Jane Austen: Chawton House, Hampshire
If you’re interested in where great writers lived, take a look at Nick Channer's new book Where Great Books Began, which features more than 50 literary residences. A few appeared in the Guardian recently, complete with photographs: among them were John Keats's Hampstead villa, Jane Austen's red-brick house in Hampshire, Dylan Thomas's Carmarthenshire boathouse and Lord Byron's Newstead Abbey, where the debonair Romantic had a tame bear and wolf roaming the corridors — Byron inherited the sprawling property at the age of ten, and used its Great Hall for indoor pistol practice.
Lord Byron: Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire
Overlooking lakes, gardens and 300 acres of parkland, Newstead Abbey was almost in ruins when Byron inherited the estate at the age of ten. In addition to hosting wild parties, he indulged in pistol practice in the Great Hall, boxed in the drawing room and allowed a tame bear and a wolf to roam the corridors.
Agatha Christie: Greenway, DevonOverlooking a glorious sweep of the River Dart in Devon, Greenway once belonged to Agatha Christie. The Grade II-listed Georgian house makes an appearance in several of her novels and was the setting for one of Christie’s pre-publication rituals. The Queen of Crime would read a chapter from her new whodunnit to her family and ask if they could unmask the killer. Often, Christie’s husband, Max Mallowan, would wake from his evening slumber and correctly identify the murderer.