While online the other day I came across a picture of the actual desk where my wife’s favorite author, Jane Austen, is reported to have created her bestselling novels. What struck me about it was its diminutive size. No larger than a tea table, it looked barely large enough to eat scones at, much less create the literary masterpieces for which Austen is known.
What I can’t help thinking is whether Austen didn’t need as much exterior space because she had adequate interior space as a result of the time and place she lived. She not only lived during a kinder, gentler period, but she also wrote from a place more attuned to the reflective pace necessary to think and create.
One of the highlights during my and my wife’s holiday vacation to New York City was our visit to the Morgan Library, where there happened to be an exhibit of Jane Austen’s original writings. It was inspiring to see firsthand the handwriting of a genius and to witness the fruits of her creative labor.
And here at home, my wife and I recently sampled several movies via Netflix that adapt Austen’s trademark wit to the big screen. Nearly two hundred years later, it is readily apparent that she had an innate understanding of the human condition. What’s more, it is amazing how much creativity she was able to conjure up in her creative corner of the world.