Agent Monday: Summer Edition

Edinburgh - Writer's museum

Writer’s Museum, Edinburgh

Happy Agent Monday, everyone!  It’s STILL summer, so I thought today I’d share some of my favorite writerly destinations. Since I’m a literary agent AND a writer, there’s nothing I love to do more than visit places that truly inspire me. So here, in no particular order, are a few…


Rosenbach Museum, Philadelphia, PA – Want to see James Joyce’s ULYSSES manuscript? It’s here along with hoards of other rare books. Tours, exhibits, and original Maurice Sendak art. Fee.

Free Library of Philadelphia, Main Branch, Philadelphia, PA – Rare books tour. See Poe’s raven – stuffed!  Dickens’ writing desk with his name carved into it. Plus so much more. Free tour, 11 a.m. daily.

Morgan Museum and Library, NY, NY – rare manuscripts, lots of great exhibits (past ones have included Poe and Lewis Carroll), a gorgeous library, and bookish gift shop. Museum fee.

Bath - Pump Rome tea

Pump Room, Bath, England

New York Public Library adjacent to Bryant Park, NY, NY – I always keep an eye peeled for book-related exhibits and enjoy their bookish gift shop. Past exhibits have included Shelley, and an extensive show about children’s classic books. Exhibits free.

Treasures of the British Library, British Library, London, England – mind-blowing original manuscripts from illuminated ones through to Canterbury Tales, Lewis Carol, Dickens, Austen …even hand-written Beatles lyrics. Free.

The Pump Room, Bath, England – Love Jane Austen? Then tea at the Pump Room, featured in her novels, is a must. You’ll be “most astonished.”

Louisa May Alcott’s House, Concord, MA –  The author wrote LITTLE WOMEN there, and even set it there.  It’s like walking into the story – amazing!  Fee

Edinburgh - Gray Friar'sEdinburgh, Scotland – There’s a ton of writerly stuff here to enjoy including the Writer’s Museum, and serious Harry Potter nerd moments at: The Elephant House (where J.K. Rowling wrote), Grayfriar’s Kirkyard Cemetery (where she gathered character names), and an area that was the inspiration for Diagon Alley.

OOOOO!  All my idea of a good time.

So what writerly spots do you feel are absolutely worth a visit?  Add ’em here in the comments… I’m always looking for the next great read AND the next great place to visit for some serious nerding out.



*Marie is a Literary Agent at The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in New York City. To keep up with all her Agent Monday posts, subscribe to her site.

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8 thoughts on “Agent Monday: Summer Edition

  1. Love this list! What a treasure trove to seek! Thanks for sharing Marie 🙂 I love old prisons – and as I write “spooky” stuff it fuels my imagination. Especially Eastern State Penitentiary in Philly!

    • Hi Donna!

      I’ve never been, but I’ve heard so much about it. I’ll have to add it to my list of creepy sites. I’m a serious graveyard fan, so this’ll probably give me the appropriate level of shivers! 🙂

  2. Great list! I loved visiting Oxford, England, scene of the Inspector Morse mystery novels by Colin Dexter, and the Outremont section of Montreal, scene of Louise Penney’s Gamache mysteries. I am a BIG mystery fan!

  3. Last summer I spent ten days in Ayrshire, Scotland, poking around some of Robert Burns’ old haunts. I get my sense of place from walking through it (as opposed to driving), so I walked the countryside as much as I could: from Ayr to Alloway and up to Kirkoswald, and from Auchinlech to Mauchline to Tarbolton. I reveled in the knowledge that Burns walked these same roads, more than 200 years before me. Not necessarily recommending that mode of travel for anybody else though, on account of the hedgerows on those windy country roads tend to come right up to the edge of the pavement.

    If you go, I highly recommend reading “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” by James Barke first. It is a novelized biography of Burns’ early years. You may need to read it with a Scots dialect dictionary close to hand, but you’ll come away with an exceptionally vivid picture in your mind of the time and place, as well as the townsfolk who would later appear in his poems.

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