Thursday, September 08, 2011

EB White: shedworker

The author of Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little lived in North Brooklin, Maine where he worked in the boathouse on his property (pictured above, photographed by Jill Krementz): he wrote the first draft of Charlotte's Web in here in 1950. Here's how the New York Times described it:
"He does most of his writing at the water's edge in an old boathouse, sitting in Spartan solitude on a wooden bench. Writing has never come easy, and it took him years to realize that spikes were sticking in his back. Mr. White has now built himself a broader bench and screened in the boathouse and chased off the foxes that burrowed into the ground below."

Above is the exterior of the boathouse - which measures 10ft by 15ft - and author Michael Sims, an expert on White and Charlotte's Web.

And here's his view from the boathouse (part of a nice slideshow by Blake Eskin in the New Yorker which covers his trip to the property last month including a podcast which compares White to Thoreau and a photo of the famous swing in the barn). Inside, the boathouse was furnished with a desk which White built himself and worked on using his typewriter, chair, bench, wooden waste basket and a woodburning stove. ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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