Relive Your Childhood: 10 of Your Favorite Author’s Homes You Can Visit Today
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Although it isn’t actually the house where she was born, a rough log cabin commemorates the location near Pepin, Wisconsin where Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in 1867. Although the house is a replica, it was built to match the description in her book Little House in the Big Woods. Wilder moved around the countryside first as a girl, and then as a young wife before she and her husband Almanzo settled in Mansfield, Missouri. She held a position in a local publication called the Missouri Ruralist from 1911 to around 1920, until the Stock Market Crash of 1929 forced her to use her skills as a writer to contribute to the family income. Her first book, Little House in the Big Woods, came out in 1932, and after that, a whole series of books that chronicled her childhood as a pioneer.
Harper Lee was one of the greatest living American authors, and in her lifetime, she only published two books — To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), and before her death in 2016, Lee published Go Set a Watchman in 2015, which was originally billed as a ‘sequel’, but was later revealed to be an early first draft of To Kill a Mockingbird.
Lee grew up in Monroeville, Alabama, and the modest home that she shared with her sister is still there. If you’re visiting Monroeville to see the place most closely associated with this American treasure, you’ll want to pay a visit to the Monroeville courthouse where the events that inspired the book took place. For the last 22 years, performers take over the courthouse every spring to reenact a theatrical version of To Kill a Mockingbird.
J. M. Barrie
J. M. Barrie had already made a name for himself as an author and playwright before he met the young boys who inspired his most famous work — Peter Pan, (or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up) was written first as a play in 1904, then as a novel called Peter and Wendy in 1911. Barrie wrote this story after becoming acquainted with the Llewelyn Davies family — parents Sylvia and Arthur had five sons that Barrie would spend time with, and the Peter Pan character was taken from stories that he would often tell the boys. Although he spent most of his later years in London, he was born in a small village called Kirriemuir, just north of Edinburgh, Scotland. The small cottage where he spent his early years along with his seven siblings is open to the public.