The greatest books transport you to a whole other world through just your imagination.
While your body is lying in bed, your mind may be strolling around the manicured gardens of a manor house or the gritty streets of Victorian London.
But now you can see some of the most iconic homes in literature with your own eyes, thanks an artificial intelligence (AI).
These include Pemberley House, Mr Darcy’s lavish estate in ‘Pride and Prejudice’, and the residence of the world’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes.
Book lovers at Hammonds Furniture used the text-to-image software Midjourney to bring fictional homes to life in celebration of World Book Day 2023 – but how many of them can you guess?
Jay Gatsby’s mansion in ‘The Great Gatsby’ (pictured) is described as a ‘colossal affair by any standard’ and an ‘imitation of some Hôtel de Ville in Normandy’
Daisy Buchanan’s estate in ‘The Great Gatsby’ (pictured) is described as a ‘cheerful red-and-white Georgian Colonial mansion’, as well as ‘elaborate’, ‘bright’ and ‘rosy-coloured’
1. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
The above two houses are depictions of those from ‘The Great Gatsby’, a novel set in 1922 that follows the life of mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby.
It is told through the eyes of Nick Carraway, a bond salesman who moves next door in the wealthy enclave of West Egg in Long Island.
Jay Gatsby’s mansion is described as a ‘colossal affair by any standard’ and an ‘imitation of some Hôtel de Ville in Normandy’.
It had a ‘tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool and more than forty acres of lawn and garden’.
Midjourney was fed this information and generated the building, showing a multitude of rooms with tall windows and an impressive lawn.
In the novel, Jay Gatsby is obsessed with the idea of reuniting with his former lover, Daisy Buchanan, who lives in the same area.
Her estate is described as a ‘cheerful red-and-white Georgian Colonial mansion’, as well as ‘elaborate’, ‘bright’ and ‘rosy-coloured’.
The AI software took all this into account and produced a smart, red brick building surrounded by roses and topiary.
Its classic look contrasts with the Gatsby household, which is larger-than-life and represents the over-consumption of the upper class in that period.
This AI-generated image shows Pemberley House, the home of Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy in Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ which is described as a ‘large, handsome, stone building’
2. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
The AI-generated image above shows Pemberley House, the home of Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy in Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’.
This book tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet, a middle class young woman who meets and, eventually, falls in love with him.
But, to begin with, the two characters are complete opposites. Where Elizabeth is down-to-Earth, Mr Darcy is proud and pompous.
This is reflected in his estate, which is described as a ‘large, handsome, stone building’ and ‘backed by a ridge of high woody hills’.
There is also a stream at the front ‘without any artificial appearance’, and its banks ‘were neither formal, nor falsely adorned’.
This symbolises how Mr Darcy’s arrogant facade coexists with true honesty and integrity, which Elizabeth’s visit to Pemberley helped her realise.
Perhaps one of the most well-known addresses in the world, 221b Baker Street (pictured) is where Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson solved crimes throughout 60 stories
While there is now a museum dedicated to the detective at 221B Baker Street in London (pictured), at the time of the books’ writing, numbers on the street did not go this high
3. Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Perhaps one of the most well-known addresses in the world, 221b Baker Street is where Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson solved crimes throughout 60 stories.
While there is now a museum dedicated to the detective at this location in London, at the time of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s writing, numbers on the street did not go this high.
But, in ‘A Study in Scarlet’, Holmes’ fictional flat was said to have consisted of ‘a couple of comfortable bed-rooms and a single large airy sitting-room, cheerfully furnished, and illuminated by two broad windows.’
Indeed, the countless stage productions and film and TV adaptations of the books has meant the 19th century location has been reimagined time and time again.
Sherlock Holmes has, in fact, the Guinness World Record for ‘most portrayed literary human being in film and TV’.
The AI took different sets and descriptions into account when it recreated the unassuming terrace building.
It has Victorian architecture, large windows and is poorly lit, perhaps to avoid attracting the attention of Moriarty.
In ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, Boo Radley lives with his father Nathan in a house is described as ‘low’ with a ‘deep front porch and green shutters’ (pictured)
4. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee tells the story of the Finch family who live in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, USA during the Great Depression.
The two children, Scout and Jem, try to get their reclusive neighbour Arthur ‘Boo’ Radley to leave his home, and they become friends.
Boo lives with his father, Nathan Radley, and their house is described as ‘low’ with a ‘deep front porch and green shutters’.
Lee’s novel also says that it was ‘once white’ but it had ‘darkened to the color of the slate-gray yard around it’.
It had ‘rain-rotted shingles’, ‘oak trees [that] kept the sun away’ and a ‘”swept” yard that was never swept’.
These elements were all taken into account by Midjourney, to give an eerie-looking, neglected building that would fascinate the Finch children.
Kirsty Oakes, Head of Product and Marketing at Hammonds Furniture added: ‘Reading is a therapeutic pastime which can relieve stress and aid escape from the real world.
‘We hope that these beautiful images will inspire more readers to pick up their favourite book this World Book Day and inspire others to read more.
‘Creating a comfortable and quiet space to fully immerse yourself in the story is essential and once finished reading, the books can be used as décor in living rooms or home offices.’
Instagram photographer admits his portraits are all AI-generated
An Instagram photographer who raked in thousands of followers thanks to his stunning portraits has admitted that they are actually fake.
The apparent ‘photos’ were created by Midjourney – a software that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to generate images – and touched up on Photoshop.
Jos Avery, from the US, even gave each figure a name, geotag and moving story that he added in the image captions, but these are marked as fictional.
The photorealistic, black-and-white images saw his Instagram account, @averyseasonart, gain nearly 29,000 followers since he first posted in October.
However, after admitting the images were AI generated, he has received some backlash from followers who felt tricked.
Read more here
An Instagram photographer who raked in thousands of followers thanks to his stunning portraits has admitted that they are actually fake