Stephen King’s terrifying classic ‘IT’ is set to hit cinema screens across the UK tomorrow (8 September). Based on his novel, the film is set in the fictional town of Derry, an uncanny depiction of King’s Bangor, Maine hometown. In New England visitors will find six states rich in literary history that have been home to, and inspired, many legendary American writers.
Tour Stephen King’s Hometown of Bangor, Maine
A lifelong resident of Maine, Stephen King has written 54 novels from his home in Bangor with many reflecting familiar locations in the state. Hot on the heels of the film’s release, fans of his work should consider a trip to Bangor to brave a bone-chilling, King-themed tour of the city. The three-hour tour led by King expert Stuart Tinker stops at 30 locations including those featured in the movie and which inspired his writing, and costs $45 (around £35) per adult. www.sk-tours.com.
Take a Literary Tour of Providence, Rhode Island
Classic horror authors Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft are both former residents of Providence. Fans of Lovecraft’s work can participate in a walking tour ‘H.P. Lovecraft: A Literary Life’ with guides from The Rhode Island Historical Society for $19 (less than £15) per adult. The next tour dates are 21-22 October. www.rihs.org/walking-tours.
Get ‘On the Road’ from Lowell, Massachusetts
In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the publication of Jack Kerouac’s iconic work, ‘On the Road’, holidaymakers can visit Kerouac’s hometown of Lowell, before heading south to explore the home of another literary legend, Louisa May Alcott. Orchard House in Concord was home to Alcott and her family from 1858-1877 and served as the writing location and setting for her classic ‘Little Women’. Entry to the home costs $10 (around £8) for adults. www.lowell.com/visit-lowell / www.louisamayalcott.org.
Rent Rudyard Kipling’s Vermont Residence
Naulakha, in Dummerston, Vermont, was Rudyard Kipling’s residence from 1893-1896 and is now listed as a National Historic Landmark. During his years here, Kipling wrote some of his most famous works including ‘The Jungle Book’. Holidaymakers can now rent this beautiful home with spectacular views year-round and from here enjoy hiking, biking and skiing. The property sleeps eight and is priced from $430 (around £333) per night. The minimum stay is three nights. www.landmarktrustusa.org/properties/rudyard-kiplings-naulakha.
Explore Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Connecticut Homes
During the 19th-century, Hartford, Connecticut was America’s preeminent literary community. Here authors Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote some of their most famous works. For $20 (around £15.50), literary fans can explore The Mark Twain House & Museum, a 25-room National Historic Landmark gothic-style home where Twain penned ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ and ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’. Close by, The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center preserves the Victorian Gothic cottage where the author lived for 23 years and runs an interactive tour explaining the impact of Stowe’s anti-slavery novel ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’. Entry costs $14 (less than £11) for adults. www.marktwainhouse.org / www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org.
Visit Robert Frost’s New Hampshire Home
One of America’s most acclaimed poets, Robert Frost, lived in Derry, New Hampshire from 1900-1911 and he attributed many of his poems to memories of his years here. Today visitors can explore the simple, two-storey, New England-style farmhouse free of charge. Further north in the White Mountains town of Franconia is The Frost Place, a museum commemorating Frost’s poems. Entry costs $5 (less than £4) per adult and signed first editions are displayed while a nature trail features plaques of his poems. www.robertfrostfarm.org / www.frostplace.org/museum.
For further information, visit www.discovernewengland.co.uk
Notes to Editors: Discover New England represents the six states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.