Culture, Features, Literature, Manchester

The LEGACY Issue: A literary tour of Manchester

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Featured illustration: Katelan Evans


Manchester has given us many influential figures in literature and their legacies live on in our city.


The Salutation Pub

One of Manchester’s best traditional Victorian pubs, The Salutation has a blue plaque on its wall that may go unnoticed in passing. It’s a permanent reminder of the pub’s significant history in literary history. Back in 1846, writer Charlotte Brontë came to Manchester with her father who was having an operation in the city. They booked in at The Salutation, which is where Brontë began writing Jane Eyre, her most famous novel. Today the pub celebrates Brontë’s writing by proudly displaying her portrait in the bar.

12 Higher Chatham Street, M15 6ED


Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

This neoclassical villa on Plymouth Grove might hold some of the richest classical literature significance in Manchester having been visited by many notable figures in the 19th Century. Located in Ardwick, the house was home to the Gaskell family who lived there from 1850 until 1865. Elizabeth wrote most of her notable works there, including North and South and Cranford. A lot of important writers have also passed through the doors of 84 Plymouth Grove including Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Harriet Beecher Stowe and John Ruskin. Brontë called the home ‘a large, cheerful, airy house, quite out of Manchester smoke.’ Now a museum, it’s a must-visit for any classic literature lover – but check opening times.

84 Plymouth Grove, M13 9LW


International Anthony Burgess Foundation

Just a stone’s throw away from Manchester Met’s All Saints campus is the International Anthony Burgess Foundation. Born in Harpurhey, Manchester, Anthony Burgess was a critic, reviewer and translator, and is best known as the writer of the dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange, now considered one of English literature’s modern classics. It was made into a film in 1971 by Stanley Kubrick. The writer’s work is celebrated at his educational charity, which regularly hosts book launches, talks and other literary events. This year, we can expect a new posthumous novel appearing by the author titled The Devil Prefers Mozart.

3 Cambridge St, M1 5BY


Friedrich Engels Statue

Although Engels was born in Germany, the philosopher lived in Manchester for two decades in the mid-18th Century. Born into a family of cotton mill owners, he was sent to Manchester to learn the family business, and wrote his influential first book The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844 after seeing child labour and poverty in the city. Although he knew Karl Marx from revolutionary activity in Europe, they met again at Chetham’s library in 1845 and published The Communist Manifesto in February 1848, a political vision that ended with the stirring call to revolution: “The proletariat have nothing to lose but their chains.” The statue was originally in Ukraine but was brought to Manchester by artist Phil Collins, where it can now be seen in front of HOME on First Street.

First St, M15 4GU

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Anna Klekot

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