Open Book Hop – My literary pilgrimage

Have you ever gone on a literary pilgrimage, and if so where and why?

I have done a few literary pilgrimages to visit the homes and other places associated with famous poets and authors I admire. The reasons for my visits are because I am absolutely fascinated by people and how they lived and worked and wrote. I love seeing their homes and learning more about them.

During our trip to the UK in August 2017 we visited Stratford-upon-Avon and visited the home of Anne Hathaway as well as the birth place of William Shakespeare.

Anne Hathaway’s cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon
The other side of Anne Hathaway’s cottage – so pretty and quaint
Replica of the main bedroom at Anne Hathaway’s cottage
The birthplace of William Shakespeare
Window in Shakespeare’s birth place signed by a lot of famous authors including Charles Dickens
The garden behind Shakespeare’s birth place. There were a few young aspiring actors practicing their Shakespearean acts in the garden on this particular day which was very nice for us.

Have you visited Stratford-upon-Avon? If you had to go on a literary pilgrimage, whose home would you visit?

I have been to numerous other famous houses including the Bronte Museum, the home of Robert Burns, the home of Charles Darwin, the home of Erasmus Darwin and Sherlock Holmes’ house. We have also visited The Globe Theatre in London which was fascinating.

I would have visited more but we have to be fair during our holidays so it alternates between one female choice of destination and then one male choice. Luckily for me, I am the only female in our family of four. I wonder who decided on the venue selection mechanism – tee hee.

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60 thoughts on “Open Book Hop – My literary pilgrimage

      1. No I haven’t. Unfortunately I’ve only made it to London, always for work so no time to go outside the city – except for when I had meetings with Prince Edward at Windsor Castle!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I had the same issue in Siena in Italy…the central city is closed to cars and so there are dozens of parking lots surrounding it – all packed to the rafters the day we drove through!

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  1. I haven’t been to Stratford Upon Avon but have been to Jane Austen’s cottage in Chawton, and like you, to the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth. I love visiting the homes of favourite authors.

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  2. This is a great idea for a book hop, Robbie! I get goose bumps just thinking about entering the place that Shakespeare lived and wrote. I’ve been to Louisa May Alcott’s house in Concord, Massachusetts and Ernest Hemingway’s house in Key West, the latter coming with lots of colorful “lore.” My dream pilgrimage would be to William Faulkner’s house in Oxford, MIssissippi.

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      1. Yes. I worked for a company based in Meridian, MS. I had clients in Memphis, took a right, hit Oxford on the way. I got paid the drive the Natchez Trace, end up in New Orleans. This was 20+ years ago, when places like Baton Rouge and parts of NO, Memphis, were in much better shape.
        Oxford is part of the Blues Trail and when you’re a musical instrument product specialist (even if not a guitarist) you need to not only talk Faulkner in MS but know about other famous things from Oxford like Fat Possum Records. All kinds of culture, the kinds Faulkner brought into his work. Catfish, Faulkner and Delta Blues. Sort of a Mississippi Trinity.

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  3. Great post Roberta, I particularly like the signatures on the windows….how awesome is that? What a pretty part of the world Stratford-upon-Avon is.

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    1. I love the UK, it is so pretty and packed with fascinating places. I am disappointed that we can’t travel this year. We were going to Glastonbury Abbey and Wales. There is always next year. Thanks for visiting, Sue.

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  4. We have visited Shakespeare’s house too, but not Anne Hathaway’s cottage. I remember that I loved the house and immersed myself for a moment in Shakespeare’s life. When we came out of the house I saw a gaudy Christmas shop opposite complete with a ho-ho-ho-ing Santa outside. Ugh. It was August!

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    1. That is funny, Stevie, but then, I bought Christmas decorations last year in August in the UK. Amazing ones too. It is inspiring to visit the homes of such a talented and amazing writer. I love Shakespeare and introduced my boys to his works early on.

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  5. I would love to visit Shakespeare’s birthday and Anne Hathaway’s cottage. I did visit the home of Charles Dickens. I think that is all for now. Hopefully more, one day.

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    1. I haven’t been to Charles Dickens’ house, Norah. It was in my plan for this years holiday. That has been delayed sadly. I am hoping to go to St Lucia Bay in South Africa instead. There is a hippo sanctuary there which interests me greatly.

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  6. Although not the birthplace of an author, I’ve toured the House of Seven Gables in Salem, Massachusetts. I still remember the hidden staircase which was tricky to navigate.

    The photos are awesome, Robbie. I especially loved learning about that window in Shakespeare’s birthplace. .

    I also like the way you pick vacation destinations, LOL!

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    1. Haha, Mae, I am incredibly bossy and selfish about my bucket list. Luckily, I can wind all three of the males in my life around my finger. I have not read the book to which that house relates, I have only read The Scarlet Letter, which I loved. I have added this to my growing list of classic reads. Thank you!

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  7. I have never had the pleasure of visiting either of these places, but what a cool thing to do. The closest I’ve gotten is visiting Margaret Mitchell’s house in Atlanta. That was awesome! Thank you for sharing, Robbie!

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    1. Hi Jan, I would love to visit Margaret Mitchell’s house. She is a marvelous author. There are quite a few author’s homes in America that I have on my bucket list including Laura Ingalls Wilder’s house.

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  8. I remember you writing about your holiday at these places after your trip, Robbie.

    We missed visiting Shakespeare’s birthday when we wear in London. I could see it from the distance, but the rain delayed us and we missed visiting some places. I’ve visited Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, and saw her original diary in the showcase and learned about her story. She didn’t survived. When her father discovered her diary, he worked on it to published it in 1950 had it translated into 70 languages. I also visited Jane Austen House in London even though it was not her birthplace.

    As far as music, I visited Mozart’s birthplace in Austria.

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    1. Hi Miriam, I did write about this visit before in 2018 when we went to Stratford-upon-Avon.I have read Anne Frank’s diary a few times and would love to visit her house if we ever get to Amsterdam. It is a place I want to visit. I have not been Austria, but Mozart’s birthplace sounds wonderful.

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      1. Amsterdam is a neat place. It’s below sea level so channel is zigzagging the city. Most of the people ride bicycles. If you like art, you can also visit Van Gogh museum. Prostitute and drug are legal there.

        We passed by the Von Trapp family home in Austria – the family in The Sound of Music, but we didn’t go to the place where they filmed the movie.

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  9. I did some research and found that while Laura Ingall Wilder was born in Wisconsin, there are other homes that she lived in to choose from, spread across several states. That could complicate things!

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  10. I had a great books teacher in high school who said “If you want to learn to write, read Shakespeare and the Bible.” I thought she was nuts. Later on she expounded, “Because there are no bigger stories, that’s why. Every other book you ever read is derivative.” Well…
    If you want to see magic, go to Venice. Mesmerizing to as diverse a crowd as Byron to Hemingway. Ride under the Bridge of Sighs, see Byron name it. Stand in front of Vivaldi’s door in the footprints of the rock star priest’s groupies. Kneel where prayers have worn away marble. Dodge the pigeon poop in a San Marco square.
    Still want to see Stratford on Avon. Good show!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I live in South Africa, Mark, and our oldest building is the castle in Cape Town which was built during the 17th century. We also don’t have anything old like they have in the UK. I find it fascinating how you go down to see things. 13 metres from the surface you find the Roman remains and I think it is about 10 to find the Viking remains. It is amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. When I was in Scotland we visited the birthplace of Robbie Burns. I have also been the the Anne of Green Gables house which was the home of Lucy Maud Montgomery. I went as a child and loved it, but as an adult, the shine was off a bit.

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