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Authors at Work: the Creative Environment

Authors at Work: the Creative Environment (Hardback)

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Writers often meditate on what physical situations they need to do the work in hand. A room of their own, bills, bed, procrastination, regular meals, Benzedrine and beer, office routines, walking and riding, even prison, can be machines that make them write. Trollope got 2,000 words done every morning, watch on the table. Clare composed en pleine air, jotting on his hat rim. Wesley's hymns came to him on horseback. The Bronte sisters paced round a drawing-room table. Donne was dismally prompted to write by nappies. Johnson needed the printer's devil knocking at his door. On a grand scale, city planners try to entice the creative classes into a creative area: while at a local level, readers have a magical sense that putting themselves into the bodily position of a writer may allow them to join in her planning and plotting. The essays in this volume examine the working habits of seven great authors, from 1600 to today: Jonson, Milton, the Bronte sisters, Trollope, Oliphant, and Auden. There are also interviews on the creative environment with the Poet Laureate of Great Britain, the British Library's Head of Modern Literary Manuscripts, the Director of the Hay Festival, research fellows at Stratford and the Globe, and a poet-web-blogger. CONTRIBUTORS: STAN SMITH, ELISABETH JAY, N. JOHN HALL, STEVIE DAVIS, PETER C. HERMAN, FARAH KARIM-COOPER, KATE RUMBOLD, MICHELLE O'CALLAGHAN, ADAM SMYTH, ANDREW MOTION, JAMIE ANDREWS, ROBERT SHEPPARD, PETER FLORENCE

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