Andalusia (Milledgeville, Georgia)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Andalusia
Andalusia (farmhouse); Milledgeville, Georgia; January 29, 2011.jpg
Andalusia (Milledgeville, Georgia) is located in Georgia (U.S. state)
Andalusia (Milledgeville, Georgia)
Nearest city Milledgeville, GA
Coordinates 33°7′31.461″N 83°15′54.8994″W / 33.12540583°N 83.265249833°W / 33.12540583; -83.265249833Coordinates: 33°7′31.461″N 83°15′54.8994″W / 33.12540583°N 83.265249833°W / 33.12540583; -83.265249833
Area 544 acres (2.20 km2)
Built 1850s (Main House)[1]
Architectural style Plantation Plain
Governing body Private residence
NRHP Reference # 80000968
Added to NRHP 1980

Andalusia is the name of Southern American author Flannery O'Connor's rural Georgia estate. The estate is located in Baldwin County, Georgia, approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) northwest of Milledgeville. It comprises 544 acres (2.20 km2), including the house where O'Connor wrote some of her last and best-known fiction.[2]

History[edit]

The land on which Andalusia was first built had in the mid-19th century been a working plantation of between 1,500 and 1,700 acres owned and operated by Joseph and Mary "Polly" Stovall.[3] After Polly Stovall's death, the estate was purchased at a public auction by sometime mayor of Milledgveille, Nathan Hawkins, and later sold to Col. Thomas Johnson of Kentucky in 1870.[3]

In 1951, Flannery O'Connor returned to her home state of Georgia, where she had grown up, after being diagnosed with a form of lupus. She first lived in the family home of her mother, Regina, on Greene Street in Milledgeville, then owned by her uncles Louis and Bernard Cline.[4] There, she finished her manuscript for her novel Wise Blood and, with her health improving, she moved with her mother to Andalusia, then still a working farm.[5] She had visited the home every summer in her childhood.[6] Her mother had jointly inherited the 544-acre property along with her brother Louis Cline from their uncle.[7]

O'Connor saw her time at Andalusia as a temporary place to restore her health, not as a permanent home, though her health still fluctuated. As she wrote to editor Robert Giroux, "I am up and around again now but won't be well enough to go back to Connecticut for some time."[8] She hosted several visitors, including Jesuit priest Fr. James McCown, who became a close friend and spiritual mentor, and writer Katherine Anne Porter.[9]

Even so, she sometimes felt isolated from the active literary culture which she hoped to join and lamented the boredom of her life at the farm: "This season we have had three peachickens hatch and have killed one rattlesnake. Otherwise nothing goes on around here."[10] Nevertheless, she found her experience there was an influence on her writing. The bulk of her life's work was written there and several of her short stories are set in the area, including "The Displaced Person", which scholars identify as the one which closest resembles the farm.[11] She died at Andalusia in 1964.

Modern history[edit]

It is believed that novelist John Kennedy Toole attempted to visit the house shortly before his suicide in 1969, though the home was not then open to the public.[12]

The home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980[13] and opened as a museum in 2003.[14] The estate is currently maintained by The Andalusia Foundation, Inc.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Main House
  2. ^ Andalusia, Home of Flannery O'Connor, Milledgeville, Georgia
  3. ^ a b Kirk, Connie Ann. Critical Companion to Flannery O'Connor. New York: Facts on Files, 2008: 314. ISBN 978-0-8160-6417-5
  4. ^ Kirk, Connie Ann. Critical Companion to Flannery O'Connor. New York: Facts on Files, 2008: 313. ISBN 978-0-8160-6417-5
  5. ^ Rogers, Jonathan. The Terrible Speed of Mercy: A Spiritual Biography of Flannery O'Connor. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012: 48. ISBN 978-1-59555-023-1
  6. ^ Gordon, Sarah. A Literary Guide to Flannery O'Connor's Georgia (Craig Amason, editor). University of Georgia Press, 2008: 19. 9780820327631
  7. ^ Simpson, Melissa. Flannery O'Connor: A Biography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005: 80. ISBN 0-313-32999-0
  8. ^ Rogers, Jonathan. The Terrible Speed of Mercy: A Spiritual Biography of Flannery O'Connor. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012: 49–50. ISBN 978-1-59555-023-1
  9. ^ Simpson, Melissa. Flannery O'Connor: A Biography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005: 28. ISBN 0-313-32999-0
  10. ^ Wood, Ralph C. Flannery O'Connor and the Christ-Haunted South. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eermands Publishing Co., 2004: 210. ISBN 0-8028-2999-6
  11. ^ Kirk, Connie Ann. Critical Companion to Flannery O'Connor. New York: Facts on Files, 2008: 315. ISBN 978-0-8160-6417-5
  12. ^ Fletcher, Joel L. Ken and Thelma: The Story of A Confederacy of Dunces. Pelican Publishing Company, Inc. 2005: 38–39. ISBN 978-1-58980-296-9
  13. ^ Flannery O'Connor - Andalusia Foundation
  14. ^ House of Stories - Georgia | Travel + Leisure

External links[edit]