Thursday, April 05, 2012

A Sneak Peek into the Bedrooms of Famous Writers

Victor Hugo's Parisian Bedroom

I came across an intriguing article today which provides a sneak peek into the bedrooms of celebrated writers. How authors lived and chose to decorate their personal space is a topic of great fascination for me. Seeing the places where they lived and wrote truly brings these famous figures to life -- it's a reminder that while they produced extraordinary masterpieces they often lived ordinary lives. I revere certain writers to such an extent that I sometimes forget this simple fact! And while I've personally visited the former homes of some of my beloved authors in the past two years, in my personal experience coming across a well maintained bedroom is something special.

After sifting through the photos I've selected two favourites. I love the dramatic Victorian decor of Victor Hugo's bedroom in his Parisian home. All that red! In fact, as soon I laid eyes on this photo I immediately thought of The Red Room in Jane Eyre where the young Jane is locked away for the night, terrified by the conviction that her uncle's ghost haunts the space. Doesn't that red plush armchair look like a cozy spot to curl up with a book?

On the other hand, Virginia Woolf's boudoir (I just love using that word!) seems to be the most literary. The amply-stocked bookshelves and painting above the mantelpiece make this room terribly inviting. If you're half as obsessed with author homes as I home, you'll get a kick out of these fascinating photos.

Virginia Woolf's Bedroom

P.S. I find it quite comforting that for some of these contemporary writers the bedroom becomes a messy workplace. When I'm in the midst of writing essays under a deadline, all hell breaks loose in my bedroom. Papers are strewn here and there, candy wrappers (I must have sugar when stressed) wedge themselves into every available space, clothes litter the floor as all thoughts of tidiness give way to the pressure of producing a a good piece of writing. In, short, it ain't pretty!


Jillian said...

I liked Dickinson & Thoreau's! :)

Diana said...

I'm such an idiot. Somehow I missed Thoreau's bedroom entirely. But you're right, it's lovely. Simple but cosy. :)

Danny said...

I'm dying to visit Monk's House next year, and see Virginia's home.

Diana said...

So am I! A visit to Monk's House is at the top of my literary pilgrimage list for my next stop in Britain. And Dove Cottage. And the Keats House in Hampstead Heath.

The literary pilgrimage is an addiction. Beware! :)

Caro said...

My 'places to visit before I die' list keeps getting longer. I'm adding quite a few authors' houses to it now! Hugo's and Woolf's bedrooms are stunning.
Also: you should be ashamed of keeping your room messy, says the girl whose desk is no more than a vague memory buried under various stacks of books ;)

Diana said...

It's clean sometimes! ;)

I'm becoming increasingly interested in literature-themed travel outings. They mean so much to me on a personal level, and in my experience they're significantly less crowded than many of the tourist attractions. It allows for a more intimate experience, if you know what I mean.

Maybe I should draw up a list of all the literary sites I'd like to visit...but that would get out of hand pretty quickly.