Leslie Stephen, who referred to it thus: "a pocket-paradise",  described it as "The pleasantest of my memories There we bought the lease of Talland House: a small but roomy house, with a garden of an acre or two all up and down hill, with quaint little terraces divided by hedges of escallonia , a grape-house and kitchen-garden and a so-called 'orchard' beyond". Reminiscences , pp. In both London and Cornwall, Julia was perpetually entertaining, and was notorious for her manipulation of her guests' lives, constantly matchmaking in the belief everyone should be married, the domestic equivalence of her philanthropy.
Rupert and his group of Cambridge Neo-pagans would come to play an important role in their lives in the years prior to the First World War. For the children, it was the highlight of the year, and Virginia's most vivid childhood memories were not of London but of Cornwall. In a diary entry of 22 March ,  she described why she felt so connected to Talland House, looking back to a summer day in August One's past, I suppose; I see children running in the garden … The sound of the sea at night … almost forty years of life, all built on that, permeated by that: so much I could never explain".
Julia Stephen fell ill with influenza in February , and never properly recovered, dying on 5 May,  when Virginia was only This was a pivotal moment in her life and the beginning of her struggles with mental illness. That summer, rather than return to the memories of St Ives, the Stephens went to Freshwater, Isle of Wight , where a number of their mother's family lived.
It was there that Virginia had the first of her many nervous breakdowns , and Vanessa was forced to assume some of her mother's role in caring for Virginia's mental state. George Duckworth also assumed some of their mother's role, taking upon himself the task of bringing them out into society. A girl had no chance against its fangs. No other desires — say to paint, or to write — could be taken seriously". The death of Stella Duckworth on 19 July , after a long illness,  was a further blow to Virginia's sense of self, and the family dynamics.
In the late nineteenth century, education was sharply divided along gender lines, a tradition that Virginia would note and condemn in her writing. Boys were sent to school, and in upper-middle-class families such as the Stephens, this involved private boys schools, often boarding schools , and university. There was a small classroom off the back of the drawing room, with its many windows, which they found perfect for quiet writing and painting. Julia taught the children Latin, French and History, while Leslie taught them mathematics.
- The Peacemaker.
- A Good Boy - Score!
- My Shopping Bag.
They also received piano lessons. Even today there may be parents who would doubt the wisdom of allowing a girl of fifteen the free run of a large and quite unexpurgated library. But my father allowed it. There were certain facts — very briefly, very shyly he referred to them. Yet 'Read what you like', he said, and all his books. After Public School , the boys in the family all attended Cambridge University. The girls derived some indirect benefit from this, as the boys introduced them to their friends. Leslie Stephen described his circle as "most of the literary people of mark Later, between the ages of 15 and 19, she was able to pursue higher education.
She took courses of study, some at degree level, in beginning and advanced Ancient Greek, intermediate Latin and German, together with continental and English history at the Ladies' Department of King's College London at nearby 13 Kensington Square between and One of her Greek tutors was Clara Pater — , who taught at King's.
Her experiences there led to her essay On Not Knowing Greek. Although the Stephen girls could not attend Cambridge, they were to be profoundly influenced by their brothers' experiences there.
Although Virginia expressed the opinion that her father was her favourite parent, and although she had only just turned thirteen when her mother died, she was profoundly influenced by her mother throughout her life. It was Virginia who famously stated that "for we think back through our mothers if we are women",  and invoked the image of her mother repeatedly throughout her life in her diaries,  her letters  and a number of her autobiographical essays, including Reminiscences ,  22 Hyde Park Gate  and A Sketch of the Past ,  frequently evoking her memories with the words "I see her In To the Lighthouse ,  the artist, Lily Briscoe, attempts to paint Mrs Ramsay, a complex character based on Julia Stephen, and repeatedly comments on the fact that she was "astonishingly beautiful".
While her father painted Julia Stephen's work in terms of reverence, Woolf drew a sharp distinction between her mother's work and "the mischievous philanthropy which other women practise so complacently and often with such disastrous results". She describes her degree of sympathy, engagement, judgement and decisiveness, and her sense of both irony and the absurd. She recalls trying to recapture "the clear round voice, or the sight of the beautiful figure, so upright and distinct, in its long shabby cloak, with the head held at a certain angle, so that the eye looked straight out at you".
