Jeanette Winterson’s Stunning Writer’s Retreat For Sale

By March 20, 2017Authors, News

If you’re looking for the perfect writer’s retreat, we may have found it, although it will set you back a whopping £1.6 million! The Modern House is currently featuring the sale of ‘The Gasworks”, originally renovated by Oranges are not the Only Fruit author Jeanette Winterson.

The Cotswolds house in the quintessentially English village of Upper Slaughter has an interesting story dating back to the 19th century. As the name suggests there was originally a gasworks on the property and the cottage was known as gasworks cottage. Once its job of providing carbide has to light the nearby Brassey Estate was over, it fell into seriously disrepair.

Fast forward a long time to the early 1990s and all that is left are a few walls and some foundations. It was then that the cottage and land was purchased by Jeanette Winterson, author of Oranges are not the Only Fruit (USUK), with the intention of renovating the house and turning it into a writer’s retreat.

In 2009 the author wrote ‘The Joy of Wrecks” laying out her plans for the house after paying £450,000 for the dilapidated cottages, and her intentions for turning it into a writer’s retreat. In 2010 it was announced that Chris Dyson architects would be taking on the project, turning it into a stunning home.

However, not long after this, Winterson decided not to continue with the project for reasons unknown. The author sold the house, plus the contract with the architect and the plans to a friend, who finally saw the project through to completion, and now it’s up for sale again.

It’s a stunning home as the pictures show, and will make a fantastic home for someone. Winterson was correct on the writer’s retreat feel because this stunning and unique property set in the beautiful Cotswolds is truly beautiful, and we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a new author, or creative owner soon.

The Private Lives of Authors: Franz Kafka

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Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was a German speaking Jewish novelist born in Prague to a middle class family. His childhood was lonely despite being the eldest of six children; his two brothers unfortunately died in their infancy and the remaining children were mainly raised by governesses. Both parents worked hard in the family business and were consequently absent for much of the working week, leaving the household in the care of servants.

Kafka was a shy and introverted character, and an avid reader. He considered writers such as Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, and Heinrich Von Kleist to be “true blood brothers”. Kafka’s father expected him to take over the family goods business, however, after completing a degree in Law he worked for insurance companies, and started an asbestos factory with an acquaintance. He claimed to despise working just to pay bills and would much rather have spent his time writing. Illness plagued him through his adult life, with complications arising from tuberculosis keeping him from joining the military.

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Brambly Hedge Creator Jill Barklem Died Aged 66

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Born in Epping in 1951, Jill Barklem had a natural talent for art and drawing. He interest in the natural world became a real influence in her work, and after completing her study of illustration at St Martin’s in London, she went on to research extensively for her Brambly Hedge stories.

Her curiosity and interest in rural life bled into her quaint and sweet stories, accompanied by beautifully detailed images of anthropomorphised field mice and other hedgerow creatures.  Her Brambly Hedge stories were adored by many children growing up in the 80s and 90s from her first book ‘A Spring Story’ (1980) to ‘A Year in Brambly Hedge’ (2010). Her work was made into an animation in 1996, voiced by two British treasures- Jim Broadbent and June Whitfield.

After a long illness Jill died, aged 66, on November 16th 2017. The publisher’s staff at HarperCollins were all deeply saddened at the news of Barklem’s death. “Her exquisite Brambly Hedge stories have enchanted children and many adult admirers across the world for more than 35 years. Jill was a lovely person with a rare talent to turn her astute observation of the English countryside into an enchanting miniature world,” she said. “Her enduring stories about the mice of Brambly Hedge remain as beautiful today as when she first created them and will continue to be treasured by future generations.”

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Orwell Statue Unveiled at BBC Broadcasting House

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On the 7th November this year, a brand new statue of one of my all time favourite authors was unveiled outside the BBC’s London Head Quarters, at New Broadcasting House.

Eric Blair had worked at the BBC as a producer for the “Empire Service” over 70 years ago and some suggest that it is this time at the BBC that gave him the inspiration for room 101, in his now famous novel 1984 which he penned under the more familiar name George Orwell.

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10 Doris Lessing Quotes We Can All Relate To

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Doris May Lessing (22nd October 1919 – 17th November 2013) was a British novelist poet, playwright, and short story writer, best known for her novels including The Grass is Singing (USUK), and The Golden Notebook (USUK).

An early feminist, Lessing was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2007, described by the Swedish Academy as “that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny”. When met on the street by journalists and told she had won the prize, she responded “Oh, Christ!”. Read More

10 Moving Quotes from Chinua Achebe

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Chinua Achebe (16 November 1930 – 21 March 2013) was a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor and critic, best known for his novel Things Fall Apart (USUK), considered to be the most widely read book in modern African Literature and winner of the Man Booker International Prize in 2007.

Achebe lived a fascinating life, growing up in South-Eastern Nigeria. He excelled at school and won a scholarship to study medicine but changed his studies to English Literature at University College, Ibadan. It was here he began writing stories, eventually gaining worldwide attention for his works. Read More

Final Paddington Bear Adventure to Be Published on the Anniversary of His Creator’s Death

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Michael Bond, the creator of the beloved Paddington Bear, sadly passed away earlier this year on 27 June at the age of 91. On the first anniversary of his death, Paddington’s last outing, which Bond was working on shortly before his passing, will be published.

“He was working on it very shortly before he died,” said Bond’s daughter, Karen Jankel. “It hadn’t been illustrated, but it was there in manuscript form, and it’s lovely … He kept that magic touch right until the end. He always had to be writing, it was always his way, right through his life.” Read More



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