Home, Hearth, and Holidays: Writers’ Homes and Holiday Reflections


“At Christmas, all roads lead home.” ~ Marjorie Holmes, one of the sixteen founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, at Howard University in Washington, DC. It was the first sorority founded by African American women. 

Christmas, of  course, is a time of homecoming.  Here are some reflections of writers and images of their personal homes on this season of family and familiarity:


Charles Dickens’ “summer” home: The author wrote part of his novel David Copperfield and the BBC reports he also is believed to have planned Bleak House there.

“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.” ~ from  A Christmas Carol


E.M. Forster’s… home:  According to London: City of Words, Forster lodged in this hotel from 1902 to 1904. While here he wrote part of his ‘Italian’ novels, Where Angels Fear to Tread and A Room With A View, which were published in 1905 and 1908 respectively.

“I do like Christmas on the whole…. In its clumsy way, it does approach Peace and Goodwill. But it is clumsier every year.”


Washington Irving purchased his  home, “Sunnyside,” in 1835. It remained in his family until 1945.

“Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.”


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow‘s home:  Peleg and Elizabeth Wadsworth raised ten children in the house before retiring to the family farm in Hiram, Maine, in 1807

“I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

If you haven’t heard John Gorka’s musical interpretation of this poem, give it a listen:

E. B. White's home 001

E.B. White‘s home (Charolette’s Web), Brooklin, Maine:

“To perceive Christmas through its wrapping becomes more difficult with every year.”


Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) home, built in 1922, La Jolla, California:

Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.” ~ from How the Grinch Stole Christmas 


Charles Schultz’s home: Napa, California

Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.”