Ten Literary Places We'd Love to Visit

Today is a freebie week for Top Ten Tuesday, and we thought to participate with 10 answers to a question that preoccupied us more than once before. It goes like this: what (real) places depicted in books you'd most like to visit? We are always imagining what it would be like to trace our favorite characters' footsteps, so we selected 10 literary places we would love to see, in no particular order, and the books that triggered this wish. Feel free to share your own answers and let's build a map of literary travel destinations!


1. New Orleans, Louisiana: One of the most colorful and historic cities in the United States, New Orleans also boasts of a rich literary history. It's the setting for Tennessee Williams' classic play, Streetcar Named Desire, and William Faulkner's early short stories, New Orleans Sketches, both showing the city's dark edge.  Since Alexis is a Tennessee Williams fan and Claudia a William Faulkner groupie, you can see why the French Quarter is high on our list of places to see.

2. Dublin, Ireland: Do you know that Claudia spent quite some time in her life grappling with James Joyce and his work? That means that she needs a reward and visiting the setting of Dubliners and Ulysses might be just the thing. This is also the place she's most likely to visit in the near future.



3. Newport, Rhode Island: The summer playground of the Gilded Age's most elite citizens, it's no wonder this ultra-luxe resort town figures heavily in Edith Wharton's novels. Along with sweeping beach views, here you'll find some of the most glorious mansions ever created. Visit for a unique look back into the rarified world of Vanderbilts, Astors, and Whartons. (Also, Claudia needs to add, HENRY JAMES.)


4. Prince Edward Island, Canada:  Prince Edward Island is home to one of the most beloved literary heroines of all-time, the irrepressible Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables -- and home to some of the most charming countryside in Canada. Alexis was a huge Anne of Green Gables fan growing up, so this idyllic setting is one she would love to revisit in real life.

5. Cartagena, Colombia: This one is cheating a little, because Cartagena is not mentioned by name in Gabriel García Márquez' Love in the Time of Cholera, but we know it was the inspiration for the city depicted there and, people, we would love to visit. There was something almost hypnotic about the descriptions in that book and it would be nice to see if reality can live up to magical realism or not.

6. Swiss Alps, Switzerland: This one is obvious: HEIDI! Who didn't dream of being Heidi? But there is more to it than that. The last part of Heminway's A Farewell to Arms, the escape to Switzerland when things are shortly better before they get worse, gives you such a feeling of relief that to this day it colors our idea of the Alps. We can't think of the Alps without thinking Catherine and Henry live in a hut there somewhere, having successfully escaped the patrols.

7. Jamaica: Jamaica you might be wondering? Well, it turns out that Jamaica has quite the literary pedigree, thanks to Jane Eyre and its parallel novel, Wide Sargasso Sea. In Jane Eyre, we learn that Rochester's first wife, the doomed Bertha Mason, grew up in Spanish Town, Jamaica. Wide Sargasso Sea of course reimagines Bertha's story and her childhood on the lush Caribbean isle. Sign us up.    

8. Savannah, Georgia: A true gem of a city, Savannah is the setting for the modern nonfiction classic, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the eccentic culture of one of American's oldest cities. Savannah is also the birthplace of Flannery O'Connor, one of the best-known voices in Southern literature. And it is the Southern city we'd most like to visit.


 9. Florence, Italy: Many of our favorite novels take place in various cities in Italy, but Florence won, as the charming setting for E.M. Forster's A Room with a View and Henry James' The Portrait of a Lady. So happy endings, unhappy endings, Florence can foreshadow them all. Plus history and beautiful architecture. Oh, where did I put my Baedeker?

10. Lyme Regis, England: This town, or more particularly the Cobb, is the place where Anne Elliot proves herself to be trustworthy in a crisis in Jane Austen's Persuasion. It comes recommended by Jane Austen herself. And if that is not enough to convince you (although it should be), the Cobb also features in John Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman. That famous scene of Sarah staring out to sea and looking very dramatic indeed? Now that we know where it takes place, we might just reenact it.

What about you? What literary places would you like to visit (or visited already)? 


27 comments:

  1. Awesome list! I totally want to go to Prince Edward Island to see Anne's country.

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    1. Glad you liked it & thanks for dropping by :)

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  2. Prince Edward Island is a me-three. I'd love to live there, actually.

    Here's my
    Top Ten Books on Happiness.
    It would make me so happy if you stop by!

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    1. Hey, thanks for dropping by! Your list is lovely.

