Monday, June 02, 2008

Mark Twain at work in the shed

“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
We've covered Mark Twain's garden office shed before on Shedworking but the estimable Gregory La Vardera at the equally estimable materialicious has dug up this marvellous photo of Mr Twain in his octagonal shedworking structure as well as a couple of great quotes in letters from the great man
.“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


  1. I should have known you already had it covered! Well done!

  2. Wow!! That just makes me feel all dreamy and envious!! (His is already finished!!)

    Though I'm in a valley, that delicious sense of isolation and magic is what every shed should have!

    Thank you!!

  3. Anonymous12:01 PM

    I love this picture, now that is what I call a shed it gives a sense of security and seclusion and trust Mark Twain to have one like that.