The Literary Rabbit Hole
Any voracious reader will tell you, this activity is fraught with tempting diversions. One book can easily lead to twenty - an interest can become a fascination with hardly a whisper of warning, and before you can say “Hermione Granger”, you have fallen down a wondrous rabbit hole with doors leading off to a multitude of magical destinations. Is it any wonder London’s King Cross Station installed a Platform 9 and 3/4’s?
King's Cross Station, London
Fall in love with Mrs. Dalloway, for instance, and one is soon delightfully lost on the streets of Bloomsbury, making the acquaintance of all sorts of literary giants from E.M. Forster and T. S. Eliot. Virginia introduces you to Vita Sackville-West and you take a lateral shift to a love of gardening. Or you open a door to find Vanessa Bell, working on a portrait of her sister while across the room sits Duncan Grant, and in no time at all you have veered away from letters and plants and are immersed in art. Soon you are in a rental car heading to Monk’s House and Sissinghurst - Charleston House, and Berwick Church, a besotted and unabashed devotee.
Charleston, Sussex, England
Or perhaps you discover an old copy of The Pursuit of Love. You are tickled and enchanted and before you know it, you are reading the all the many letters of the infamous Mitford sisters, from authoress Nancy to communist Jessica. You become conversant on all things Mitford - from Unity’s unfortunate fascination with Hitler to Debo’s chickens. If you’re not careful, you’re in another rental car on the way to Chatsworth.....
Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, England
Daphne du Maurier beckons to Cornwall, the Brontes will lure you to Yorkshire.
Read Gerald Durrell and you are sure to long for the white-washed sun of Corfu. But few literary rabbit holes are deeper and more mysterious than the Southern one.
Most people are introduced to Southern literature by way of Harper Lee’s, To Kill a Mockingbird, a book that rest comfortably and deservedly atop many, if not most, “best books” lists. From there they are likely to discover Faulkner, Capote and Twain and journeys to Mississippi, Alabama and Missouri are being planned. I know from experience. Flannery O’Connor has called me to Andalusia, her peacock-dotted farm in Milledgeville, Georgia and recently, on the week of my birthday, I accepted Eudora Welty’s invitation to visit her lovely Tudor home in Jackson, Mississippi.
It was the late Eudora’s birthday week as well, so how could I refuse? Plus, known for her garden as she was, the Eudora Welty Trust was having a plant sale in her very own garden. As I have been in the process of redoing our back garden, this was too good to pass up. Some of Eudora’s plants in my very own garden, in view of my writing chair on the porch? What inspiration that would be! We took a slight side trip to somewhere utterly magical, too.
Watch this space for all the details next!
And I wonder….
Have you ever fallen down a literary rabbit hole like me?
If so, where did you go?
And who lured you there?
Or… who would you like to follow??
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Follow us for photos of our travels, our home, our garden, our adventures!
We’ll have fun!
Some of the authors mentioned in this post, in case you’re interested….
Click on the titles to see more.