Chapter II (quotes from the book are in olive)
The second chapter of Laura's book is a web of threads stretching out in all directions. Coming in at just 416 words, we are introduced to the meaning of the iconic structure at her home, the Lichgate. Another introduction lies hidden in this chapter as well. As explored on the Leitmotif page of this site, the symbol of the witch appears for the first time here, not once but at least twice quite clearly. The appearance of the witch motif is not accidental, it reflects, I believe, the influence of author named Margaret Murray, an English author and considered part of the first-wave of feminists.
The chapter's opening paragraph reads,
"As my house passed through its several metamorphoses, I soon realized that although some persons live in the house of their dreams, my house lived in the dreams of other persons. Visitors from cities, states, and foreign countries stopped to exclaim: “It reminds me of ….” Some of the Black Forest, some of the Alps, some of Saxon England—all, of the far away, and some, of the long ago. Of the Hansel and Gretel cottage, the Anne Hathaway house, or the rooftops of Mother Goose. Here was a curiosity, out of time and place, a fairy tale creation, come to settle, as if by a spell, in the Florida sunshine."
Within this paragraph we see the first presence of the witch in her reference to a "Hansel and Gretel cottage". As anyone familiar with the fairytale knows the cottage in the story belongs to the witch that is determined to devour the children. The second hint at the presence occurs in the last sentence, "as if by spell", as if conjured by whom? As if conjured by a witch. These are only a few of the many instances so far discovered among her writings and for a fuller picture of this one and the presence of the Greek God Pan, visit the Leitmotif page and learn more.
This paragraph also obliquely references another of Laura's favoritie subjects, that of Shakespeare. She was a lifelong Anglophile, visited England on several occassions and was in contact with several English authors. Unfortunately with the destruction of her letters just before her death we will never know the full extent of her friendships with those who lived in England. The Shakespeare reference here is of course the mention of the "Anne Hathaway house". This house was the childhood home of Anne Hathaway and the place where she and Shakespeare would have met as he was courting her prior to their marriage. It is still in existance today, surrounded by gardens and sculpture as a living monument to the life and family of the great playwright.