Literary Residences - Round 1
There were a hundred and forty-two staircases at Hogwarts: wide, sweeping ones; narrow, rickety ones; some that led somewhere different on a Friday; some with a vanishing step halfway up that you had to remember to jump. Then there were doors that wouldn’t open unless you asked politely, or tickled them in exactly the right place, and doors that weren’t really doors at all, but solid walls just pretending…
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling, 1997
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was home to countless young British witches and wizards for nine months of the year, the most notable of which were Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley, Hermione Granger, and the true hero: Neville Longbottom.
Once upon a time, a very long time ago now, about last Friday, Winnie-the-Pooh lived in a forest all by himself under the name of Sanders.
(‘What does “under the name” mean?’ asked Christopher Robin.
‘It means he had the name over the door in gold letters and lived under it.’
‘Winnie-the-Pooh wasn’t quite sure,’ said Christopher Robin.
‘Now I am,’ said a growly voice.
‘Then I will go on,’ said I.)
- Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne, 1926
Pooh’s house is, quite succinctly, the house where Pooh lives. Pooh lives in a large, hollow tree overgrown with grass and plants. Above the door of his house there is a sign with the inscription MR. SANDERS, which may mean that such a person lived there before. There is a doorbell next to the sign, and a small sign below it with the words RNIG ALSO. Pooh also has a knocker on the door. Also, this is where Pooh keeps his honey pots.
“Rounding a bend in the river, they came in sight of a handsome, dignified old house of mellowed red brick, with well-kept lawns reaching down to the water’s edge.
‘There’s Toad Hall,’ said the Rat… ‘That’s the banqueting hall you’re looking at now—very old, that is. Toad is rather rich, you know, and this is really one of the nicest houses in these parts, though we never admit as much to Toad.”
- The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame, 1908
Toad Hall was Toad’s ancestral home, except for a brief incident when it was occupied by weasels while Toad was in jail for stealing a motor-car. After one final song, it is believed that Toad finally learned his lesson and became, indeed, an altered Toad.
“On a certain Ascension Day King Arthur was in the region near Caerleon and held his court at Camelot, splendidly and luxuriantly as befitted a king.”
- Arthurian Romances, Chretien de Troyes, ca. 1350
“‘Well,’ said the king, ‘let us make a cry, that all the lords, knights, and gentlemen of arms should draw unto a castle’ (called Camelot in those days) ‘and there the king would let make a council-general and great jousts.’”
- Le Morte D’Arthur, Sir Thomas Malory, ca. 1460
“We met the next day as he had arranged, and inspected the rooms at 221B Baker Street, of which he had spoken at our meeting. They consisted of a couple of comfortable bed-rooms and a single large airy sitting-room, cheerfully furnished, and illuminated by two broad windows. So desirable in every way were the apartments, and so moderate did the terms seem when divided between us, that the bargain was concluded upon the spot, and we at once entered into possession.”
- A Study in Scarlet, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1887
221B Baker Street is the London address of the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, where he and Mr. Watson spent many a pleasant evening chatting and solving mysteries beyond the understanding of Scotland Yard.
The Castle of Cair Paravel on its little hill towered up above them; before them were the sands, with rocks and little pools of salt water, and seaweed, and the smell of the sea, and long miles of bluish-green waves breaking for ever and ever on the beach… in the Great Hall of Cair Paravel—that wonderful hall with the ivory roof and the west hall hung with peacock’s feathers and the eastern door which looks towards the sea, in the presence of all their friends and to the sound of trumpets, Aslan solemnly crowned them…
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis, 1950
Cair Paravel was the home of the human kings and queens of Narnia. Although it fell into ruin after the reigns of the Pevensies, it was eventually rebuilt by Caspian, whose descendants lived in it until the last battle of the Free Narnians.
“A huge cherry-tree grew outside, so close that its boughs tapped against the house, and it was so thick-set with blossoms that hardly a leaf was to be seen. On both sides of the house was a big orchard, one of apple trees and one of cherry trees, also showered over with blossoms; and their grass was all sprinkled with dandelions. In the garden below were lilac trees purple with flowers, and their dizzily sweet fragrance drifted up to the window on the morning wind.”
- Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery, 1908
"And so at last they came to the Last Homely House, and found its doors flung open wide… In those days of our tale there were still some people who had both elves and heroes of the North for ancestors, and Elrond the master of the house was their chief… His house was perfect whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or story-telling, or singling, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all. Evil things did not come into that valley."
- The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien, 1937