Woolf in the World: A Pen and a Press of Her Own
Strachey and Virginia Woolf began their careers by writing reviews and
literary essays for The Times Literary Supplement and The Spectator.
A protracted discussion of literature and points of style fills their
correspondence. Strachey was “all of a heap” because he
had proposed marriage to Virginia Woolf before writing the letter shown
on the left. He eventually withdrew the offer, and suggested to his
friend Leonard Woolf that he pursue Virginia. Virginia and Leonard Woolf
wrote a 6 June 1912 letter to Lytton announcing their engagement. Their
engagement photograph was taken at Dalingridge Place, the Sussex home
of Virginia’s half-brother, George Duckworth. The wedding took
place on 10 August 1912, and Virginia sent Lytton a postcard from Alfoxton
House, Holford, on their honeymoon. (William and Dorothy Wordsworth
stayed at Alfoxton in 1797, while Coleridge was living nearby at Nether
Stowey.) Leonard Woolf and Lytton Strachey were close friends from Cambridge,
along with Virginia’s elder brother, Thoby Stephen, and her future
brother-in-law, Clive Bell.
A selection of the Woolf-Strachey correspondence was published by the Hogarth Press in 1956. A 1923 photograph of the British writers served as the frontispiece. Lytton’s younger brother James Strachey and Leonard Woolf edited the correspondence. All of the one hundred and forty original letters from this correspondence are now part of the Frances Hooper collection in the Mortimer Rare Book Room.
Presented by Frances Hooper ’14