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 this is because the author springs into renewed life with each act of reading, existing for readers in a perpetual present. More, the author sets up an intimate relationship with the reader, which readers have wished both to honour and somehow bring more plausibly into their own physical world. Place responds by embodying the author and speaking in the author’s voice.
Here, for example, is the garden at Dove Cottage. The ever-changing quotations from Dorothy’s diary make it her garden, evoking her going the round of her daily seasonal household tasks.
Also on Dorothy Wordsworth see http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/literarytourist/?p=212
If Dove Cottage speaks in Dorothy’s voice, the house in Lerici where Mary Shelley waited in vain for her husband to return after the storm in the bay, is made to speak in Shelley’s voice through plaques fixed to the walls.
Also on Shelley see http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/literarytourist/?p=119 and http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/literarytourist/?p=247