The Childhood Homes of 20 Famous Authors


Famous authors — they’re just like us. Or at least they used to be. Recently, on a whim, we started investigating the childhood homes of some legendary authors, and their early homes are just as varied as their writing styles — from cottages to apartments to antebellum townhouses. We think it’s rather fascinating to peer at some of our favorite authors’ earliest dwellings and think about the formative experiences they had there, whether for good or ill, and the way those houses and neighborhoods might have influenced their writing. Also, it’s just fun to pry. Click through to check out our collection of famous authors’ childhood homes, and if you like, add to our collection in the comments.

Ernest Hemingway’s boyhood home in Oak Park, Illinois. Image via

William Faulkner’s childhood home in Oxford, Mississippi. Image via

Gertrude Stein’s birthplace and childhood home in the Allegheny West neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Image via

Hunter S. Thompson’s boyhood home in Louisville, Kentucky. Image via

Franz Kafka’s childhood home in Prague. Image via

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s birthplace and home for two years in St. Paul, Minnesota. Image via

D.H. Lawrence’s birthplace and childhood home in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire (the museum to the right was once a grocery store). Image via

Virginia Woolf’s childhood summer house at St. Ives in Cornwall. She wrote: “The pleasantest of my memories… refer to our summers, all of which were passed in Cornwall, especially to the thirteen summers (1882-1894) at St. Ives. There we bought the lease of Talland House: a small but roomy house, with a garden of an acre or two all up and down hill, with quaint little terraces divided by hedges of escallonia, a grape-house and kitchen-garden and a so-called ‘orchard’ beyond.” Image via

Philip Roth’s childhood home in Newark, New Jersey. Image via

Mark Twain’s boyhood home (now the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum), in Hannibal, Missouri. Image via

Sylvia Plath’s birthplace and childhood home in Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts. Image via

Jack Kerouac’s Birthplace in Lowell, Massachusetts. Image via

Hans Christian Andersen’s childhood home in Odense on Fyn in Denmark. Image via

Tennessee Williams’ childhood home in Columbus, Mississippi. Image via

Carson McCullers’ childhood home, now the Carson McCullers Center, in Columbus, Georgia. Image via

William S. Burroughs’ boyhood home in St. Louis, Missouri. Image via

Ezra Pound’s childhood home in Hailey, Idaho. Image via

John Updike’s home until he was 13, in Shillington, Pennsylvania. Image via

Flannery O’Connor’s childhood home in Savannah, Georgia. Image via

One of J.R.R. Tolkien’s childhood homes, now called Fern Cottage. Image via