Some of the greatest literary classics were written right here in the Northeastern USA. Twain, Poe, Melville, and even, yes, the bane of High School SAT-takers, Noah Webster, all found their muse in this region. Are you or a loved one a dyed in the wool bibliophile? Check out the following Best Northeast Getaways for Literary Scholars, and click on each link for advice on where to eat and stay for a complete mini-vacation.
Hartford CT: Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe were neighbors in Connecticut’s State Capitol, and yep, Noah Webster lived not too far away (though of course at different times). All homes offer tours, providing insight into some of our nation’s most compelling authors.
New London CT: Eugene O’Neil spent his childhood summers here, and would disappear into the fog, that hovered over the Thames River, on his morning swims.
Berkshires MA: Tour Edith Wharton’s home, The Mount, in Lenox. Herman Melville wrote Moby Dick far from any sea at his home, Arrowhead, in Pittsfield.
Amherst MA: Emily Dickinson was a virtual recluse in her later years at her home in Amherst. You can find the world’s largest collection of Yiddish books, movies and song-sheets at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst as well.
Springfield MA: Ted Geisel – aka Dr. Seuss – was raised in Springfield. His father ran the zoo.
Fairhaven MA: Town benefactor, Standard Oil partner Henry Huttleston Rogers, was a patron of Mark Twain. See Twain’s handwritten Town Hall Dedication speech in Millicent Library.
New Bedford MA: Check out the Seaman’s Bethel mentioned by Herman Melville in Moby Dick.
Salem MA: Nathaniel Hawthorne visited his cousin at the House of Seven Gables, which influenced his book of that name.
Buffalo NY: Incredibly, Mark Twain’s original handwritten Huck Finn manuscript ended up at the Buffalo Public Library. Now on exhibit for all to see for free.
Harrisburg PA: Check out one of the largest used and rare bookstores in the country – Midtown Scholar Bookstore.
Philadelphia PA: Find Bram Stoker’s original notes for Dracula, and first editions by Melville, James Joyce, Dickens, Lewis Carroll, Robert Burns, Jane Austin and hundreds of other authors. This place is a book-lovers utopia. Plus, on select days, you get to handle the rarest gems.
Bucks County PA: James Michener was by all accounts “dirt poor” growing up here. There’s a room dedicated to his life and works in the Art Museum that he sponsored and that bears his name.
Providence RI: Edgar Allan Poe courted Sara Helen Whitman in the stacks of the beautiful Victorian library – the Providence Athenaeum. Horror writer, HP Lovecraft, is buried in the city’s Swan Point Cemetery.
Richmond VA: Brought to Richmond by his sickly mother at age one, Edgar Poe was adopted by the local prominent Allan family after her death. Though he lived in many places on the Eastern Seaboard, Poe considered Richmond his home. Visit one of the best Poe museums in the country here.