Pryday #6

Hello and welcome to the weekend! My three day respite from work is much welcomed and anticipated. I plan to spend it reading, de-cluttering, and unpacking boxes that are still awaiting my attention from the move. Thinking about houses and domesticity led me to this week’s Pryday question:

Which author’s birthplace or home would you like to visit? Or, which one have you visited that you can recommend?

As much as I’d love to visit Haworth Parsonage or Monk’s House, the place I’m most eagerly interested in visiting  is The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Wharton was well-known for her passion and talent for interior design and her home illustrates her love for creating beautiful spaces. If ever I’m on the East Coast, The Mount will be on my agenda of places to visit.

Though non-literary, Georgia O’Keeffe’s home, Abiquiu, in New Mexico is also on my wish list to visit some day. It is also much closer to home.

How about you? What literary (or artistic) destinations are calling your name?

16 comments / Add your comment below

  1. On my first ever trip to the UK I travelled down to Lyme Regis solely because it was where John Fowles lived, and because he had used it as the setting for The French Lieutenant’s Woman. I have no idea where his actual home was, but I wanted to walk on the cobb, which featured both in that book and in Persuasion. I loved it, and have tried to go back there twice, but snow intervened both times and force me to cancel my plans.

    Each time I go back to England I try to visit a few literary locations, but I usually choose places, streets and buildings mentioned in the stories I have read, rather than where an author lived. I think it is because when you grow up in Australia, you spend your childhood reading about unfamiliar and inaccessible places on the other side of the world, and almost never about the world you know. Or so it was for people my age; I’m sure Tim Winton and authors like him are changing that now.

  2. I’ve also always wanted to visit The Mount – for me, it has an added attraction in the fact that Wharton was a keen and talented gardener. I’ve seen her gardens and conservatory featured in several magazines.
    I would also love to visit Charleston, the home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, which was the setting for so many Bloomsbury escapades!

    1. Oh, yes, her gardens look lovely. An all-around beautiful place to visit. And Charleston would be quite a treat also. I just ordered a book at work called Bloomsbury at Home that I’m sure will have some great information on Charleston.

  3. When I was in England in 2005, I got to fulfill a long-time dream and visit Jane Austen’s home in Chawton. It was so overwhelming to see things like the topaz cross her brother gave her, which she mentions in her letters, and a patchwork quilt she helped sew. I’d still like to visit some of the Laura Ingalls Wilder sites here in the states, and also Louisa May Alcott’s house in Concord. I lived in Massachusetts for two years and never made it there!

    1. How exciting that you got to visit Chawton! I can only dream… Oooh, Louisa May Alcott’s home would also be wonderful – too bad you didn’t get there when you lived in proximity!

  4. I’d also like to visit Edith Wharton’s home, the garden looks luscious but I know I won’t ever go there because I couldn’t stand such a long journey. Chawton is one on my list and Agatha Christie’s home in Devon – Greenways is one I hope to get around to some day.

  5. Oh, I’m DYING to see The Mount, I’m a huge Edith Wharton fan! I’m trying to think of an excuse to go out to the Berkshires. And of course I’d love to see Bath and Chawton and Lyme and all of the Jane Austen places. And Cornwall! I love Daphne du Maurier so I have to go there someday.

    My in-laws live in Florida near Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’s house, so I keep saying I’m going to visit that someday too (mostly we just go to DisneyWorld, so that usually takes up all the spare time).

    And a couple of years ago I got to visit Pearl S. Buck’s home in Bucks County, PA, which was really lovely. Definitely worth a visit, though I was disappointed they didn’t sell more books in the gift shop. She wrote tons of books but the only one for sale was The Good Earth.

    1. I didn’t even know that you could visit Rawlings’s or Buck’s homes! So bizarre that only The Good Earth is sold in the gift shop of the latter’s home. You would think they’d want to introduce visitors to her other work!

  6. One of the most special houses that I’ve visited is Lucy Boston’s house, Hemmingford Grey Manor (second oldest house in England and hugely atmospheric, but even more so if you’ve read the Green Knowe books). I also once visited the house that was the original for Tom’s Midnight Garden, a treat as it isn’t open to the public.
    But houses that I’ve yet to see … it would be hard to choose between Edith Wharton’s and Louisa M Alcott’s.

Thank you for reading and commenting.

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