While in London, we learned a bit about the Bloomsbury group of writers and the main person within this group, Virginia Woolf. Although we did not read any texts by Virginia Woolf for the course, learning a little bit about her life gave us an understanding of the area we were staying in, in London. I found a pack of postcards at the National Portrait Gallery Bookstore in London of all the artists and figures of the Bloomsbury group. It was astounding to discovered so many of the talented writers of the group, were visual artists as well. Both Virginia and her sister, Vanessa, were excellent painters and other members of the group were artists as well. The Photographs and paintings on this page all come from that pack of postcards from The National Portrait Gallery
|Color Print of Virginia Woolf taken by Gisele Freund in 1939.||Oil on Board, painting of Virginia Woolf by her sister Vanessa Bell.|
|The original Bloomsbury group, some of whom Thoby Stephen met at Trinity before his death. They include Angelica Bell, born to Clive and Vanessa in 1918, Clive Bell, Stephen Tomlin and Lytton Strachey. The Photograph was taken by Vanessa Bell in 1926.||A portrait painting of Leonard Woolf by Vanessa Bell in 1940.|
Vanessa Bell, Oil on Canvas, by Duncan Grant.
Virginia Woolf was born January 25, 1882. Both of her parents had been previously married, and together they have four children, Vanessa, Thoby, Virginia and Adrian, Virginia also has an older sister figure from one of the first marriages, named Stella. In 1895 Julia Stephen (Virginia's mother) dies at the young age of 49, Virginia is only 13 years of age. In 1896 Stella marries a man named Jack Hills. She dies 3 months later on July 19, leaving Virginia once again without guidance from a female figure. The loss of this second mother figure, sends Virginia into a state of insanity.
In 1899 Thoby Stephen begins Trinity College, where he meets Clive Bell, Lytton Strachey, Saxon Sydney Turner and Leonard Woolf. By 1904 Virginia has had her first official break-down and is staying with a family friend, Violet Dickinson. In October of that same year, Vanessa moves the whole family to 46 Gordon Square in Bloomsbury.
In November 1906, Vanessa married Clive Bell, so as to create a family for the children that are left, Thoby has died earlier that year.
"Thursday Evening" meetings begin to take place. Include a group of Elite, Very British, Experimental, Modern, Writers, Painters, Philosophers and Politicians, whom have received schooling at Cambridge University, Virginia was not one of those who had. Out of this era of prewar change and growth, the New Modern Fiction created writing based on consciousness, not on plot.
In 1912, Virginia marries Leonard Woolf at the age of 30, but rejects her husband and her marriage almost immediately.
In 1913 she attempts suicide and the two move to Sussex and are closer to other writers like Henry James, Stephen Crame and Kippling. She begins painting to ease some of her pain, and by 1915 the two create Hogarth Press from their house in Suburban Richmond. The Press published Virginia's Kew Gardens in 1919, and T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land in 1922, and other 'modern works.' Through her work at the Press, Virginia manages her mental health.
In 1918 she publishes Prelude by Katherine Mansfield and she meets T.S. Eliot for the first time, and they become life long friends. In 1919 Virginia and Leonard move to Mark's House, but then in 1924 the move back to London to 52 Tavistock Square where they put Hogarth Press in the basement. Being back in city was good for Virginia and her happiness could be seen in her book, Mrs. Dalloway, which she published in 1925. Her writing success continued with To the Lighthouse in 1927, and The Waves and Orlando about Vita-Sackville-Westin 1931.
Virginia was doing well until the second World War broke out. London was destroyed and with it Virginia's sanity. On March 28th 1941 she drowned herself in the River Ouse. Her death ending the Era of British Modernism.
|John Maynard Keynes, Baron Keynes painted in watercolor by Gwen Raverat in 1908.||David Garnett painted by Vanessa Bell in 1915.|
Roger Fry, self-portrait, oil on canvas, 1930-4.
|Gerald Brenan, oil on canvas, painted by Dora Carrington in 1921|
|Duncan Grant, self-portrait oil on canvas in 1909.|
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