The houses at Pompeii are generally low, rarely exceeding two storeys in height, and it appears certain that the upper storey was generally of a slight construction, and occupied by small rooms, serving as garrets, or sleeping places for slaves, and perhaps for the females of the family.
It is probable that what he had suffered during his first year in London had often reminded him of some parts of the satire in which Juvenal had described the misery and degradation of a needy man of letters, lodged among the pigeons' nests in the tottering garrets which overhung the streets of Rome.
In the garrets was his library, a large and miscellaneous collection of books, falling to pieces and begrimed with dust.
His work requires a " long light " or leaden casement, so that he most frequently occupies garrets originally designed for his trade.
These provide offices that range from grand open plan spaces on the principal floors to small one person garrets in the roof.