Fort House, Dickens’ holiday estate (which has since his death actually been renamed Bleak House), where he famously finished his novel David Copperfield, was also the site of his inspiration for Bleak House. The house, particularly the view from the study, which overlooks the English Channel, is said to have inspired the novel, perhaps especially in gloomy lines like this: “Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city. Fog on the Essex marshes, fog on the Kentish heights…”
Others include Melville and the ship Essex, Lucy Maud Montgomery and the Green Gables, and a ruined farmhouse that may or may not have inspired the Earnshaw home in Wuthering Heights.
Last night, LQ got a sneak peek at the 100th anniversary exhibit at the NYPL, which beautifully features the absolute best of the library’s collection. It’s like rubbing shoulders with all of your favorite celebrities: Is that a Gutenberg Bible? Audubon’s Birds of America? A lock of Mary Shelley’s hair?!
Our favorite item was this letter opener belonging to Charles Dickens. It’s rapier-sized, ivory opener, with a menacing cat’s paw on the hilt from Dickens own beloved cat, Bob.