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The Author's EffectsOn Writer's House Museums$
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Nicola J. Watson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198847571

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198847571.001.0001

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Shakespeare’s chair and Austen’s desk

(p.93) 4 Furniture
The Author's Effects

Nicola J. Watson

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 looks at how objects have been assembled into narratives of the scene of writing, conventionally composed in microcosm of the author’s chair, desk, pen, ink, and paper as witness to the act of writing. It explores what we have invested in the scene of writing, how it bears on the construction of the figure of the author, and how chairs, desks, and desk furniture come to be conceived, valued, represented, and staged as the ‘home’ of writing. It investigates (amongst other important instances) the long-standing celebrity of Shakespeare’s chairs and Jane Austen’s desks as a prehistory to the more recent display of Daphne du Maurier’s desk at Jamaica Inn in Cornwall.

Keywords:   Daphne du Maurier, Francesco Petrarch, William Shakespeare, Czartowyski Museum Kraców, Jane Austen, Chawton Cottage, Charlotte Brontë, Victor Hugo, Virginia Woolf, Charles Dickens

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