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    Author's Effects: On Writer's House Museums

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    ISBN: 9780198847571
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    Attribute nameAttribute value
    AuthorWatson, Nicola J. (Professor of English
    Pub Date23/01/2020
    Publisher: O.U.P.
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    A fascinating account of the emergence of the writer's house museum over the course of the nineteenth century in Britain, Europe, and North America. It considers the museum as a cultural form and asks why it appeared and how it has constructed authorial afterlife for readers individually and collectively.

    The Author's Effects: On the Writer's House Museum is the first book to describe how the writer's house museum came into being as a widespread cultural phenomenon across Britain, Europe, and North America. Exploring the ways that authorship has been mythologised through the conventions of the writer's house museum, The Author's Effects anatomises the how and why of the emergence, establishment, and endurance of popular notions of authorship in
    relation to creativity.

    It traces how and why the writer's bodily remains, possessions, and spaces came to be treasured in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as a prelude to the appearance of formal writer's house museums. It ransacks more than 100 museums and archives to tell the stories of celebrated and paradigmatic relics-Burns' skull, Keats' hair, Petrarch's cat, Poe's raven, Bronte's bonnet, Dickinson's dress, Shakespeare's chair, Austen's desk, Woolf's spectacles, Hawthorne's window, Freud's
    mirror, Johnson's coffee-pot and Bulgakov's stove, amongst many others. It investigates houses within which nineteenth-century writers mythologised themselves and their work-Thoreau's cabin and Dumas' tower, Scott's Abbotsford and Irving's Sunnyside. And it tracks literary tourists of the past to such
    long-celebrated literary homes as Petrarch's Arqua, Rousseau's Ile St Pierre, and Shakespeare's Stratford to find out what they thought and felt and did, discovering deep continuities with the redevelopment of Shakespeare's New Place for 2016.