December 27, 2021 12:00:54 pm
Characters in novels have a home. In some cases, fictional addresses are precise, complete with apartment number, street address and town.
The address 7 Eccles Street in Dublin refers to the row house of Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of James Joyce’s 1922 novel, Ulysses. The house existed but was demolished in 1967. There is now a hospital on that site.
In his stories, the author Hugh Lofting placed Doctor John Dolittle, who famously spoke with animals, in an English village he named Puddleby-on-the-Marsh.
In some cases, the authors simply give their protagonists a home in mansions and halls such as Manderley (Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca), the Pemberley country estate (Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice) or a plantation by the name of Tara (Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind).
Harry Potter: 4 Privet Drive
The famous wizard from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series lived with the Dursleys — his aunt, uncle and cousin –– in the regular, nonmagical “muggle” world.
His room at the Dursleys’ was a small dusty cupboard under the stairs in a nondescript house at 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey.
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Another world-famous famous address in the celebrated books is Platform No. 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station. It is where Harry finds the secret entrance to a magical train station, and the Hogwarts Express, a train that takes him to the iconic Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry — where the young wizard feels really at home.
Bilbo Baggins: Bag End, Bagshot Row
“In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a Hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”
That is the opening sentence of J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 fantasy novel for children, The Hobbit.
Bilbo Baggins’ home is at the very end of Bagshot Row, in Bag End, Hobbiton, in the Shire in Middle-earth.
Phileas Fogg: 7 Savile Row
The protagonist in Jules Vernes’ 1872 novel, Around the World in 80 Days, is an elegant 19th-century English gentleman by the name of Phileas Fogg.
To win a bet with fellow members of the Reform Club, he ventures on an exciting journey that takes him around the world — and he makes it back to London just in time, thanks to time zones and the international date line.
His home address is 7 Savile Row in London. It is described in the novel as a “fashionable address” and “the former home of Sheridan,” who was an actual Irish satirist, politician, playwright, poet and theater owner from the beginning of the 19th century.
Sherlock Holmes: 221B Baker Street
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Scottish writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published dozens of mystery novels surrounding the tricky cases solved by the world-renowned fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, along with his sidekick and friend, Dr. John Watson.
Also well known by the detective’s fans is his address: 221B Baker Street, London. Holmes rents the space from Mrs. Hudson, who also serves as his housekeeper.
Though the fictional address is set on a real street, when the stories were written the address numbers on Baker Street did not go as high as 221.
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Later, an extension of the street led to a long-running dispute between the building society Abbey National, which was located at 219–229 Baker Street, and the Sherlock Holmes Museum, located between 237 and 241 Baker Street.
They were both eager to be in charge of answering the mail addressed to Sherlock Holmes.
Meanwhile, Abbey National has changed headquarters and the museum has since obtained the permission to bear the special address — and even has a blue plaque commemorating the famous character’s home.
Hercule Poirot: 56B, Whitehaven Mansions
A series of novels by Agatha Christie, the author of books that sold millions of copies worldwide, center on yet another famous fictional detective — a mustachioed, retired Belgian police officer and World War I refugee turned world-famous private detective named Hercule Poirot.
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Short, vain and using the help of what he calls his “little grey cells,” Poirot investigates mysteries in some of Christie’s best-loved crime stories, including the 1933 Murder on the Orient Express.
He, too, lives in London, at the fictional address of Flat 203 at 56B, Whitehaven Mansions.
A London Art Deco building called Florin Court served as the real-life location used to reproduce the exterior of Whitehaven Mansions in the “Agatha Christie’s Poirot” TV series.
Tintin: Marlinspike Hall
Tintin is the hero and main protagonist in The Adventures of Tintin, a 24-album comic series by Belgian cartoonist Herge. The comics have been translated into more than 100 languages.
Though the boyish-looking reporter with the blond forelock, his fox terrier, Snowy, and their friend the seafaring Captain Archibald Haddock are best known for their many adventures that take them all over the world, their home is a mansion called Marlinspike Hall (a marlinspike is a tool used by sailors) in Belgium.
Mary Poppins: 17 Cherry Tree Lane
In the children’s classic Mary Poppins, a magical nanny arrives at the Banks’ family home in London, at Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane.
The Australian-born author P.L. Travers told the adventures of Mary Poppins in a series of eight books. In the 1964 musical film, two songs about the Banks family are actually called Cherry Tree Lane: “No wonder the Nannies are driven insane, We’re living in a madhouse in Cherry Tree Lane.”
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Galactic Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
The story, according to the prologue, “begins with a house.”
Arthur Dent, an anxious Englishman and the protagonist of the science fiction novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, lived in a house that “stood on a slight rise just on the edge of the village. It stood on its own and looked out over a broad spread of West Country farmland. Not a remarkable house by any means — it was about 30 years old, squattish, squarish, made of brick, and had four windows set in the front of a size and proportion which more or less exactly failed to please the eye.”
One morning, a bulldozer shows up to demolish the house, setting an entire madcap adventure in motion.
In fact, Earth, along with Dent’s house of course, was to make way for a hyperspace bypass.
The fictional sector containing the earth is given as Galactic Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha — another fabulous address for the books.