Thursday, July 18, 2013

Places to Visit for Writers and Readers

I love to visit the places where writers worked or lived. Here is a site that might interest you if you feel the same. Many of the places listed are in Europe so they are out of reach for me, although I did hit a couple of their favorites here in the United States.

We have been to Hannibal, Missouri several times to visit the land of Mark Twain. I remember one of my small sons calling out "Mark Twain" one night as he raced ahead of us in the dark on the levy. When a voice hollered in from the river saying, "Yes, I am and who are you?", he stopped dead in his tracks and no longer wanted to be alone in the dark.

Again while the boys were pretty young, we visited Robert Frost's home in Vermont. Oh, how I loved it there, a small house tucked in under pine trees with a poetry path soft with fallen pine needles. The boys were not interested in anything but getting on down the road. DH and I returned years later and I lingered there.

Another family vacation involved Red Cloud, Nebraska and the home of Willa Cather. Now the boys were big enough to laugh at me. WHO would want to stop in Red Cloud where there was NOTHING. Once they were home, they continued to tell people how Mother wanted to go to Red Cloud for Pete's sakes! Why did she always want to go to houses of dead people? DH and I again returned later to Red Cloud. The town is small but wonderful allowing visitors to feel the characters and times from Cather's work. Of course, the surrounding landscape is also a character in her writings.

I have been to Faulkner's Rowan Oak in Mississippi and through Flannery O'Conner's town in Georgia. Unfortunately, her Andalusia was closed the day we were there which was a big disappointment to me. Also I have been to Kate Chopin's home in the South, although I think she was originally from St. Louis.

I also visited Carl Sandburg's tiny house near the train tracks in Illinois. While I have favorite poems of his like "Fog", I have not studied a lot of Sandburg. He was an interesting man, and I have a reprint of his signed poem "Fog" on my office wall to remind me tiny lines can live long!

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

How about you? What author sites have you visited?


Sioux said...

Sadly, only Mark Twain's home. I'd love to visit Emily Dickinson's home, along with Charles Dickens'.

I did visit Juliette, Georgia twice (it's where the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes" was filmed) and each time my son was puzzled why we stopped there. A movie about killing a man and then BBQing him? He could not grasp why it was so appealing...

Linda O'Connell said...

Oh what a fun thing to do. I've been to Hannibal. You do such exciting trips. Thanks for taking us along.

Lynn said...

Just Mark Twain, but sounds like fun to plan trips around writers!

Donna Volkenannt said...

What fun! I've been to Mark Twain's house in Hannibal. While in Savannah, I got to see Flannery O'Connor's home, although it wasn't open, so I just took photos. While in London, I visited The Old Curiosity Shop made famous by Charles Dickens, and I still have the bookmark I bought there.

Susan said...

Hi Bookie...Nice post and great photos. Thanks for sharing.

Let's see, I've never been to Robert Frost's house in Vermont but I'd love to go.

I've been to Herman Melville's "Arrowhead," in Pittsfield, MA; to Mark Twain's house in Hartford, CT (loved the room with all the plants); Emily Dickinson's house in Amherst, MA: William Cullan Bryant's house in Cummington, MA;and Edith Wharton's "The Mount" (gorgeous mansion) in Lenox, MA.

I LOVE visiting writers' houses. Susan

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

I'm embarrassed to say that living right here in Atlanta I've never been to the Margaret Mitchell house. Shame on me. I have visited Nathaniel Hawthorne's residence in Massachusetts, though.

Thanks for the poem. I've always loved the power of the imagery in that and it was great to be reminded of it again.

BECKY said...

I've visited Margaret Mitchell's house/apartment in Atlanta! Isn't that the way we usually are? Not bothering to see the sites in our own cities? I LOVED it. I couldn't imagine writing such a huge novel on an ancient typewriter!
Very interesting post, Claudia!

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