In 1909, Virginia Woolf inherited £2500 from her aunt Caroline
Emelia Stephen (1834-1909). This money allowed Woolf the freedom
to pursue a career as a writer. Caroline, whom Leslie called Milly,
“occupied herself a little with philanthropy, wrote an able
book called The Service of the Poor, and had some very attached
friends. But the life was singularly quiet and in after years
she was greatly strained by nursing my mother.” In 1871,
Caroline took up “with the Quakers, finding something sympathetic
in their quietism and semi-mystical tendencies.” Quaker
Strongholds (1879) and Caroline Stephen’s other publications
explain her spiritual views.
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