House Crazy Sarah’s all-time favorite author is Canadian original Margaret Laurence.
Margaret Laurence 1926 – 1987
House Crazy Sarah has long been enthralled with Margaret’s series of poignant novels about the small town of Manawaka in rural Manitoba.
The Stone Angel was Margaret’s critically acclaimed novel about an aging woman set in the fictional Manawaka.
House Crazy Sarah loved reading The Stone Angel in school but her favorite Margaret Laurence book is The Diviners, which was also partially set in Manawaka.
Margaret Laurence based Manawaka on her own real-life hometown on the Canadian prairies, Neepawa, Manitoba.
Laurence grew up in Neepawa and lived in her grandfather’s large brick Italianate house during her formative years from 1935 to 1944.
Built in 1894, the house, and her grandfather, John Simpson, figured prominently in the Manawaka series of novels.
The home has been designated ‘Manitoba Provincial Heritage Site No. 25’ and is owned and operated by The Margaret Laurence Home Committee Inc.
It is located at 312 First Avenue.
This stately home is now a museum paying tribute to the life and career of Margaret Laurence.
This very house served as a backdrop to many vivid passages in her award-winning novels.
House Crazy Sarah is thrilled to see that many of the home’s original features remain intact including the woodwork and wood floors.
Look at the delicate millwork below:
The home is sprinkled with Laurence memorabilia and antiques.
The dining room:
House Crazy Sarah is most fascinated with original kitchens in old houses but it was difficult to find many photos of this homes’ kitchen. Most of the kitchen has been turned into a small gift shop.
In the photos below, you get just a peek of the cabinetry…
The cabinetry appears to date from around mid-century – probably not original to the home.
House Crazy Sarah could only find photos of one small bedroom:
This may be the room that Margaret referred to as her “Reading Room”.
Below is Margaret’s typewriter:
And an image of the author in her later years:
She leaves not only a legacy of classic Canadian literature, but also a tangible representation of the images she created – a brick and mortar place that we can visit.
A special thank you to the Margaret Laurence Home for their dedication in preserving this house.
(Some photos above are courtesy of the Margaret Laurence Home.)