ONE of Cumbria's best-known faces will be sharing the county's impact on his novels at a public gathering in the Lake District.

Broadcaster and author Melvyn Bragg, 80, is to speak at the University of Cumbria's Ambleside campus on March 8, where where MA literature students are studying his novel The Maid of Buttermere.

Wigton-born Lord Bragg has hailed the university's new masters course, Literature, Romanticism and the English Lake District.

He said it was "very fortifying for literature about the Lake District to be studied at such a pivotal place" and it was an exceptional opportunity to be where great work had been imagined and written down.

The famed presenter of The South Bank Show and BBC Radio 4's In Our Time said: “To be able to go to the places that William and Dorothy Wordsworth and Coleridge went to, as well as all the others who have written there, could be unique.

“You are in the middle of, and surrounded by, much of what these and other writers, including Beatrix Potter, Arthur Ransome, Norman Nicholson, have studied, lived with and written about.”

Lord Bragg, an honorary fellow of the university, said he was rooted "biologically, historically and imaginatively" in Cumbria.

The Labour peer is working on a new book largely based on his childhood in Wigton, and spends as much time as possible at his home nearby, at High Ireby.

Lord Bragg said Cumbria's landscape, culture and people would inspire students, adding: “I would like to see work extended to cover writers from across the North West.”

The university’s senior lecturer in English Literature, Dr Penny Bradshaw, said it had been a long-standing ambition to showcasing the region’s literary heritage and contemporary greats at the Ambleside campus.

“I am thrilled our first cohort of MA literature students will have the opportunity to hear from such a well-known and widely-respected figure,” she said.

Lord Bragg is to speaking at the Percival Theatre at the University of Cumbria in Ambleside on Sunday, March 8, at 2.30pm. For tickets, visit