Edward Elgar has an especial significance for David Mitchell who shares his home town of Malvern with the composer. The Malvern Hills famously inspired much of Elgar's music and Mitchell himself grew up in their shadows. His quasi-autobiographical novel Black Swan Green explores the life of a shy, stuttering adolescent growing up in a village just outside Malvern. One one point the thirteen-year-old character roams across the hills, much as Elgar did when he was in need of inspiration. Elgar is as inextricably linked with Malvern as Wordsworth is with the Lake District.