Agatha Christie’s 125th anniversary celebrations are taking place this September. This got us thinking: where are the best places for authors to write inspired novels, short stories or poems?
Agatha Christie’s son-in-law said that people never saw her writing. Apparently, she liked to come up with plot ideas whilst soaking in her bath! When looking at the writing habits of some of the most famous authors, it is clear that they all had their own quirks and preferred location; Ernest Hemingway would start writing early in the morning, to avoid being disturbed; Victor Hugo placed himself under house arrest to write ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’, locking away his clothes to avoid the temptation to go outside; George Bernard Shaw wrote in a writing hut he built in the gardens of his home in Hertfordshire; Toni Morrison found refuge in a motel room when her children were small whilst Jane Austen liked to write amongst family life.
Whilst some writers need peace and quiet, others like company and background noise. In his book ‘On Writing’, Stephen King gives the following advice: “If possible, there should be no telephone in your writing room, certainly no TV or videogames for you to fool around with. If there’s a window, draw the curtains or pull down the shades unless it looks out at a blank wall. For any writer, but for the beginning writer in particular, it’s wise to eliminate every possible distraction.”
Whilst it is difficult in this day and age to remove yourself from modern technologies and distractions, there are still some quaint and quiet places which could be fit for any budding writers:
1. Be inspired by the same place as the Brontë sisters
Westray House is located in the picturesque hamlet setting of High Casterton, in close proximity to Casterton School (now Casterton Sedbergh Junior School, as of 2013). Founded in 1823 as The Clergy Daughters’ school in Cowan Bridge and relocated to its Casterton site in 1833, four of the Brontë sisters (Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte and Emily) attended the former school. The school ‘Lowood’ mentioned in Charlotte Brontës novel ‘Jane Eyre’ (1846) is said to be based on their experiences here.
Westray House is for sale with Fine & Country Lancaster – £749,950. Find out more.
2. Little Miss Muffet’s House
The oldest property in Brookmans Park, Moffats Farm was built circa 1550-1560, around the period when playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe were flourishing. There is speculation that the nursery rhyme, Little Miss Muffet was written at the house by a Dr Muffet (1553-1604), a famous entomologist in the late 16th Century for his stepdaughter Patience Muffet:
Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating of curds and whey;
Along came a spider
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
Moffats Farm is for sale with Fine & Country Brookmans Park – £1,850,000. Find out more.
3. In Shakespeare’s footsteps
A stunning red brick terraced property, Number 12 Shakespeare Street is literally a minute’s walk from Henley Street. You step out of the door and you are right in the heart of Stratford-Upon-Avon, with Shakespeare’s birthplace, cafes, canal, river and RSC theater all within 5 minutes. The summer-house with double doors, power and light or the garden shed seems the perfect place for those looking for a quiet place to write.
Number 12 Shakespeare Street is for sale with Fine & Country Leamington Spa – £550,000.Find out more.
4. Privacy and open views
Hollinfield holds a stunning position, gently elevated, on the eastern shore of Lake Windermere, set in gardens and grounds of approximately 2 acres, which give privacy and an open view of a wide stretch of the lake and the high fells beyond. Could this be the setting for your next story?
Hollinfield is for sale with Fine & Country Lakes and North Lancs – £2,700,000. Find out more.
5. Surrounded by the tranquility of the majestic mountains
This distinguished north facing property set in a manicured enchanting garden surrounded by the tranquility of the majestic mountains would inspire any aspiring artist! The heated swimming pool is also perfect when having a break from long hours of work.
The property is for sale with Fine & Country Helderberg, South Africa – ZAR12,000,000. Find out more.
6. A peaceful oasis
This villa is the only one in Spain designed by renowned Dutch architect Piet Boon. The use of textured materials such as the specially imported oak wood and natural stone flooring, as well as the mix of modern, contemporary and traditional styling has allowed for the creation of the most unique home in this green peaceful oasis. The mature split level garden with heated infinity pool on the lower level is designed for utmost privacy and to allow for year round use.
This is a truly unique home in wonderfully quiet, natural environment.
This exclusive villa is for sale with Fine & Country Marbella, Spain – 3,950,000€. Find out more.
7. For aspiring Roald Dahl’s
This deceptively large period cottage in an idyllic setting with mature gardens comes with a home office and outbuildings. Like George Bernard Shaw, Roald Dahl wrote from his garden shed. So why not turning the large cabin-style studio, which could be used for a number of activities, such as home office, playroom, or summer-house, into the next famous writing place in Britain?
This period cottage is for sale with Fine & Country Woldingham – £750,000. Find out more.
8. Find inspiration in your bathtub
If it is good enough for Agatha Christie, and other famous writers such as poet Rod McKuen, then it is worth a try to find inspiration in the bathtub. This beautiful bathtub could be the start of your writing career. And you can even relax afterwards at your very own champagne bar.
This five bedroom family home is for sale with Fine & Country Berkhamsted – £1,495,000.Find out more.
9. Lying down
Other writers, such as Truman Capote or Marcel Proust would write lying down. Capote would admit that he couldn’t think unless lying down, either in bed or stretched on a sofa. This magnificent Edwardian residence has 8 bedrooms to choose from, more than one a day! The property is set within 10 acres of grounds and woodlands to stretch your legs after a long day of work in bed.
Hillstead is for sale with Fine & Country Cambridge – £4,300,000. Find out more.
10. The ultimate writer’s retreat?