A look at Jane Austen’s quiet, discreet life as a writer:

“In July 1809, the Austen women left Southampton to take up residence in Chawton, a small village about fifty miles from London. A cottage with six bedrooms and a sizable garden had become available on Edward’s estate and he offered to fix it up for them. The move put Austen back in the Hampshire of her youth: It was only twelve miles to Steventon, where James lived, and one mile to Alton, where Henry had a branch of his bank. At Chawton, Austen’s sole chore was to make nine o’clock breakfast, which consisted of tea and toast, leaving her free to write the rest of the day. The cottage seems to have provided Austen with the conditions she needed to thrive as a writer once again, and she immediately began revising Sense and Sensibility. Her nephew gives what has become an almost legendary account of her habits:

“‘She was careful that her occupation should not be suspected by the servants, or visitors, or any persons beyond her only family party. She wrote upon small sheets of paper which would easily be put away, or covered with a piece of blotting paper. There was, between the front door and the offices, a swing door which creaked when it was opened; but she objected to having this little inconvenience remedied, because it gave her notice when anyone was coming in.’”