I'm currently doing some research on E. A. Poe's Landor's Cottage (1849).
This short story—really a description by an unnamed narrator of an ideal(ized) locale—is "a pendant to 'The Domain of Arnheim'", another short story by Poe (1847), in which the author describes the philosophies and character of Ellison, a keen and wealthy man who endeavours to use landscaping as a form of art and creates a magnificent landscape garden, which the second part of the story describes in some detail.
Are there indications that either story is set in or based on (a) real-life location(s)?
I am mainly interested in those of Landor's Cottage, but I think the location of Arnheim could help with that.
I am aware of the comparison between the cottage of Landor and Fordham Cottage in The Bronx, but I am currently more interested in any rural influences.
Landor's Cottage does make references to a general area in a New York county:
".. a pedestrian trip [..] through one or two of the river counties of New York .."
".. the sweet village of B- .."
".. but grass such as we seldom see out of England .."
".. made its devious and unnoticed way to the Hudson."
But I wonder if there is any indication of a more precise area, if, for example, the valley described is an existing (be it embellished) one.
This notated transcript of the story narrows the area down slightly ("he presumably walked from Fordham — in Westchester County in his day — through Putnam County on its north and into Dutchess County, where Poughkeepsie is situated"), but this still is too vague for my purposes.*
As for The Domain of Arnheim, the narrator assumes the reader has heard of 'Arnheim':
"[..] we found a locality with which Ellison professed himself satisfied. It is, of course, needless to say where was the locality. The late death of my friend, in causing his domain to be thrown open to certain classes of visiters, has given to Arnheim a species of secret and subdued if not solemn celebrity, similar in kind, although infinitely superior in degree, to that which so long distinguished Fonthill."
- For those interested: besides a general fascination for this story, I'm meaning to recreate the valley and surroundings mentioned in Landor's Cottage in Unity, and am looking for a realistic heightmap.