Her frequent absences and the demands of her husband instilled a sense of insecurity in her children that had a lasting effect on her daughters. In To the Lighthouse , she describes it as "boasting of her capacity to surround and protect, there was scarcely a shell of herself left for her to know herself by; all was so lavished and spent". Given Julia's frequent absences and commitments, the young Stephen children became increasingly dependent on Stella Duckworth, who emulated her mother's selflessness, as Woolf wrote "Stella was always the beautiful attendant handmaid Julia Stephen greatly admired her husband's intellect, and although she knew her own mind, thought little of her own.
As Woolf observed "she never belittled her own works, thinking them, if properly discharged, of equal, though other, importance with her husband's". She believed with certainty in her role as the centre of her activities, and the person who held everything together,  with a firm sense of what was important and valuing devotion.
Be a Good Soldier
Of the two parents, Julia's "nervous energy dominated the family". Other issues the children had to deal with was Leslie Stephen's temper, Woolf describing him as "the tyrant father". He had given her his ring on her eighteenth birthday and she had a deep emotional attachment as his literary heir, writing about her "great devotion for him".
Yet, like Vanessa, she also saw him as victimiser and tyrant. Her adolescent image was of an "Eminent Victorian" and tyrant but as she grew older she began to realise how much of him was in her "I have been dipping into old letters and father's memoirs She was in turn both fascinated and condemnatory of Leslie Stephen " She [her mother] has haunted me: but then, so did that old wretch my father. I was more like him than her, I think; and therefore more critical: but he was an adorable man, and somehow, tremendous".
Much has been made of Virginia's statements that she was continually sexually abused during the whole time that she lived at 22 Hyde Park Gate, as a possible cause of her mental health issues,   although there are likely to be a number of contributing factors see mental health. She states that she first remembers being molested by Gerald Duckworth when she was six years old. It has been suggested that this led to a lifetime of sexual fear and resistance to masculine authority.
These include evidence of sexual abuse of the Stephen girls by their older Duckworth stepbrothers, and by their cousin, James Kenneth Stephen — , at least of Stella Duckworth. On their father's death, the Stephens first instinct was to escape from the dark house of yet more mourning, and this they did immediately, accompanied by George, travelling to Manorbier , on the coast of Pembrokeshire on 27 February. There, they spent a month, and it was there that Virginia first came to realise her destiny was as a writer, as she recalls in her diary of 3 September Before their father died, the Stephens had discussed the need to leave South Kensington in the West End , with its tragic memories and their parents' relations.
The Stephen children were now between 24 and Virginia was Bohemian Bloomsbury, with its characteristic leafy squares seemed sufficiently far away, geographically and socially, and was a much cheaper neighbourhood to rent in see Map.
Aneesh Barai : Faculty of Education
They had not inherited much and they were unsure about their finances. While Gerald was quite happy to move on and find himself a bachelor establishment, George who had always assumed the role of quasi-parent decided to accompany them, much to their dismay. Vanessa found a house at 46 Gordon Square in Bloomsbury , and they moved in November, to be joined by Virginia now sufficiently recovered. It was at Gordon Square that the Stephens began to regularly entertain Thoby's intellectual friends in March In , Virginia and Adrian visited Portugal and Spain, Clive Bell proposed to Vanessa, but was declined, while Virginia began teaching evening classes at Morley College and Vanessa added another event to their calendar with the Friday Club , dedicated to the discussion of and later exhibition of the fine arts.
Ka and others brought the Bloomsbury Group into contact with another, slightly younger, group of Cambridge intellectuals to whom the Stephen sisters gave the name "Neo-pagans". The Friday Club continued till The following year, , Virginia suffered two further losses. Her cherished brother Thoby, who was only 26, died of typhoid , following a trip they had all taken to Greece, and immediately after Vanessa accepted Clive's third proposal. Virginia moved into 29 Fitzroy Square in April , a house on the west side of the street, formerly occupied by George Bernard Shaw.
It was in Fitzrovia , immediately to the west of Bloomsbury but still relatively close to her sister at Gordon Square. The two sisters continued to travel together, visiting Paris in March. Adrian was now to play a much larger part in Virginia's life, and they resumed the Thursday Club in October at their new home, while Gordon Square became the venue for the Play Reading Society in December.
During this period, the group began to increasingly explore progressive ideas, first in speech, and then in conduct, Vanessa proclaiming in a libertarian society with sexual freedom for all.
