Five Places That Inspired Your Favourite Books


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OT Staff

Many of our favourite books are often inspired by real-life locations all around the world. In fact, many authors spend months staying at a site, taking inspiration from the perfect destination to base their books. Here’s a look at five places that inspired some of your favourite books.

Paris, France

Paris, France. Credit: Wikimedia commons

American novelist Ernest Hemingway wrote “The Sun Also Rises,” a narrative about expats involved in love triangles in Paris–the city of lights and love. The beautiful city, after all, is the ideal setting for writing a story about discovering yourself via others.

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland. Credit: Wikimedia commons

The cobblestone lanes of Grafton and Nassau, and the lush grass of St. Stephen’s Green, inspired Irish novelist James Joyce’s renowned (and complicated) novel “Ulysses” and its protagonist Leopold Bloom. You may reenact Bloom’s day-long trek from the book today and stop at Glasnevin Cemetery, which served as the basis for the book’s sixth chapter, “Hades.”

Walden Pond, Concorn, Massachusetts

Walden Pond, Concorn, Massachusetts. Credit: Wikimedia commoms/Terryballard
American naturalist, essayist, and poet Henry David Thoreau moved into a cottage he built for himself on the picturesque Walden Pond shoreline on July 4, 1845. He resided there for two years, two months, and two days, or until September 6, 1847. He then wrote a book about his experience called “Walden,” named after the pond.

Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy. Credit: Wikimedia commons

“The Marble Faun” by American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, long regarded as the best travel guide to Rome, is the ideal fusion of fantasy, reality, and plot twists. Hawthorne carefully selected the locations for this book, which are among the most stunning and noteworthy in contemporary Rome and are rich in historical symbolism. With its roughly 2000-year history, Rome provided the ideal backdrop for the novel on the challenges of living abroad and human misery.

Central Park, New York City

Central Park, New York City. Credit: Wikimedia commons/Ed Yourdon
A key sequence in American author J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye” takes place close to the Central Park Carousel, a hotspot for tourists and locals. The book’s main character, Holden Caufield, is interested in learning what happens to the ducks that float on the “Conservatory Water” lagoon in Central Park during the winter.

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