The Southern Literary Trail is based on information prepared by a local organisation for independent travellers. More: southernliterarytrail.org. Susannah Fullerton and David Henderson will lead a Literary Landmarks of Northern Italy tour from September 26-October 18. More: asatours.com.au. • riverstreetinn.com • bourbonorleans.com other issues that fuel a series of ripper novels. And it’s here, at the splendid Stanton Hall, that I have the crispy, tender southern fried chicken I’ve been expecting.
Finally we reach New Orleans and the French Quarter, with its narrow streets, lacy balconies, courtyards with pretty fountains, jazz groups, plates of blackened catfish and dishes of gumbo stew. Tennessee Williams found the city suited him enormously, famously declaring, “People reinvent themselves here.” He and Capote were renowned for their carousing and drunkenness, as was Faulkner, Walt Whitman, John Galsworthy, Gertrude Stein, Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty and many more who fell under the spell of the Big Easy. Anne Rice, author of The Vampire Chronicles, was born here.
The list goes on but the tour ends at the charming Bourbon Orleans Hotel and our last dinner is at Galatoires on Bourbon Street, where Williams had Stella take Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire. I’m left reflecting on how the cotton barons, slavery, Civil War and the Civil Rights movement of the deep south states produced so much material for so many writers.