Meredith's writing chalet, Box Hill, Surrey. Meredith, who had this two-room structure built at the top of the sloping garden of Flint Cottage, spent much time there in hermit-like seclusion, often sleeping and eating there. He filled it with tobacco smoke and would talk freely there to his characters.

Left: "The interior of the chalet, showing also the communicating room where Meredith slept" (Ellis, facing p. 264). Right: The view from his window.

From Box Hill, Meredith wrote to his friend John Morley on 5 April 1877:

I work and sleep up in my cottage at present, and anything grander than the days and nights at my porch you will not find away from the Alps: for the dark line of my hill runs up to the stars, the valley below is a soundless gulf. There I pace like a shipman before turning in. In the day, with the S. West blowing, I have a brilliant universe rolling up to me.... [274-75]

He concluded by telling Morley, "in this room of mine, I should have no excuse for idlesness. In truth work flows from me" (275).

Photographs, scan and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. These images may be used without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose, as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one. Click on the images for larger pictures.

Related Material


Meredith, George. Letters of George Meredith, Vol. I. Ed. William Maxse Meredith. 2 vols. London: Constable, 1912. Internet Archive. Contributed by the University of California. Web. 13 December 2015.

Last modified 14 December 2015