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“I still cherish the dream of returning for another revel in dear, dirty, delightful London, for I enjoyed myself there more than any where else,” wrote Louisa May Alcott in an 1868 letter to the friend who had shown her around Dickensian London.

Visiting the homes and haunts of famous writers is a time-honored tradition—one that intrigued some of the very authors whose own houses are now popular destinations for literary travelers.

After the publication of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women in 1868, fans of the book began trekking to Concord, Massachusetts, where the boldest ones knocked on the door of Orchard House, the Alcott family abode, looking for the author. Publicity-shy Louisa sometimes pretended to be a servant to deflect the attention, but she probably understood their curiosity. During a trip to London three years earlier, she visited sites featured in Charles Dickens’ tales. She revealed in her diary, “I felt as if I’d got into a novel while going about in the places I’d read so much of.”

Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts, a destination for early literary travelers.

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“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” —Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad In 1867, a young Mark Twain spied an advertisement for a cruise to Europe and the Holy Land, the first organized tourism in American history. He convinced a California newspaper to fund his passage on the five-and-a-half-month excursion in exchange for weekly columns. Twain later turned the trip reporting into his first full-length book, The Innocents Abroad, which one reviewer deemed “instructive, humorous [and] racy.” An interesting exhibit at the New York Historical Society delves into the story behind Twain’s lively travelogue, published 150 years ago and his bestselling book during his lifetime. The exhibit runs through February 2, 2020. #marktwain #theinnocentsabroad #classiclit #literarytravel #noveldestinations #nyc #nyhistoricalsociety @nyhistory
Giving thanks today and every day for great storytelling and superb novels like this one. ... Rules of Civility follows Katey Kontent, a smart, witty, ambitious young woman, through the working world and into the New York social circle in the late 1930s, beginning with a chance encounter at a Greenwich Village jazz bar on New Year’s Eve. The story is compellingly told, with lovely writing and a vivid New York City backdrop. Not only are there echoes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edith Wharton, tales infused with glamour and grief, literary lovers will appreciate the abundance of bookish references throughout. “I’ve come to realize,” muses Katey, “that however blue my circumstances, if after finishing a chapter of a Dickens novel I feel a miss-my-stop-on-the-train sort of compulsion to read on, then everything is probably going to be just fine.” ... #happythanksgiving #happyreading #gratitude #greatstorytelling #rulesofcivility #amortowles #booksofinstagram #igreads #bookwormsofinstagram #nycnovels #instabookstagram #booksintheair
Nighttime browsing before meeting up with my book group. Or, holiday shopping for me. 🎁 #strandbooks #bryantpark #wintervillage #nyc #booksofig #bookstagram #bookstores

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