By exploring case studies from the UK, this paper investigates how post-writer histories of literary houses impact on the understanding of the lives and works of associated writers. The boundaries of this paper have been dictated by its place within twenty-first century manifestations of the survival, conservation and reproduction of literary houses associated with three writers active in the early nineteenth century: Lord Byron, John Keats and Sir Walter Scott. Many of the works within the literary house genre highlight the significance of the link between writers and their audiences. These links are created through the establishment of houses as sites of remembrance, as memorials, and as sensory markers. However, whereas commentators concentrate on the links being direct, this paper shows that the association is based on narratives filtered through those who were subsequently responsible for the houses. Consequently, the interpretation prevalent in the houses in the twenty-first century are the result of a long history based on the writers, and what was considered their significance by others over approximately two hundred years.
|Keywords:||Literary, Houses, Conservation, Interpretation, Aura, Memorials, Sensory, Markers|
Senior Lecturer, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Chester, Chester, Cheshire, UK