Literary Locales

Today I opened an email from AbeBooks.com sending me to a link on their site where they’ve listed towns with literary names. These towns weren’t named intentionally for a famous author but coincidentally bear the same name.

This got me to thinking about places I’ve visited in my lifetime that actually did have a literary connection.

Malabar Farm

The historical home I remember visiting when I was a kid was Malabar Farm in Monroe County, Ohio just south of Mansfield. It was the home of author Louis Bromfield, a Pulitzer Prize winner, hollywood screenwriter and conservationist.

I’m sure we went for a visit because of my mother’s love for literature although I remember being much more excited to see the living room in the old farm house where Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart were married. That’s what sticks out in my mind, the black and white photo of Bogie and Bacall taken right in the same spot where I was standing. It didn’t get much cooler than that for a gawky, movie star obsessed teenager like me!

Bogie and Bacall wedding day

I’m embarrassed to admit it but I have yet to read one of Mr. Bromfield’s novels. I own at least one of them but it’s buried away on some shelf with the rest of the books filed under “one day I will read this book…promise”. Maybe when I get home I will dig it out and crack it open but I’m not holding my breath!

Charles Dickens Museum

The only other author’s residence I’ve been inside is one that Charles Dickens lived in for only two years, 1837-39.

I visited The Charles Dickens Museum way back in the 70’s when I was on a trip with a couple of college friends. I remember writing this house on our list of “must see” sights when we were in London and then being sorely disappointed when we finally managed to find it.  I recall that most of the items in the museum were not original to the home or even owned by Charles Dickens and the cost of admission was pretty steep for a couple of broke students. But as I go back and look at their current website I see that they’ve closed the museum for a major refurbishment, so maybe on my next journey across the pond I will give it another go!

Other places I’ve visited that have literary associations:

Gramercy Park in New York City ~~ associated with Edith Wharton and setting for many of my favorite novels.

–Hannibal, Missouri~~Mark Twain

–Key West, Florida~~Earnest Hemingway

One of many watering holes claiming that Papa Hemingway drank here! We made sure to honor him with a toast!

Langham Hotel London~~Oscar Wilde, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Noel Coward,
W. Somerset Maugham 

Langham Hotel

Our fancy schmancy hotel room in the Langham

–Oak Park, Illinois~~Earnest Hemingway

Washington Square Park/ Greenwich Village~~Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James, Bob Dylan

Okay, the next couple of pictures might be a bit of a cheat for those that don’t consider J. K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series to be literature, but I will humbly disagree and thus will conclude this post with two of my all time favorite book related visits!

Universal Studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Universal Studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter

jumped in the queue at King's Cross Station with lots of kiddos to take this snap! My hubby has the patience of a saint 🙂

What literary related haunts have you visited or are there any on your bucket list? I can’t be the only book nerd that loves this kind of stuff….well then again maybe I am! 🙂

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