Places Where The Most Famous Books Were Written
The most avid readers are greatly appreciative of the authors whose works they read. One of the things people never consider about the literature that interests them, is where the words on the pages were written. With authors and literature being from all over the world, there exists a kaleidoscope of places.
Here are some of the places where famous and well-known books were written:
1. Pete’s Tavern, New York City
The Big Apple is the birthplace of many songs, art pieces, and books. One of the most well-known has to be Pete’s Tavern. Before director M Night Shyamalan was the king of cinema “twist endings”, short story writer O. Henry was the original king of twist ending.
Rumor has it that “The Gift of the Magi,” said to be O. Henry’s greatest work, was written at this bar sometime between 1904 and 1906.
Scholars, on the contrary, say that the bulk of his writing for the book was written across the street at his nearby home.
It’s also rumored that the first draft of Ludwig Bemelmans’ Madeline was written at Pete’s, on the back of a menu, according to ‘legend.’
2. Birmingham Police Department Detention Division, Alabama
April 16th, 1963 was a historic day not because Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested in Alabama, but because of what he wrote while he was imprisoned. King, Jr. wrote, “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in which he detailed why his civil disobedience was completely justified.
His writing later became part of his book Why We Can’t Wait. The Civil Rights Institute even recreated the jail cell where King wrote, the original location having largely faded from memory.
Where the Birmingham Police DDD was located now sits a historical marker.
3. The Elephant House Edinburgh, Scotland
The average college student will tell you that their creative process starts with a good cup of tea.
For U.K. author J.K. Rowling, tea was part of her everyday life during the 1990s while living in Edinburgh with her daughter. Skating by on welfare and the average pay gained from The Elephant House, she worked on her first manuscript which would eventually become Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone.
Thanks to the hard work she put in writing on her breaks at the tea house, it gave birth to an entire universe full of magic and wonder. Rowling herself advises the train from Manchester to London, a four-hour ride on which she says the idea for ‘the boy who lived.’
4. Hotel Elysee, New York City
Tennessee Williams wasn’t just a guest at the hotel, but a resident having spent most of his last 15 years there. Most of the regulars of the hotel often talked of the constant click and ring of a typewriter well into the twilight hours.
It was during his time at Hotel Elsee that The Red Devil Battery Sign and Clothes For a Summer Hotel were written. Both were plays regarding F. Scott Fitzgerald and his relationship with wife Zelda.
5. Broadstairs Beach, England
Located just shy of 100 miles from the capital city of London, the location served as the initial animus for the book The 39 Steps. Author John Buchan chose this location to recover from an operation. Accompanied by his daughter during the stay, on a summer day like any other Buchan and his daughter descended a set of wooden steps. The little girl, finding joy in everything, counted together with her father and both exclaimed “39!” when their feet hit the sand.
6. The Bastille, Paris, France
The Bastille was in 1383 what a federal prison is today. Any time a king felt there was a crime committed, such as comedies written about them, this is the prison they were sent to.
Francois-Marie d’Arouet, known by his pen name Voltaire, was imprisoned here for satire written about the French government. During the 11 years he served here, he wrote Oedipe, the first of his works that became a hit.
7. Heinhold’s First and Last Chance Saloon, Oakland, California
This was a pub famous for being frequented by young writer Jack London. For many men of the sea, it was the first stop before going further inland and where they took their last drink before shipping out.
Legend tells of visits when London worked on Call of the Wild and The Sea Wolf during the 1800s. In fact, in his novel John Barleycorn, the author name drops the saloon nearly 20 times.