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Brontë’s Bonnet

Clothing very often holds a privileged position within house-museums dedicated to women writers.  Charlotte Brontë’s old bedroom includes  two glass cases containing clothing either ‘worn by’ or ‘carried by’ Charlotte, as the captions point out. One cabinet, positioned in the … Continue reading

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Cowper’s Nightcap

In order to write this post, I will need to put on my thinking cap. We’re all familiar with this phrase as a figure of speech, but in the nineteenth century, there was indeed a strong connection between thoughtful writing, … Continue reading

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Dickinson’s Humming-Birds

  In 2010 the photographer Annie Leibovitz paid a visit to the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts. Out of that trip she began to put together a book of photographs and accompanying text, which she published subsequently as Pilgrimage … Continue reading

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Keats’ Hair

  From the deceased’s author’s skull, we turn today to the deceased’s author’s hair. In 1855, in Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine, English essayist and poet Leigh Hunt is recorded describing hair as ‘the most delicate and lasting of all … Continue reading

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Series 4: Burns’ Skull

Today I am in leafy Alloway, Scotland, the birth place of Robert Burns. Despite the prettiness of this quaint and picturesque village, I have come to feast my eyes upon something entirely morbid. I am here to visit the Burns … Continue reading

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Speaking Stones

  My very last post in this series! It’s about how whole houses have been made to speak in the author’s voice, so making the long-past and long-dead into a perpetual, first person presence. I think the reason for doing … Continue reading

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Deaths

  To what extent or in what sense does an author die? If an author does not (quite) die, then what to do with the body? The history of the fates that have befallen individual authors’ corpses is long, varied, … Continue reading

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Effigies

  Writers’ animals, explored in an earlier post (http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/literarytourist/?p=226) meditate upon the nature of authorship and writing in relation to the body. This is true also of efforts to represent the author at more or less life-like and life-size, as … Continue reading

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Views

  So many objects associated with authors have become iconic because they seem to symbolise authorial imagination. But this is true of views, too, which allow the literary tourist to look with the author’s eye, and to send a postcard … Continue reading

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Animals

  In contrast to the anti-houses featured in my last post, the habit of thinking of the author in relation to domesticated animals pins the author to domesticity and embodiment. But though you might think that this also pinned the … Continue reading

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