Julia and Leslie Stephen

Julia and Leslie Stephen at Saint Ives, 1892.

A ten-year-old Virginia Woolf observes her parents reading at Talland House in Cornwall, England, where the family spent their summers. Virginia’s father, Leslie Stephen, gave her free access to his extensive personal library and she educated herself by reading. She also studied Latin and Greek with personal tutors and mastered a number of other languages as well, including French, Italian, and Russian.

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The photograph is reproduced from Leslie Stephen’s Photograph Album, presented in memory of Mary Byers Smith ’08 by Elizabeth Power Richardson ’43 and Phyllis Cooley Paige ’80. In 1989 Mrs. Richardson published A Bloomsbury Iconography, which is an index to all the images in her personal collection of Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury group. Her library of nearly two thousand volumes was bequeathed to Smith College in 1998.

Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College

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