Literary Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery, Alabama, is the literary home of two major writers’ residences that are now museums. The Dexter Parsonage Museum (which includes the former home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) and the Fitzgerald Museum. (Montgomery has a population of approximately 200,000.)
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The public is welcome to visit the home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., where he lived when serving as the pastor of Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church (1954-1960), from which he launched his most significant civil rights initiatives that ultimately awakened and inspired the nation to address social injustices.
To read about and arrange a trip to the Dexter Parsonage Museum, click here: Dexter Parsonage Museum. According to this website, “The nine-room clapboard Parsonage, built in 1912, has been restored to its appearance when Dr. King and his family lived there. Much of the furniture presently in the living room, dining room, bedroom and study was actually used by Dr. King.” More detailed information is available at dexterkingmemorial.org.
The elegant Fitzgerald Museum in Montgomery was a brief home of the Fitzgerald family. You can read about it before you visit at TheFitzgeraldMuseum.org.
F. Scott Fitzgerald was a symbol of his heyday — the 1920s. He lived in several states, as well as Europe, so the Author Adventures site includes his residences in North Carolina, Kentucky, New Jersey, and Minnesota, as well.
Read more about F. Scott Fitzgerald here: britannica.com. We also recommend his autobiography, A Short Autobiography. He is one of the bestselling US authors of all time, with The Great Gatsby as his most famous work.
Fitzgerald’s last secretary was Frances Ring. Read the 2009 Los Angeles Times article about here here: Frances Ring. I once invited her to speak at a library event, in partnership with a local indie bookstore. She spoke about her book, A Western Harvest, which is a collection of short stories by Western writers she worked with before retiring as editor of Westways, the magazine of the American Automobile Association (AAA). Ms. Ring also answered questions about what it was like to work directly with the legendary Fitzgerald.
The www.gutenberg.org website has several free e-books available through its F. Scott Fitzgerald page, including Tales of the Jazz Age and others.
Though Fitzgerald was one of the more popular authors of his day, he represented, to many people, a partying time in the US that passed when the Great Depression struck in the 1930s. Unfortunately, his habits with alcohol from earlier days caught up with him and haunted his final years. He passed away at the age of 44.
Literary Montgomery is the first stop on the Alabama Author Adventure Trail!