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William Faulkner’s Oxford, Mississippi

Rowan Oak
Rowan Oak, William Faulkner's home in Oxford Mississippi © Charles & Mary Love

Oxford, Mississippi was home to William Faulkner, the state’s Nobel Prize-winning writer, who passed away in 1962. A visit to Oxford (also home to the University of Mississippi) is not complete without stopping by Faulkner’s antebellum home, Rowan Oak, built in 1840 in the Greek Revival style.

We visited here on a recent Mississippi road trip that also included stays in Clarksdale (birthplace of the blues), Vicksburg, and Natchez, the oldest settlement on the Mississippi River and site of more beautiful, antebellum homes than any other place in the country.

Thirty-two wooded acres surround Faulkner’s house, and a double row of cedars lines the brick path that leads to the front door. Faulkner left the circular, brick-bordered garden in the front yard in the same state as he found it—abandoned—as a way to honor the legacy of former owners.

Inside are his furniture, family photographs, manuscripts and cases full of books. On display in his office is a typewriter and, pinned to the wall, the handwritten outline of a novel. To a visitor arriving today, the home seems tranquil and homey—the perfect place to write.

Recent news is that the Modern Library is reissuing six of his most acclaimed works, including Selected Short Stories, The Sound and the Fury and Light in August to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death. For more information, go to www.gardenandgun.com/blog/faulkner-remembered.

If you make a visit to Oxford, recognized by USA Today as a “thriving New South arts mecca” and included in The 100 Best Small Towns in America, consider staying at The Inn at Ole Miss (www.theinnatolemiss.com).

Also, don’t miss dining at the award-winning City Grocery (www.citygroceryonline.com) on historic Oxford Square and stopping in Square Books (www.squarebooks.com), a store that’s become a Mississippi landmark. It offers a large selection of books on top southern writers and artists and much more. Also on the square: Off Square books, which hosts weekly radio shows featuring visiting authors.

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