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Rupert Brooke's signature

8. Grantchester

The Old Vicarage, Grantchester

The Old Vicarage, Grantchester is among Rupert Brooke’s most famous and most popular poems. Although Brooke is often remembered for his war poetry, this is a good example of his earlier poems and has made the Cambridgeshire village it describes a popular destination for tourists and poetry lovers.

Read The Old Vicarage, Grantchester on the Rupert Brooke Society website.

The poem was not without critics though. In an essay entitled Inside the Whale (1940), George Orwell wrote

"Rupert Brooke’s 'Grantchester', the star poem of 1913, is nothing but an enormous gush of 'country' sentiment, a sort of accumulated vomit from a stomach stuffed with place-names. Considered as a poem 'Grantchester' is something worse than worthless but as an illustration of what the thinking middle-class young of that period felt it is a valuable document."

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