography, hymns, as well as fiction and poetry. Winchester continues to inspire writers and this literary companion includes today’s authors, some of whom are already part of tomorrow’s literary heritage. However, the site doesn’t include history books, travel or guide books, unless of special literary interest, while attending Winchester College, gracing the cathedral or being born in Winchester don’t ipso facto confer literary rights.

The entries on this site either feature or are inspired by the city and its surrounding country. It is arranged by author and each entry sets the authors in their Winchester context, features the key selected texts, and concludes with a brief tour of what can be seen today.

The editor of this site is Keiren Phelan, a Winchester resident who has been compiling literary material relating to the city for over fifteen years. Readers are welcome to comment as the roll-call unfolds and can see the full list of writers to be featured on the Authors page.