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In A Sunny Britain, Would We Read Classics Like 'David Coppertone'?

NPR | June 14, 2014 1:48 a.m.

Contributed By:

Ari Shapiro

On a glorious but rare day, a woman relaxes on a bench in the rose garden in Hyde Park on Monday in London, England. The book she's reading might have turned out much different if London were known for fair weather rather than fog.

On a glorious but rare day, a woman relaxes on a bench in the rose garden in Hyde Park on Monday in London, England. The book she's reading might have turned out much different if London were known for fair weather rather than fog.

Getty Images, Dan Kitwood

I’m not sure that cities like Miami and Rio de Janeiro truly appreciate the sun. They clearly enjoy the sun, what with their beach volleyball games and their fruity cocktails. But to really appreciatethe sun, I think you have to live in a place that gets dark by 4 p.m. in the winter. A place where a typical summer day involves drizzle. A place, in short, like London.

This morning, I woke up in my East London apartment to a strange vision: The bright summer sun, streaming in through my window. I thought about how much of the world’s great literature is informed by British gloom, from the Hound of the Baskervilles stalking the moor to Macbeth plotting in his dark castle. And I wondered what the world’s great poems, plays, and novels would look like if every day in London were so happy go-lucky. So I tweeted:

Here are a few of my favorite replies:

Got your own suggestions? Tweet them with the hashtag #SunnyLondonLit, or add them to the comments below.

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