Paying a visit to the former homes-turned-museums of famous figures is arguably the best way to see exactly how they lived. When it comes to the onetime residences of famous writers, some of your favorite novels may have been written under that very roof.
Below, House Beautiful has rounded up a list of celebrated writers’ homes that you can visit, including the former residences of Edith Wharton, Walt Whitman, Ernest Hemingway, Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Anne Frank, Emily Dickinson, and Mark Twain.
The Mount, Lenox, Massachusetts
Built in 1902, The Mount is what Edith Wharton considered to be her “first real home.” The Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist decorated the dwelling’s interiors, while Ogden Codman Jr. (who co-authored The Decoration of Houses with Wharton) and Francis L. V. Hoppin designed the architecture.
Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site, Huntington Station, New York
The Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site in Huntington, New York is where the famed poet lived for the first five years of his life. Built in 1816, this two-story house made of cedar shingles was the work of the writer’s father, Walter Whitman Sr., who was a carpenter.
Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, Key West, Florida
The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West isn’t the only Hemingway abode on this list—but it is the only one that doubles as a home to countless cats, who often wander through the house (where they tend to nap on the furniture) and grounds. Built in 1851, this French Colonial–style abode was home to Hemingway and his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, from 1931 to 1939.
Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, Concord, Massachusetts
Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House is where the author penned her most famous novel, Little Women—and it’s also where the tome takes place, which is why the dwelling was recreated for director Greta Gerwig’s 2019 film adaptation of the iconic story. Built between 1700 and 1710, this historic dwelling was home to the Alcott family from 1858 to 1877.
Jane Austen’s House Museum, Chawton, England
Located just an hour outside London, Jane Austen’s House Museum is where the celebrated author lived for the last eight years of her life. Here, Austen wrote Emma, Persuasion, and Mansfield Park.
Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum, Montgomery, Alabama
The Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, is where Scott wrote Tender Is The Night and Zelda penned Save Me The Waltz. Today, the house operates as both a museum and the site of not one but two Airbnbs: One is an apartment, while the other is a suite, both of which are part of the house. The literary couple lived here from 1931 to 1932.
Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford, Connecticut
Built in 1874, in the Victorian Gothic architectural style, the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut, is a sight to behold thanks to its unique exterior and maximalist interiors—it’s definitely Instagrammable. Can’t see it in person? A virtual tour is available on the museum’s website, which can be found here.
The Anne Frank House, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Anne Frank and her family lived in what is now known as the Anne Frank House from 1942 to 1944, where the Franks hid from Nazis during World War II. During this time, the teenager kept a journal that would later become The Diary of a Young Girl, a book that has sold over 30 million copies and been translated into 70 languages.
Emily Dickinson Museum, Amherst, Massachusetts
The Emily Dickinson Museum boasts two historic houses on its grounds: the Dickinson Homestead (where Emily lived for most of her life) and the Evergreens (home to Emily’s brother and sister-in-law). The celebrated poet was born in the Homestead, and she lived here from 1855 to 1886. Since 1965, both homes have been open to the public—and replicated versions of them can be seen in Apple TV+’s Dickinson series.
Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Museum, Oak Park, Illinois
Located minutes from a bevy of Frank Lloyd Wright–designed homes, Ernest Hemingway’s Birthplace Museum in Oak Park, Illinois, is where the acclaimed author was born and spent the first six years of his life. His maternal grandparents built this Queen Anne–style Victorian home in 1890, and it was the first abode in all of Oak Park to have electricity.
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