London: TS Eliot’s village East Coker is gunning for world heritage status as umpteen campaigners want the Somerset based parish added to UNESCO, in a bid to stop the planned expansion of 3,700 homes.
Apparently, literary figures, academicians and residents have launched this campaign in an attempt to thwart the designs of real estate developers.
Former poet laureate Andrew Motion has written to UNESCO, asking for East Coker to be added to its prestigious list, which is mentioned in TS Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets.’
Meanwhile, Jim McCue, who is editing a new anthology of TS Eliot`s work also signed the UNESCO letter, stating, “The poem was written at the beginning of the Second World War and was a symbol of a kind of England that is precious and worth fighting for.”
“It is not just the village that is important. It is the landscape all around that Eliot is writing about,” he added.
Proposals for the urban development are included in a draft plan by South Somerset district council. However, the council leader, Ric Pallister, said: “Heritage is an important element of the appeal of South Somerset and we are proud of our history and the people who have played a major part in this country in the past. It is very definitely not in our interests to destroy any of the significant cultural history of East Coker or its setting, which played such an important part in the life of TS Eliot.”