THE WRIT­ING ROOMS

Chris­tine Ho­gan presents seven sa­cred sites for the lit­er­ary pil­grim

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

Jane Austen’s House Mu­seum, Chaw­ton, Hamp­shire, Eng­land: Austen lived here from 1809 to 1817. See what she meant when she wrote: ‘‘ There is noth­ing like stay­ing at home for real com­fort.’’ www.jane-austens-house-mu­seum.org.uk.

The Bronte Par­son­age and Mu­seum, Haworth, West York­shire, Eng­land: Pa­trick Bronte, his wife Maria and their six chil­dren moved here in 1820. In the din­ing room, Char­lotte, Emily and Anne did most of their writ­ing, cre­at­ing their canon of sib­ling mas­ter­pieces. www.bronte.org.uk.

Siss­inghurst Cas­tle, near Cran­brook, Kent, Eng­land: Vita Sackville-West was an avid gar­dener. ‘‘ A flow­er­less room is a soul­less room,’’ she wrote. Her writ­ing room is as she left it, on the first floor of a 16th­cen­tury tower. www.na­tion­al­trust.org.uk.

Thoor Bal­lylee, Gort, County Gal­way, Ire­land: To see where W. B. Yeats wrote The Tower and TheWind­ingS­tair , visit this charm­ing 16th-cen­tury tower be­side a stream. Yeats, with his wife and daugh­ter, moved here in 1919. Af­ter they left in 1929, the tower fell into dis­use but was re­stored in 1965. Now it is a mu­seum, show­ing a col­lec­tion of first edi­tions and some of the poet’s furniture. www.all-ire­land.com.

Mai­son de Balzac, Paris: This is the only house in which Honore de Balzac lived that still stands. Among the col­lec­tion gath­ered here is a first edi­tion of LaCome­die Hu­maine. www.balzac.paris.fr.

Mai­son Vic­tor Hugo, Paris: Over­look­ing the Place des Vos­ges is the large apart­ment where Vic­tor Hugo, au­thor of LesMis­er­ables and TheHunch­back­ofNotreDame, lived with his fam­ily from 1832 un­til they were forced out by the 1848 revo­lu­tion. On dis­play are ephemera of the writer’s life: furniture, draw­ings, manuscripts, inkwell and first edi­tions of his works. www.hugo-on­line.org.

Pablo Neruda’s house, Isla Ne­gra, Chile: From his home on Isla Ne­gra, Chile’s great­est poet watched the Pa­cific float away into the blue of the sky and wrote of what was in his line of sight. He is buried here with his muse, Matilde Ur­ru­tia. Neruda’s houses in Val­paraiso and San­ti­ago are also open to the pub­lic. www.visit-chile.org. about the past . . . I am only at home in the present.’’ He cer­tainly isn’t at home in La Ron­d­i­naia any more. It is his­tory to him now, as he is to it.

Sea muse: Neruda’s house at Val­paraiso

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