Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings had her first glimpse of Florida in March 1928, aboard a steamer at the mouth of the St Johns River. It was love at first sight, which really can happen with people and places. I’ve had a similar rush of amazed delight about particular landscapes myself: it feels like the surprise of connection, or perhaps of recognition. Whatever you want to call it, it exists. Florida still charms many people, of course, including me, although what tourists now enjoy in Miami, Orlando or Key West bears no relation to the wonders that entranced Mrs Rawlings eighty years ago. She saw an alien, tropical, untamed land lit by an impossibly clear wide sky and knew that she could find what she needed there; knew that she could write there, as she passionately wanted to do. It was, as they say, a defining moment.