“Decidedly, I’m a better landscape gardener than a novelist,” Edith Wharton once declared. Indeed, Wharton, whose birthday we celebrate today, was as much a designer and tastemaker during her life as she was a writer. In fact, her first published book, The Decoration of Houses , was a design manual, and so many of her novels glow with beautiful descriptions of design, atmosphere, and costume that could only have come from a knowledgeable hand.
Wharton built her estate, The Mount, in 1902, and if you ask us, its rolling green gardens certainly do her claim justice. So, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of her birth, we’ve collected fifteen gorgeous authors’ homes and estates — though none, perhaps, are as gorgeous as hers. Click through to check out our list, and let us know if we’ve missed any of your own favorite writers’ homes in the comments.
Edith Wharton’s estate, The Mount, Lenox, Massachusetts
Mark Twain’s house, Hartford, Connecticut
Ernest Hemingway’s tropical home, Key West, Florida
Vladimir Nabokov’s family estate and the only house he ever owned, Rozhdestveno, Siverskaya, Gatchinsky District, Leningrad Oblast
Robert Graves’s house and amazing view, Deià, Majorca
The house where Kurt Vonnegut wroteSlaughterhouse Five, Iowa City, Iowa
Victor Hugo’s exile estate, Guernsey
home, Silver Lake, California
Evelyn Waugh’s Downton Abbey-esque country house, Piers Court, near Stinchcombe, Gloucestershire
Eudora Welty’s estate, Jackson, Mississippi
Gore Vidal’s (now-sold) villa on the Amalfi coast, La Rondinaia, Ravello, Italy
J.K. Rowling’s country estate, Perthshire, Scotland
William Shakespeare’s home, Stratford-upon-Avon
Frederick Douglass’ mansion, Cedar Hill, Washington, DC