Godstow Abbey: Background information when reading La Belle Sauvage

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La Belle Sauvage

The Book of Dust #1

by Philip Pullman

La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman X
La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
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  • Published:
    Oct 2017, 464 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Michelle Anya Anjirbag

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Godstow Abbey

This article relates to La Belle Sauvage

Godstow AbbeyIn his first trilogy, His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman brings readers into the story through an intense use of space; he gives us a fantastical Oxford, but described in such a way that readers could visit the real place and trace Lyra's adventures around the city and colleges and thus bring the fantasy world into their own. Pullman's new book, La Belle Sauvage is no different; Godstow Priory, which plays such a large role in shaping the plot and setting of the text, is based on a real place: the Godstow Abbey or Nunnery. The Trout Inn is also real.

Godstow Abbey WindowGodstow is a hamlet on the River Thames about 2.5 miles northwest of the center of modern day Oxford. The abbey (in our world, at least) was built in the 1130s. Founded by Edith of Winchester, sometimes known as Dame Ediva (widow of Sir William Launceline of Winchester) it was built on what was then a small island between two streams that ran into the Thames. According to local tradition, Edith had a vision in which she was told to go ...

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