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Eudora Welty's secretary
Jackson, Mississippi

In her home of 76 years, where she drafted such classics as the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Optimist's Daughter, Welty spent much of her time at the typewriter, facing this piece of furniture.

Laurel sat down on the slipper chair. The gooseneck lamp threw its dimmed beam on the secretary's warm brown doors. It had been made of the cherry trees on the McKelva place a long time ago; on the lid, the numerals 1817 had been set into a not quite perfect oval of different wood, something smooth and yellow as a scrap of satin. It had been built as a plantation desk but was graceful and small enough for a lady's use; Laurel's mother had had entire claim on it. On its pediment stood a lead-mold eagle spreading its wings and clasping the globe: it was about the same breadth as her mother's spread-out hand.
— The Optimist's Daughter, 1972

Guided tours on Wednesday to Friday; $5 admission (free every 13th of the month); www.eudorawelty.org


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