Changing Perceptions of a Cultural Landscape by Danny Rurlander | University of Cumbria

Changing Perceptions of a Cultural Landscape by Danny Rurlander


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Part of the Changing Perspectives of a Cultural Landscape talk series, author Danny Rurlander follows in the footsteps of much-loved children’s authors who have been inspired by the spectacular landscape of the English Lake District - most famously Beatrix Potter (1866 – 1943), Arthur Ransome (1884 – 1967) - and continues the tradition of inventive children having epic adventures in the Lakeland wilds.

Danny Rurlander author of Spylark Lake District View,

His book 'Spylark' opens with 13-year-old Tom Hopkins flying his homemade drone over the iconic ‘Swallows and Amazons’ landscape he calls home. He stumbles across a criminal plot, which catapults him into the world of global terrorism, and the beautiful Lake District hills and lakes suddenly become a more threatening backdrop for a struggle to overcome the terrorists, his own physical disability and his worst fears and phobias.

In this talk and in the context of “Changing perceptions of a cultural landscape”, Danny focuses on three areas: the influences and inspiration behind the story, especially with regard to the rich heritage of children’s literature inspired by the landscape and geography of the Lake District; the place that the setting of the northern end of Lake Windermere and surrounding fells and rivers plays in the book; and the way in which the very new technology of UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) offered new perspectives on the landscape in the context of a fast-paced thriller for children.

About Danny Rurlander

Danny Rurlander author of Spylark,

Danny Rurlander is a UK based children’s author whose novel, 'Spylark', was shortlisted for the Times / Chicken House Children’s Fiction Prize in 2017, and won the Cumbria School Library Service Spellbinding Award in 2020. After studying English Literature at the University of East Anglia, Danny worked in the finance sector for several years and now serves on the staff team of a multi-cultural, city-centre church.

While at University, Danny spent two years learning to fly with the RAF as an officer cadet in the Cambridge University Air Squadron. He has lived in Austria, Kenya, Devon and Australia, but always longed to return to his native Lake District where he grew up exploring the fells and camping on islands, and where his first novel, 'Spylark', is set.

Danny is married to Emma and they have four children.


MA Literature, Romanticism and the English Lakes Flyer,


This talk will premiere at the University of Cumbria YouTube Channel as a FREE public event on Mon 10th of May at 6.30pm. Register now to receive the direct link to the talk via email.

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