I think it was Becca‘s post about Daphne du Maurier, and my recent purchase of Letters from Menabilly, which got me thinking about authors’ houses, and visiting them. A while ago my friend Barbara-from-Ludlow wrote to me, mentioning a course she was running – the importance of the horse in literature; as an extra character; providing atmosphere etc. etc…. I was bemused until I realised that I had misread ‘horse’ where she had in fact written ‘house’… !
Authors’ own homes are fascinating. I find it really interesting to see where other bloggers are blogging from – and have provided shots of my views in Magdalen and Somerset – but it is even more engaging to seek out the stamping grounds of my favourite writers. Sometimes these are open to the public – like Jane Austen’s lovely home in Hampshire, Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Batemans’, and Thomas Hardy’s in Dorset – others, like AA Milne’s and EM Delafield’s aren’t. In fact, with both of those, I had to use my knowledge from biographies to find the house – the photos are below – and took the photos illicitly by running down the driveways.. It is Milne’s and Delafield’s which felt most special, because, being privately owned, it felt more like I was visiting them rather than a tourist attraction. I suppose seeing the home is a step away from visiting the author; makes them more tangible and almost friendly.
E. M. Delafield’s in Kentisbeare, Devon – I first went there in 2005, and lost the photo when my computer crashed. Our Vicar’s Wife very kindly took this picture for me on a return visit through the village.
AA Milne’s house in East Sussex, hidden away along a rough track – a very special moment for me. Taken in the days before the digital camera, so this is a photo of a photo… it sat on my wall at university, and confused those who thought I lived there (I wish!)
Which authors’ houses have you visited? Open to the public or, like me, hunted out? Do tell…