The Cult of the Lake District

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Ian H. Thompson (University of Newcastle upon Tyne)
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The Lake District is a mountainous area in the North West of England. Since the Local Government Act of 1974, it has been situated entirely within the county of Cumbria, but previously it comprised parts of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire. The district is little more than thirty miles wide and its highest fell, Scafell Pike, reaches only 3,210 feet (978 m), considerably less than Scotland’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, at 4,409 feet (1,344 m) and a pygmy when set against the Matterhorn, which attains 14,6934 ft (4,478 metres). Yet the Lake District carries a weight of cultural significance that belies its small physical extent, having played a central role respectively in the growth of Picturesque tourism, the emergence of Romantic sensibility, the development of landscape…

5453 words

Citation: Thompson, Ian H.. "The Cult of the Lake District". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 May 2010 [, accessed 19 April 2024.]

1790 The Cult of the Lake District 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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