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  3. Loved your list! Combines my two favorite things, travel and reading. :)

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    1. Glad you liked it. We love both of those things too :D

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  4. Fantastic idea for this week's TTT! Prince Edward Island is a lovely island, very picturesque. I would say it's pretty much the most charming countryside here in Canada that I've seen (haven't gone out west though). And Florence, naturalmente, is just a gorgeous city filled with art and history <3

    Thanks for dropping by my blog earlier! =)

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    1. Hi there. It's so nice to hear from people who visited these places. We hope to do that as well one day. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  5. These would all be amazing places to visit! The only place I've been is Florence, although I'm going to New Orleans next week! Woohoo! I would love to go to Prince Edward Island and channel my inner Anne Shirley.

    Thanks for stopping by my SYTYCD-inspired TTT!

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    1. Yay for New Orleans! Have fun and thanks for the comment.

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  6. Hey, I've been to Lyme Regis! It's pretty nice :). I especially want to go to New Orleans, not necessarily even because of any books, but just because it seems amazing!

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    1. You've been to Lyme Regis? That's awesome :)

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  7. Oooh, I want to visit all those places! But then, I think the farest I have ever been was Berlin.. Which takes a few hours from the town I live in, so.. c_c

    Awesome list and great pictures!

    Patricia // My Post

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    1. Yeah, we haven't traveled that much either. But someday...

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  8. Florence, Italy, yes please! I have dreams of going to Italy someday. I've never been and I've booked it for my first holiday when I have the money.

    I'd love to go to Santorini in Greece. I fell in love with ever since I watched The Sisterhood of Travelling Pants. And I'd like to visit Whitby and Translyvania purely because of Dracula. :)

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    1. Oh, between the two of us we've seen Greece and Transylvania. They're both lovely (in different ways) :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. I dragged my husband to PEI on our honeymoon and he enjoyed it almost as much as I did. He was very forebearing about my starry-eyed Anne Shirley moments.

    I long to go to Bath for my Jane Austen fix. I'll have to add Lyme Regis to my list.

    I think London must be near the top of my list of literary destinations. Dickens, Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot... so many voices there, layers upon layers. I was there briefly years ago; but a couple of days just doesn't do it justice.

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    1. Melanie, thank you for stopping by! We're very thrilled to have discovered your Waste Land series today via Emily's blog. Only read the introduction post so far, but we're really looking forward to the rest of them.

      And yes, Bath and London were both on our extended list, but there were too many things/books to mention about London and Bath and Lyme Regis were somewhat similar, so they didn't make the cut. We would, however, love to visit them (or visit them again, in the case of London).

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    2. The feeling is mutual. I'm very thrilled to have found your blog via Emily's.

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  10. What an awesome list! I would love to go to Savannah and Prince Edward Island!

    I was lucky enough to live in the UK for a couple of years in my early 20s, so I was able to see so many great literary locations. London is just amazing, especially when it comes to Dickens novel locations. Also, John Keats' house that he shared with Fanny Brawne is there! Bath is lovely for Austen fans; Cambridge and Oxford both have lots of great literary history; the moors of Northern England remind me of Wuthering Heights and The Secret Garden; and, of course, there is Sherwood Forest. This is basically my visit Britain advertisement. Hope no one minds!

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    1. Mind? We loved your suggestions! Thank you for sharing. Claudia was supposed to visit the UK this summer (including Lyme Regis and many of the above locations) but it fell through :( But soon!

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  11. I know I have to make it to good old PEI some day for the smae reason. Maybe even Nova Scotia and McGill too for bonus points!
    Joyce is not my impetus for wanting to go to Dublin, but props to you for that as well. This list is a fabulous idea, I'm adding it to my mental arsenal.

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  12. Every single time I read a book I feel like I desperately want to visit the city in which it was set.

    I've been to Florence and it was beautiful. I was sick at the time and had a fever but still thought it was one of the most beautiful cities I'd ever been to. So very different from Australia where we don't have any ancient architecture or anything like that.

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    1. We're the same way. Every city described in a book sounds like *such* a good idea. Thanks for dropping by!

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  13. I want to visit every single place in your list, particularly Dublin, New Orleans, and Lyme Regis. I might even try to read James Joyce again if I'm going to be rewarded with a trip to Dublin. :)

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    1. I think bookstores should consider this as a legit way of promoting Joyce. Buy a book, get a free trip to Dublin & a beer :D

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