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Visiting the Homes of Famous American Authors

Updated on April 22, 2013
Visiting the homes of famous authors in America can give readers a whole new perspective n and appreciation for their favorite writers. (Author pictured is Mark Twain.)
Visiting the homes of famous authors in America can give readers a whole new perspective n and appreciation for their favorite writers. (Author pictured is Mark Twain.) | Source

Touring Famous Authors' Houses in the United States

I can't remember a time when I didn't love to read--I've turned to books for entertainment, solace, and new experiences. Literature especially has held a place in my heart--enjoying a story that's been loved, debated, and discussed by entire generations of readers before you forges a special kind of connection to the human race.

Often, when you really love a story, your appreciation doesn't stop at the last written page--you want to know more about the author, and his or her life, influences, and inspirations. A biography can suffice as a source of learning, but visiting the house where your favorite author wrote, walked, and lived can both connect you with the author and give you a better understanding of his or her work.

Top houses of famous authors to visit in America include Mark Twain's house in Mississippi, Ernest Hemingway's house in Florida, and the houses of Lousia May Alcott and Edith Wharton, both in Massachusetts.

Mark Twain's Hartford, Connecticut, home is where he wrote some of his most beloved novels.
Mark Twain's Hartford, Connecticut, home is where he wrote some of his most beloved novels. | Source

Mark Twain's House in Hartford, Connecticut

If your favorite author is Mark Twain, then his house in Hartford, Connecticut is a must-visit. Twain and his family lived in the ornate home from 1874 to 1891, and during his years there Twain penned several of his most famous books, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

It's a veritable mansion--11,500 square feet and 25 rooms--and sumptuously decorated inside by Tiffany & Co's Associated Artists.

The Mark Twain House & Museum is located at 351 Farmington Avenue in Hartford, Connecticut and is open seven days a week; you can view it on guided tours only.

Hemingway's Home in Key West Florida gives you a glimpse of how the great American author lived and wrote.
Hemingway's Home in Key West Florida gives you a glimpse of how the great American author lived and wrote. | Source

Ernest Hemingway's House in Key West, Florida

Ernest Hemingway pioneered a distinctly American, masculine style of writing--short, pared down sentences that nonetheless pack a strong visual and emotional punch. The man himself was complicated, plagued by self-doubt and alcoholism. However, he was also fascinating, and his house in Key West, Florida is well-preserved and a great way to connect with your favorite author.

Hemingway lived in the Key West house from 1931 to 1940, and highlights of the property include his incredibly expensive (at the time) in-ground limestone swimming pool and the plethora of six-toed cats that live on the property (descendants of his beloved cat Snowball). The house also features original furniture and an original piece of Picasso that Picasso himself gifted to Hemingway.

The Hemingway Home is located at 907 Whitehead Street in Key West, Florida, and is open seven days a week for guided tours or self-guided tours.

Orchard House, where Louisa May Alcott wrote the beloved children's classic "Little Women," is open to the public.
Orchard House, where Louisa May Alcott wrote the beloved children's classic "Little Women," is open to the public. | Source

Louisa May Alcott's House in Concord, Massachusetts

There are few books more beloved than Little Women, Louisa May Alcott's tale of family life and growing up set during the Civil War. Alcott wrote and set the novel at Orchard House, her family's home in Concord, Massachusetts, where they lived from 1858 to 1877.

The house features roughly 80% of the Alcotts' furnishings from the period when they inhabited the house, so you can really get a feel for how Alcott lived and the surroundings that informed and inspired her writing.

Orchard House is located at 399 Lexington Road in Concord, Massachusetts, and is open year-round.

Edith Wharton's sweeping estate in Lenox, Massachusetts is open for tours, allowing readers to see how she lived and where she wrote.
Edith Wharton's sweeping estate in Lenox, Massachusetts is open for tours, allowing readers to see how she lived and where she wrote. | Source

Edith Wharton's House in Lenox, Massachusetts

Arguably one of the most impressive author's homes in America, Edith Wharton's house (called the Mount) was built in 1902 and designed by Wharton herself. She had a deep, passionate interest in both interior design and gardening, and as such the home where she wrote some of her greatest works is a showplace.

The estate includes not only the mansion and grounds, but also a stable, a greenhouse, and a gatehouse. Henry James, Wharton's good friend and another treasure of American literature, visited and stayed at the Mount, as well.

The Mount is located at 2 Plunkett Street in Lenox, Massachusetts; while the grounds are open to visitors year-round, the house is not open during the off-season.

Famous Authors' Homes in America

A
Mark Twain's House:
351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, CT 06105, USA

get directions

B
Ernest Hemingway's House:
907 Whitehead Street, Key West, FL 33040, USA

get directions

C
Louisa May Alcott's House:
399 Lexington Road, Concord, MA 01742, USA

get directions

D
Edith Wharton's House:
2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA 01240, USA

get directions

Comments

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    • marwan asmar profile image

      Marwan Asmar 

      6 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      Very nice piece, I want to know more, you are absolutely right, its always interesting to know how these novelists lived.

    • SaffronBlossom profile imageAUTHOR

      SaffronBlossom 

      6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thank you! I will have to expand this hub later and add those--I would love to see the actual House of the Seven Gables. One of my dream vacations is just to hit several authors' homes over the course of a few weeks!

    • profile image

      Sandra O'Carey 

      6 years ago

      Great topic! Concord, MA has other related sites, such as Emerson's house and the Old Manse. Hawthorne has some history there, as well as in Salem, MA. The actual House of the Seven Gables is a must see! Philadelphia has a Poe House, run by National Park Service.

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