Thomas Wolfe House
Asheville, North Carolina
My time in Asheville, although short, was informative and relaxing. The weather was cool and clear; the Blue Ridge Mountains were blue, as promised; and I found two bookstores which always makes for a pleasant adventure.
Asheville is a very literary town although it is probably more well known for its painters, potters, weavers and other craft artists.
Since I won't be taking a Grand Southern Literary Tour this year as I did in 2012 and 2013, this trip will have to be known as my Petite Southern Literary Tour 2014.
The highlight was a visit to the Thomas Wolfe House and Museum which was conveniently located right across the street from my hotel. I relished the entire experience from watching the 20-minute biographical film; strolling through the museum that plotted the author's short life (he died in 1938 just weeks short of his 38th birthday); and touring the house in which lived with his mother, Julia, who ran it as a boarding house.
I sat in one of the old-fashioned rocking chairs on the front porch as our tour guide, David, gave us an overview of Wolfe's life and the years spent living in the house known as the Old Kentucky Home. There were only two other folks on the early morning tour so the visit was quite leisurely and intimate.
We visited the small room off the kitchen that Wolfe's hard-working mother slept in. There were the grander first floor room of his father's; the small and large guest rooms; the dreary formal parlor at the front of the house; the lovely sun room that reminded me of my grandmother's house; and the dining room where the boarders ate three meals a day.
Julia Wolfe's tiny room off the kitchen.
One of the nicer guest rooms.
A lovely window seat in the dining room.
While the house contained the prosaic furnishings of his years there, it was the museum, featuring the author's personal items that fascinated me.
Wolfe's desk from his New York apartment. All items were
brought back to Asheville upon his death.
Close-up of the three books on Wolfe's desk.
(I cannot decipher the
title of the red book.)
There are those who think Thomas Wolfe was a genius and there are those who think he was simply too verbose and who get lost in his wandering sentences. I must admit that I have not read anything by Mr. Wolfe, other than perhaps a random quote or two, so I do not know into which camp I might fall.
What has been your experience, if any, with Thomas Wolfe?