A Footnote to Wilkie Collins

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Date(s) - 01/07/2020
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


A Footnote to Wilkie Collins – a discovery tour with Peter Fiennes.

In August 1850 the 26-year-old Wilkie Collins set off on a tour of Cornwall, at a time when the Great Western Railway went no further than Plymouth. Accompanied by artist Charles Henry Brandling, they made their way ‘a-foot’ to many of the Cornish tourist hotspots we know today, with Wilkie hoping to discover an ancient, wild Cornwall, of runes and druids, before the railways changed everything. Wilkie went on to write many novels and plays, and when the Woman in White was published in 1860 he became, briefly, ’the most famous man in London’.

Marking the 170th anniversary of Wilkie Collins’ Rambles beyond Railways, his fascinating travelogue “a-foot”, we examine this key moment in his life and take a tour that starts in London and delves deep into Cornwall, past and present.


We’ve adapted to the times and are thrilled to be offering a guided public tour in the company of bestselling author Peter Fiennes for all to enjoy from home. The tour will be held on Zoom using Google Streetview, and will be recorded too. It will take approximately 60 minutes, and there will be a chance to ask questions during
the tour.

FiennesFootnotes: A Journey round Britain in the Company of Great Writers

“As enjoyable a guide to the relationship of writers to the landscape of Britain as one could hope to read: beautifully written, moving in its reflections, and often very funny.” Tom Holland

Extracts from Wilkie Collins’ work will be read by Andrew Stuck

After booking, you will receive a confirmation e mail (this may take a few hours).

You will then receive details of the Zoom meeting vie e mail within 3 hours of the start of the tour – the email will include a link to the virtual tour. Unfamiliar with Zoom? It is advisable to sign up to Zoom (it’s free to you as a participant) – do that right away. View this video about joining a Zoom meeting. Please note that Zoom has updated it’s settings since 31 May 2020 – you will need to update your Zoom before entering the tour (this only takes a matter of seconds).

Join the meeting a few minutes before the start time (treating it like going to the theatre and taking your seat).  Within 5 minutes of the tour beginning, we will lock the meeting, so no one else can join the tour – this is a security measure to try minimise what’s called “Zoom bombing” and late arrivals cannot be guaranteed entry. 

Can’t join on this date / Missed your chance to join – send us a note via our Get in Touch form as if we have sufficient sign ups we may run it again.



To book, there is no set ticket price on this Virtual Tour – we leave it up to your discretion (may we suggest £8-£12) – just use the PayPal Donate button below.  Standby Places are free, if you make a donation you are guaranteed a place (up to a maximum of 95 places). Standby tickets will be released if places are available, within 3 hours of the start of the event.


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Fancy reading Peter Fiennes’ “Footnotes”? – order from an Independent Bookseller via Hive

Featured image credit: British Library



Bookings are closed for this event.