I’m back after an unexpected blogging hiatus. The holidays and a flurry of writing projects made me put the blog aside for a while. For one of those projects, I’ve been researching where famous authors lived and wrote. Here’s some of what I’ve found.
I love this quaint little house in Austin, Texas, don’t you? This is the place William Sidney Porter (O.Henry) called home. Can you imagine him penning “The Gift of the Magi” and “The Ransom of Red Chief” here? Find out more . . .
If you traveled from there up to Mansfield, Missouri, you could visit Rocky Ridge Farm where Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote the “Little House” books. If Laura’s daughter, Rose, hadn’t encouraged Laura to write those beloved stories, we might never have known about her.
Heading over to the East Coast, in Hartford, Connecticut there’s Mark Twain’s estate. Personally, I find the exterior foreboding, but the inside is pure Victorian grandeur. Take a look . . .
In Massachusetts, you can tour the homes of Emily Dickinson and Louisa May Alcott.
Emily’s home is in Amherst. She’s often described as being reclusive. Can you imagine her sitting all alone in that turret writing her melancholy poems?
Alcott’s home, in Concord, is where she wrote “Little Women.” The exterior of the house might look familiar. A replica of Orchard House was the setting for all the “Little Women” films. The 1949 film is my favorite. If you’ve never seen the movie, put it on your list. You won’t be disappointed.
Let’s make one last stop in the states before we head across the pond to Europe. Did you know that Edgar Allan Poe had a cottage in the Bronx, New York? This modest little house is where he wrote his poems “Annabel Lee”and “The Bells” and also the short story “The Cask of Amontillado”.
Now, on to Scotland.
You can’t think of George Orwell apart from his novel “1984”. Following the death of his wife, Orwell sought solitude. He found it in a farmhouse on the remote Scottish island, Jura. He arrived with only a cot, chairs, a table and a typewriter. This is where he finished “1984”.
A tour of England wouldn’t be complete without visiting these authors’ homes:
Agatha Christie’s home, Greenway, in Dartmouth, isn’t the sort of home I’d imagined for her. What do you think? The house is set on the banks of the River Dart. Her boathouse inspired the scene of the crime in “Dead Man’s Folly”.
I love Dylan Thomas’ boathouse in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire. I want to write there!
Frances Hodgson Burnett was the J.K. Rowling of her time. She lived in Kent in this huge house, Great Maytham Hall. Burnett described it “a charming place with a nicely finished park and a beautiful old walled kitchen garden. The house is excellent, paneled square hall, library, billiard room, morning room, smoking room, drawing and dining rooms, seventeen or eighteen bedrooms, stables, two entrance lodges to the park, and a square tower on the roof from which one can see the English Channel.” The gardens there inspired her classic book, “The Secret Garden”. Read more . . .
Thomas Hardy wrote “Under the Greenwood Tree” and “Far From the Madding Crowd” in this lovely thatched-roofed cottage in Dorset. It was also his childhood home. Take the tour!
I wonder how many Easter baskets have held copies of Beatrix Potter’s books. Her Hill Top home , Near Sawrey, Ambleside, has a similar ambiance to Thomas Hardy’s, don’t you agree?
Do you wonder what goes on behind the scenes to maintain houses like hers? Click here.
If you haven’t already, click on the links in this post to see more and learn about the lives of these amazing writers.
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