By George Upton
For a London literary landmark
This five-bedroom house in Richmond, west London, is one half of Hogarth House, the Grade II-listed building that was once home to Leonard and Virginia Woolf. Two years after the couple moved here in 1915, they started a publishing house as a hobby with just a single hand press. By the time they sold the house in 1924, Hogarth Press had become an established imprint, publishing the first edition of TS Eliot’s The Waste Land and Virginia’s experimental novel, Jacob’s Room. The property, which has been newly restored, is split over four floors and features a garden designed by RHS Chelsea medal winner, Heather Appleton. The house is on the market for £3.5mn.
For a coastal lookout
Situated on the southern coast of South Africa, this four-bedroom house was the home of Jan Rabie, a celebrated Afrikaans writer who is considered the father of the Die Sestigers literary movement, and artist Marjorie Wallace. The couple moved to the house in 1970 and added an ocean-view “studio in the sky” for Wallace on the upper floor, now converted into two bedrooms and a bathroom. A secret room under Rabie’s study, where he would hide friends if the police visited during the Apartheid period, is now a wine cellar. Elsewhere, the character of the Cape Dutch-style house has been preserved. On the market for R8.7mn ($517,000), the property also includes a small cottage in the garden.
For an American icon
This four-bedroom house in Connecticut was built on the site of Stormfield, the country home of the great American novelist Mark Twain. Taking its name from Twain’s short story, Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven, the original Tuscan-style house was built by Twain in 1908. However, he would die here only two years later and in 1923, the house was largely destroyed in a fire. The current property, built in 1925, incorporates the original terraces, stone walls and formal gardens, and there is a separate pool house and guesthouse with an additional two bedrooms. The property is on the market for $3.9mn.
For a Mediterranean refuge
Built in 1700, on the Italian island of Capri, this six-bedroom home once belonged to French writer Colette. It was during her first trip to Italy in 1910, aged 37, that Colette heard her divorce had gone through — finally allowing her to take credit for the popular Claudine series of novels that until that point had borne the name of her husband. In Capri, and at this house, which she sensitively redeveloped in 1915, she would at last be able to enjoy popularity and success. The house, which is on the market for €2.5mn, retains many of its original features as well as a colonnaded garden installed by Colette, with views of the sea and the island’s dramatic coastline.
For the Garden of England
Sussex Farm House is a five-bedroom Tudor house in Kent (also main picture, top) that was once home to Roger Hargreaves, the author and illustrator of the Mr Men and Little Miss series of children’s books. The Grade II-listed home was recently modernised by the current owners and is on the market for £6.5mn. As well as the house, the property comes with four cottages with an additional nine bedrooms between them, 196 acres of farmland and one other famous previous owner: Ice Cold in Alex actor, Sir John Mills.
Photography: Savills; Christie's International Real Estate; Bernadette Queenan for William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty; Italy Sotheby’s International Realty