Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

10 of the best literary summers

The changing seasons have inspired writers, artists, and poets for time immemorial – whether it is autumnal nostalgia among the crushed leaves, the biting cold and grey skies of winter, the joys and fresh hopes of spring, or the all-enveloping heat of the summer sun. Conjuring up reminiscences of youth, long days, lost loves and memories carried on the breeze – no season has taken hold of the imagination quite like summer. Beautifully crafted descriptions of freshly cut grass, lazy days on the beach, fresh flowers, and stifling heat have frequently set the scene in some of the greatest novels and verse, and even make a recurring appearance in authors’ personal letters.

With the summer months having firmly arrived, we thought it was a good time to look at some of the most memorable and most beautiful literary depictions of summer. From Tennyson’s ‘perpetual summer’ to Charlotte Bronte’s balmy summer evenings, and from Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist to the oppressive heat of Shakespeare’s ‘fair Verona’, discover literary summers through the ages…

Featured Image Credit: ‘A Summer Afternoon’ (1910s) by Edward Henry Potthast, uploaded by Trzesacz, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Recent Comments

  1. Elizabeth Parias

    Lovely summer poems

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