Where They Wrote

I am so intrigued by the creative spaces carved out by writers.  Spaces dedicated to the sole pursuit of writing.  Small and intimate, some simple and some detailed. But all – solitary – only enough room for one, one bent on getting thoughts on paper.

“It is the loveliest study you ever saw…octagonal with a peaked roof, each face filled with a spacious window…perched in complete isolation on the top of an elevation that commands leagues of valley and city and retreating ranges of distant blue hills. It is a cozy nest and just room in it for a sofa, table, and three or four chairs, and when the storms sweep down the remote valley and the lighting flashes behind the hills beyond and the rain beats upon the roof over my head—imagine the luxury of it.”—Mark Twain, Letter to William Dean Howells, 1874

Mark Twain writing hut


Mark Twain writing hut

It currently sits on the campus of Elmira College in New York.

“On hot days I spread the study wide open, anchor my papers down with brickbats and write in the midst of the hurricanes, clothed in the same thin linen we make shirts of. The study is nearly on the peak of the hill; it is right in front of the little perpendicular wall of rock left where they used to quarry stones. On the peak of the hill is an old arbor roofed with bark and covered with the vine you call the “American Creeper”—its green is almost bloodied with red. The Study is 30 yards below the old arbor and 100 yards above the dwelling-house—it is remote from all noises…”—Mark Twain, Letter to Dr. John Brown, 187

George Bernard Shaw had a writing hut that he called “London”

so that when he was writing, any callers could be told that he was away on business in the capital.

George Bernard Shaw writing hut

The hut was built on a platform as a “lazy susan” so that it could be rotated toward the light or shade depending on the season.

 The simply functional hut was included in the book  A Little House of  My Own: 47 grand designs 47 Tiny Houses.

Shaw's writing hut

The cabin that Henry David Thoreau designed and built for himself has been recreated…

Thoreau's cabin

The statue of Thoreau is seen in the foreground.


Thoreau's cabin interior


The yellow door beckons from Roald Dahl’s writing shed…


“The whole of the inside was organised as a place for writing: so the old wing-back chair had part of the back burrowed out to make it more comfortable; he had a sleeping bag that he put his legs in when it was cold and a footstool to rest them on; he had a very characteristic Roald arrangement for a writing table with a bar across the arms of the chair and a cardboard tube that altered the angle of the board on which he wrote. As he didn’t want to move from his chair everything was within reach. He wrote on yellow legal paper with his favourite kind of pencils; he started off with a handful of them ready sharpened. The table near to his right hand had all kinds of strange memorabilia on it, one of which was part of his own hip bone that had been removed; another was a ball of silver paper that he’d collected from bars of chocolate since he was a young man and it had gradually increased in size. There were various other things that had been sent to him by fans or schoolchildren.” – The Guardian

Roald Dahl writing

Roald Dahl desk

And then there was Ernest Hemingway’s standing desk…

Ernest Hemingway standing desk

Ernest Hemingway standing desk

All of this has me thinking…

Look what is in my back yard…

Blog hut

Built some 17 years ago as a playhouse for the princess daughter…


Blog Hut?

all photos not labeled or my own from wikipedia

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  1. […] of valley and city and retreating ranges of distant blue hills.” Of his writing hut Mark Twain said, “It is the loveliest study you ever […]