How Spiteful!

Two of my sisters-in-law visited us over the weekend. One of the fun things about having family come see us is that we get a chance to play tourist with them in the beautiful Boston area. We went to the New England Aquarium (which I’m sorry to report is in the middle of a major renovation, so it wasn’t the experience I’d hoped for my sisters) and spent a lovely, albeit rainy, morning at the Arnold Arboretum. I had no idea there were so many different varieties of lilacs.

We also walked the Freedom Trail.

The Spite HouseI’ve done it before but this time I saw a historic house I’d missed. You really can’t blame me. It only measures a little over 10 feet wide. There’s no front door. You have to squeeze through a narrow alley to enter.

It made me wonder how such a strange little house came to be built. Its history is a bit sketchy, but here’s what I’ve uncovered. In 1874, two brothers inherited the land on Hull Street from their father. One was a soldier who was in active service. The other brother built himself a grand home on the land, set back from the street and left only a narrow sliver for his sibling. When the soldier came home and saw what his brother had done, he didn’t get mad. He got even.

He built this unique home in the space his brother left for him. The Skinny House (sometimes called The Spite House) tapers to a mere 9 ft. 3 inches to the rear of the property, but its width isn’t the most important dimension. Its four stories block the light and the harbor view of his brother’s home.

Spiteful indeed!

Sins of the HighlanderOh! Before I forget, I need to let you know about a special offer from Sourcebooks. For a limited time, you can get Sins of the Highlander for only $2.99. That’s a 63% savings over the regular price.

Like the wronged soldier who built the Spite House, Mad Rob MacLaren wants to even a score too. He blames Lachland Drummond for his wife’s death, so he steals Drummond’s bride right from the altar. He never expected she’d bring his dead heart back to life.

I love Mad Rob’s story and hope you will too.

Buy links: Kindle , Nook , Kobo 




6 thoughts on “How Spiteful!

  1. Anna Bowling says:

    What an interesting story. Would be right at home in a historical romance novel, too.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      You’re right, Anna. I can see how that scenario might be adapted for another place and time pretty easily. Fights between brothers have caught our imagination since Cain and Abel.

  2. Stephanie G says:

    Interesting history. I love little tidbits like that. :-)

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      One of the things I love most about living in Boston is that history oozes up from every cobbled street.

  3. Nynke says:

    What a striking story! I think Ive seen a couple of houses approximately this narrow in Amsterdam and Utrecht, but they were built like that for a much more boring reason (they were cheap!) and they do have front doors…

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      When the DH and I were in Amsterdam, we saw lots of narrow houses. One of the things that surprised me was that the houses leaned forward. I thought it was subsidence over time, but I was told they were designed that way so goods and furniture could be hoisted up and into the windows without scraping the side of the building.

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