Virginia Woolf

A Botanical Perspective

Presented by the Botanic Garden of Smith College

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) is one of the great literary figures of the twentieth century. Her influence continues to the present day through her fiction, essays, letters and diaries. Virginia and her husband Leonard founded the Hogarth Press, which also left a formidable legacy. Scholars often study Woolf in the context of her circle, the Bloomsbury Group, who as intellectuals and artists set themselves apart from the conventional culture of the time.

Whereas much attention has focused on Woolf's literature and her struggles with depression, the landscape of Virginia Woolf's life is much larger. This exhibit explores the ubiquitous and powerful presence of plants and flowers in Virginia Woolf's life and work.

"Books are the flowers or fruit struck here and there on a tree which has its roots deep down in the earth of our earliest life, of our first experiences."

From the introduction by Virginia Woolf to Mrs. Dalloway (New York:
The Modern Library, 1928).

This exhibit was presented in conjunction with the WOOLF IN THE REAL WORLD, the thirteenth annual Virginia Woolf Conference, held June 5-8, 2003 at Smith College.

Scenes from the Exhibition Reception at the Conference

© 2003 Botanic Garden of Smith College