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A Walk on the “Wilde” Side Indeed: Hotspots of Literary History

Oscar Wilde - janetmck and mukund76

Oscar Wilde - janetmck and mukund76

All of this travelling has given us all a little wanderlust (aka the desire to travel our already small savings away). Europe is packed with history than we’ll ever be able to see in just three short months, but with some great tour guides and a little organization, we’re hoping to cram as much of it in as possible! Since we’re here to study literature and culture, and Dublin was just the first stop on the journey, I can’t wait to check out these other top writing-geek destinations soon:

London: Well, this one’s a bit obvious I suppose, I am living in Kensington and heading to the theatre every week to see a play for class, but for those of you not already enrolled in a literary adventure, London’s blue circle plaques make it easy. Placed outside the doors of London sites, the plaques serve as a guide to the more famous happenings within many an ordinary-looking building). London has been home to many of the most famous authors of all time: Charles Dickens, H.G. Wells, Virginia Woolf, Geoffrey Chaucer, John Keats, J.M. Barrie, and of course Shakespeare are just a few of the city’s most recognizable names. I can’t wait to search out the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens, check out Oscar Wilde’s house in Chelsea, and see Romeo and Juliet at the Globe Theatre…luckily the blue-badge guided Literary London Tour will make it even easier!

Paris: Not only has Paris been the home of many a famous author: Alexander Dumas, Voltaire, Ernest Hemingway, Scott F. Fitzgerald, but it’s also home to Les Bouquinistes, the famous book stalls lining the Seine River. Book nerds like me can spend the day immersed in the musty old volumes before heading to Les Deux Magots (a café frequented by everyone from literary greats like Hemingway and Albert Camus to Pablo Picasso and Jose luis Borges) to do some reading and relaxing or people watching above the terraces on the Place Saint Germain des Pres. For insight into the lesser-known literary sites and cafés  of Paris, the Walk on the “Wilde” Side Tour is a must.

St. Petersburg, Russia: I may not be able to pronounce their characters’ names, but there’s no doubt that some of the most famous literature of all time has come out of this city in Russia. Home to authors Fydor Dostoevsky (remember him from high school lit. class anybody?), Vladimir Nabokov, Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, and Alexander Pushkin, St. Petersburg is, without a doubt, one of the most concentrated hubs of literary greatness in the world. Take a tour of Dostoevsky’s apartments scattered throughout the city, or visit one of the famous authors’ museums. There are two dedicated to my Russian favourites easily accessible within the city: the Dostoevsky Memorial Museum and the Nabokov Museum.

And, since we can’t spend the whole time studying, why not cap the trip off with a visit to the city’s famous Vodka Museum?

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