A study of literary tourism in North America as well as Britain, and a unique exploration of popular response to writers, literary house museums, and the landscapes or "countries" associated with their lives and works.
Author: Alison Booth
Publisher: Oxford University Press
This is the first full-length study of literary tourism in North America as well as Britain and a unique exploration of popular response to writers, literary house museums, and the landscapes or "countries" associated with their lives and works. An interdisciplinary study ranging from 1820-1940, Homes and Haunts: Touring Writers' Shrines and Countries unites museum and tourism studies, book history, narrative theory, theories of gender, space, and things, and other approaches to depict and interpret the haunting experiences of exhibited houses and the curious history of topo-biographical writing about famous authors. In illustrated chapters that blend Victorian and recent first-person encounters that range from literary shrines and plaques to guidebooks, memoirs, portraits, and monuments, Alison Booth discusses pilgrims such as William and Mary Howitt, Anna Maria and Samuel Hall, and Elbert Hubbard, and magnetic hosts and guests as Washington Irving, Wordsworth, Martineau, Longfellow, Hawthorne, James, and Dickens. Virginia Woolf's feminist response to homes and haunts shapes a chapter on Mary Russell Mitford, Gaskell, and the Brontes, and another on the Carlyles' house and Monk's House. Booth rediscovers collections of personalities, haunted shrines, and imaginative re-enactments that have been submerged by a century of academic literary criticism.