clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

For $125K, Pen Poems in Elizabeth Bishop's Childhood Home

One of the homes where American poet and short-story writer Elizabeth Bishop spent much of her childhood has been put up for sale asking $125K. Born in Worcester, Mass., in 1911, the Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate moved to the Great Village, Nova Scotia home—which she believed to be "an old wayside inn of 'ill repute' that my grandfather had moved to the village"—with her widowed mother in 1915, and lived there with William and Elizabeth Bulmer, her maternal grandparents, after her mother's institutionalization the following year. Though Bishop was placed in the care of her father's parents back in Worcester in 1917, she returned to the village many times throughout her childhood, often for lengthy summer vacations. Acquired in 2004 by the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia, it has since remained a private residence, and according to the listing, "has been maintained but not renovated and thus retains much of its original character and quaint charm." Which includes, it must be said, some pretty adorable wallpaper.

The 2000-square-foot four-bedroom also comes with a "large eat-in country kitchen," an "old-fashioned walk-in pantry with tons of storage space," and a "huge dining room." From the sound of it, the place is something of a Great Neck landmark; across the street, in front of the St. James United Church, there's a plaque that reads "Home-made, home-made! But aren't we all?" from "Crusoe in England," and according to the local Elizabeth Bishop Society, "Bishop pilgrims have been knocking on the door of the Elizabeth Bishop House since 1980, wanting to experience that sensation of stepping into part of this great poet's imagination." Given that odd perk, the next owner should probably be a Bishop pilgrim looking to put down stakes.

· Childhood Home of Elizabeth Bishop [Oceans & Orchards Realty]
· Elizabeth Bishop House [Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia]
· All Authorial Abodes posts [Curbed National]