Monday, May 04, 2015

English Writers' Houses

This is a great piece by Nick Channer on the homes behind some of the great works of English literature.

The Brontë sisters: The Parsonage, West Yorkshire

‘Haworth expresses the Brontës; the Brontës express Haworth,’ wrote Virginia Woolf after a visit to the home of the three sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne. ‘They fit like a snail to its shell.’ One of the first things visitors see is the dining room, which was also a parlour where family members gathered and where the Brontë sisters fleshed out their novels, endlessly circling the table and reading extracts aloud to each other. Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey were written here.

Dylan Thomas: The Boat House, Carmarthenshire

Thomas moved to the Boat House at Laugharne, 40 miles west of Swansea, in 1949. It was the house of which the poet and his wife always dreamed. The view from his writing shed – a ‘water and tree room on the cliff’ – inspired many of his poems. Here he would observe the eternal cycle of the tide and the variable, often dramatic, weather conditions of the estuary. Visitors find the cluttered study strewn with books, cigarette packets and discarded notes, just as it was when Thomas was working.

Lord Byron: Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire

Overlooking lakes, gardens and 300 acres of parkland, Newstead Abbey was almost in ruins when Byron inherited the estate at the age of ten. In addition to hosting wild parties, he indulged in pistol practice in the Great Hall, boxed in the drawing room and allowed a tame bear and a wolf to roam the corridors.

More: The Guardian

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