Literary Residences - Round 1


Literary Residences

We've all read about the most magical, wonderful places to reside. But if you could choose.... which one would you pick? And now, thanks to Bracket of Champions, you can do just that. VOTE!

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.

“Hill House itself, not sane, stood against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, its walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”

- The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson, 1959

Hill House is a mansion in a location that is never specified but is between many hills. The story concerns four main characters: Dr. John Montague, an investigator of the supernatural; Eleanor Vance, a shy young woman who resents having lived as a recluse caring for her demanding disabled mother; Theodora, a bohemian artist; and Luke Sanderson, the young heir to Hill House, who is host to the others. - from Wikipedia

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.

“The north-facing escarpment of Watership Down, in shadow since early morning, now caught the eastern sun for an hour before twilight. Three hundred feet the down rose vertically in a stretch of no more than six hundred—a precipitous wall, from the thin belt of trees at the foot to the ridge here the steep flattened out The light, full and smooth, lay like a gold rind over the turf, the furze and yew bushes, the few wind-stunted thorn trees. From the ridge, the light seemed to cover all the slope below, drowsy and still.”

- Watership Down, Richard Adams, 1972

Watership Down, an actual hill in Hampshire, England, is the destined home of a warren of rabbits in Richard Adams’ landmark novel. Pursued by Hazel and the other rabbits, Watership Down is the Promised Land, but there are dangers aplenty along the way.

“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.

“It was a large, handsome, stone building, standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills—and in front, a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but without any artificial importance. Its banks were neither formal, nor falsely adorned. Elizabeth was delighted. She had never seen a place for which nature had done more, or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by awkward taste… to be mistress of Pemberley might be something!”

- Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, 1813

Pemberley is the home of Fitzwilliam Darcy, the male central character of Pride and Prejudice and the foil/love interest of Elizabeth Bennet. At Pemberley, Lizzie grows in the realization that she may have been wrong about Mr. Darcy after all.

“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

Camelot was the legendary castle of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, who set off for many adventures, including Sir Galahad of the Galahoodlians, Sir Lancelot, and Sir Not Appearing In This Film.

“The castle is on the very edge of a terrible precipice. A stone falling from the window would fall a thousand feet without touching anything! As far as the eye can reach is a sea of green tree tops, with occasionally a deep rift where there is a chasm. Here and there are silver threads where the rivers wind in deep gorges through the forests. But I am not in heart to describe beauty, for when I had seen the view I explored further; doors, doors, doors everywhere, and all locked and bolted. In no place save from the windows in the castle walls is there an available exit. The castle is a veritable prison, and I am a prisoner!”

- Dracula, Bram Stoker, 1897

“Castle Dracula is the fictitious Transylvanian residence of Count Dracula, the vampire antagonist in Bram Stoker's 1897 horror novel Dracula. The first and the last events of the plot take place there. The inaccessible stronghold, which initially symbolizes the vampire's power, finally becomes the scene of his extermination.” - from Wikipedia

“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.

“It was WONKA’S FACTORY, owned by a man called Mr. Willy Wonka, the greatest inventor and maker of chocolates that there has ever been. And what a tremendous, marvelous place it was! It had huge iron gates leading in to it, and a high wall surrounding it, and smoke belching from its chimneys, and strange whizzing sounds coming from deep inside it. And outside the walls, for half a mile around in every direction, the air was scented with the heavy rich smell of melting chocolate!”

- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl, 1964

Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory featured a river of chocolate and countless experiments on candy. It was the home of not just Willy Wonka, but countless Oompa Loompas and squirrels, and eventually one lucky boy named Charlie Bucket and his family.

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.

“The temple towers into the sky, built against the ledge of the last rock’s incline. Unlike the stone bricks, this structure’s crafted from blackened metal, streaked with yellows and pinks that suggest it once shone gold. Vines and moss grow up the sides, obscuring endless rows of ancient runes carved into the temple’s frieze… The temple is strangely untouched, a lone tree in a scorched forest… The only visible fixture is a large statue pressed against the back wall, collecting dust and overgrown vines. We walk over, and Tzain runs his hands over the weathered stone. The statue appears to be that of an elderly woman, cloaked in rich robes. A golden crown sits in her sculpted white coils, the only untarnished metal in sight."

- Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi, 2018

Once the home to the high priests of Orïsha, it was destroyed before Zélie and her companions arrived. Still, it was the home of a final survivor, who instructed them on how to restore the magic to their land.

“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

Green Gables was the tidy, almost sterile residence of siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert—until a red-headed orphan arrived and declared it had great “scope for imagination,” and changed both the house and its owners for good.

“Redwall stood foursquare along the marches of the old south border, flanked on two sides by Mossflower Wood’s shaded depths… From above, it resembled some fabulous dusky jewel, fallen between a green mantle of light silk and dark velvet. The first mice had built the Abbey of red sandstone quarried from pits many miles away in the north-east. The Abbey building was covered across its south face by that type of ivy known as Virginia creeper. The onset of autumn would turn the leaves into a cape of fiery hue, thus adding further glory to the name and legend of Redwall Abbey.”

- Redwall, Brian Jacques, 1986

Redwall Abbey was the home for mice, moles, badgers, and all sorts of woodland creatures. Although it was attacked many times over the course of 22 books, good always triumphed evil in the end.

"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

Rivendell was the home of Elrond in the Misty Mountains and was the resting place of Bilbo Baggins and his dwarf companions on their way to the Misty Mountains. Some 80 years later, a secret council would meet there to determine the fate of the One Ring.

“She opened the door of the room and went into a corridor, and then she began her wanderings. It was a long corridor, and it branched into other corridors and led her up short flights of steps which mounted to others again. There were doors and doors, and there were pictures on the walls. Sometimes they were pictures of dark, curious landscapes, but oftenest they were portraits of men and women in queer, grand costumes made of satin and velvet. She found herself in one long gallery whose walls were covered with these portraits. She had never thought there could be so many in any house.”

- The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1911

Misselthwaite Manor was the home of Archibald Craven and his isolated, hunchback son Colin. When Craven’s orphaned niece Mary Lennox was sent there to live, she uncovered secrets within the home and grounds that brought healing to herself, her cousin, and one cantankerous gardener.


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