This past September, while visiting Savannah, Georgia for a couple of days, I trudged my loved ones through the oppressive heat of that hauntingly beautiful city on a quest to find Flannery O’Connor’s house on East Charlton Street, Layfayette Square.
Birthplace of a Genius.
The house is now a museum that honours her memory and work, and we were treated to a wonderful and very informative tour from a fabulous lady, Cody. You can find out more about the house HERE.
Mary (Flannery) O’Connor was born on March 25, 1925, the only child of Edward F. O’Connor and Regina Cline (Who lived until the ripe old age of 99, passing away in 1995). Edward was diagnosed with lupus in 1939, and died on February 1, 1941 when Flannery was 15.
A very poignant moment to learn that Flannery’s extremely ill father spent many a day resting here.
Flannery would entertain her little friends in the family bathroom, sitting in the bath to read stories – until her friend’s parents realised that she was scaring these little girls with ‘Grimm’s Fairy Tales’, and they weren’t allowed to play with her anymore!
Flannery was also diagnosed with lupus, in 1951, at the age of 26, and although she was only expected to live for five more years, she survived for thirteen more. While battling her illness, she completed more than two dozen short stories and two novels, Wise Blood and The Violent Bear it Away. She died in August, 1964, her third novel unfinished.
Queen of the ‘Southern Gothic’. An incredible woman.
I couldn’t resist leaving a copy of LADY BETH in the FREE LITTLE LIBRARY outside Flannery’s house. The feckin’ cheek o’me!!!