Great Missenden will be forever associated with the author Roald Dahl, who drew on his surroundings in the Chilterns for many features of his characters and their stories. His final resting place is beside the church of Saints Peter and Paul. Now children draw their inspiration from creative activities at the Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre and Aylesbury's Roald Dahl Children's Gallery complete with glass elevator and giant peach.
Artist Sir Stanley Spencer RA drew much of his inspiration from the riverside village of Cookham, where the Stanley Spencer Gallery is dedicated to his work.
Poet and parliamentarian John Milton (1608 - 1674) chose the Chilterns as his rustic refuge from the plague. The idyllic Buckinghamshire cottage (with charming garden) where he worked on Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained is a remarkable 17th-century survival. Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse published in 1667, and consisted of ten books with over ten thousand lines of verse. A second edition followed in 1674, arranged into twelve books (in the manner of Virgil's Aeneid) with minor revisions throughout and a note on the versification. It is considered to be Milton's major work, and it helped solidify his reputation as one of the greatest English poets of his time. The poem concerns the biblical story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Milton's purpose, stated in Book I, is to "justify the ways of God to men".
Graham Greene was brought up in Berhamsted, where his father was headmaster of the Collegiate School. The Graham Greene Trail starts here.
Jerome (Klapka) Jerome is buried in the churchyard at Ewelme, beside the 15th-century almshouses endowed by Chaucer’s great-granddaughter. Ewelme is an interesting village in a lovely setting. A chalk stream flows through the village, where watercress was once grown commercially. There is a pub and a village shop serving teas and coffee.