Meanwhile, Virginia began work on her first novel, Melymbrosia that eventually became The Voyage Out It was while she was at Fitzroy Square that the question arose of Virginia needing a quiet country retreat, and she required a six-week rest cure and sought the countryside away from London as much as possible. In December, she and Adrian stayed at Lewes and started exploring the area of Sussex around the town.
She started to want a place of her own, like St Ives, but closer to London. She soon found a property in nearby Firle see below , maintaining a relationship with that area for the rest of her life. Several members of the group attained notoriety in with the Dreadnought hoax , which Virginia participated in disguised as a male Abyssinian royal. Her complete talk on the hoax was discovered and is published in the memoirs collected in the expanded edition of The Platform of Time In October , the lease on Fitzroy Square was running out and Virginia and Adrian decided to give up their home on Fitzroy Square in favour of a different living arrangement, moving to a four-storied house at 38 Brunswick Square in Bloomsbury proper [y] in November.
Virginia saw it as a new opportunity, "we are going to try all kinds of experiments", she told Ottoline Morrell. The house was adjacent to the Foundling Hospital , much to Virginia's amusement as an unchaperoned single woman. He recalls them in "white dresses and large hats, with parasols in their hands, their beauty literally took one's breath away". To him, they were silent, "formidable and alarming". Woolf did not meet Virginia formally till 17 November when he dined with the Stephens at Gordon Square, to say goodbye before leaving to take up a position with the civil service in Ceylon , although she was aware of him through Thoby's stories.
At that visit he noted that she was perfectly silent throughout the meal, and looked ill. He did so, but received no answer. In June , he returned to London on a one-year leave,  but did not go back to Ceylon. In England again, Leonard renewed his contacts with family and friends.
Three weeks after arriving he dined with Vanessa and Clive Bell at Gordon Square on 3 July, where they were later joined by Virginia and other members of what would later be called "Bloomsbury", and Leonard dates the group's formation to that night. After that weekend they began seeing each other more frequently. Indeed, in , Woolf wrote in her diary: "Love-making—after 25 years can't bear to be separate And our marriage so complete.
Despite the introduction of conscription in , Leonard was exempted on medical grounds. Between and , the Woolfs returned to Bloomsbury, taking out a ten-year lease at 52 Tavistock Square ,  from where they ran the Hogarth Press from the basement, where Virginia also had her writing room, and is commemorated with a bust of her in the square see illustration. Her two Cambridge lectures then became the basis for her major essay A Room of One's Own  in The Woolf's final residence in London was at 37 Mecklenburgh Square — , destroyed during the Blitz in September , a month later their previous home on Tavistock Square was also destroyed.
After that, they made Sussex their permanent home. A Biography of Place pub.
Cecil Woolf, Virginia had taken up book-binding as a pastime in October , at the age of 19,   and the Woolfs had been discussing setting up a publishing house for some time, and at the end of started making plans. Having discovered that they were not eligible to enroll in the St Bride School of Printing, they started purchasing supplies after seeking advice from the Excelsior Printing Supply Company on Farringdon Road in March , and soon they had a printing press set up on their dining room table at Hogarth House, and the Hogarth Press was born.
The work consisted of 32 pages, hand bound and sewn, and illustrated by woodcuts designed by Dora Carrington. The illustrations were a success, leading Virginia to remark that the press was "specially good at printing pictures, and we see that we must make a practice of always having pictures" 13 July The process took two and a half months with a production run of copies. The press subsequently published Virginia's novels along with works by T.
Eliot , Laurens van der Post , and others. Woolf believed that to break free of a patriarchal society that women writers needed a "room of their own" to develop and often fantasised about an "Outsider's Society" where women writers would create a virtual private space for themselves via their writings to develop a feminist critique of society.
Until , Woolf often helped her husband print the Hogarth books as the money for employees was not there. After it was bombed in September , the press was moved to Letchworth for the remainder of the war. The Group, which had been scattered by the war, was reconvened by Mary 'Molly' MacCarthy who called them "Bloomsberries", and operated under rules derived from the Cambridge Apostles , an elite university debating society that a number of them had been members of.
These rules emphasised candour and openness. Among the memoirs presented, Virginia contributed three that were published posthumously in , in the autobiographical anthology Moments of Being. The ethos of the Bloomsbury group encouraged a liberal approach to sexuality, and on 14 December  Woolf met the writer and gardener Vita Sackville-West ,  wife of Harold Nicolson , while dining with Clive Bell.