The Road to Lichfield Summary
Penelope Lively

Everything you need to understand or teach The Road to Lichfield by Penelope Lively.

  • The Road to Lichfield Summary & Study Guide

The Road to Lichfield Summary

Although social concerns and social satire play a role in all of Lively's novels, her dominant theme is always the relationship between the past and the present. In The Road to Lichfield Lively first expresses the attitudes toward the historical past that will be found in all her subsequent novels. With her imagination steeped in history (her field of study at Oxford), she has a keen eye for the historical vestiges that linger in contemporary life: in the landscape, in architecture, in place names, in dialect.

Her protagonists generally share this sensibility. Thus, Anne, driving the road to Lichfield, gazes at the passing scenery and sees it as "a palimpsest, suggesting another time, another place.

Edgehill recalled the Civil War; Tamworth, lurking over to the right, had something Saxon about it, she seemed to remember."

Lively believes that it is important for people to know about history, but...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

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The Road to Lichfield Short Guide

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