The writing table on which classic novelist Jane Austen produced so much great work, at her home in Chawton, Hampshire, England. Jane lived here from 1809 to 1817, only moving out for a few short months near the end of her life when her final illness made it necessary to be close to her doctor in nearby Winchester.
It was on this simple little desk that Jane revised both Sense and Sensibility, which was published in 1811 (making Jane all of £140), and Pride and Prejudice, published in 1813. Mansfield Park followed in 1814, with Emma in 1815. Persuasion was completed in 1816 but not published until 1818, a year after her death at the age of 41. She was in the process of writing Sanditon when she died and it was never finished.
Nearby is a door which, to this day, still has a squeak when opened. Back in the early-19th century, novel writing was considered somewhat unseemly for a female - all Jane's novels which appeared during her lifetime were published anonymously, merely bearing the legend 'By a Lady', which was not uncommon at the time - so Jane had the door deliberately left un-oiled, as an early warning alarm so she could conceal her writing if anybody approached.
As a fellow writer in the 21st century world of laptops, internet research and telephone interviews, it's quite humbling to stand in front of such a tiny, plain and unpretentious table and know so much wonderful literature has emanated from it. Totally magical. If I could choose to own any piece of furniture in the world, then this would be it...
Taken in Chawton, Hampshire, England on September 1, 2009.