Woolf in the World: A Pen and a Press of Her Own
Leonard Woolf and Politics
Fear and Politics is essay number 7 in the first series of Hogarth Essays, which began in 1924. In his essay, Leonard writes from the point of view of the animals in a zoo: “Human beings delude themselves that a League of Nations or Protection or armies and navies are going to give them security and civilization in their jungle.” According to the narrator, who is an elephant, humans “are the savagest race of carnivora known in the jungle, and they will never be happy and civilized, and the world will never be safe for democracy or for any other animal, until each human animal is confined in a separate cage.”
Virginia and Leonard visited Italy in 1935, via “Holland, through Germany in a car.” Virginia was clearly worried about the trip. In her letter to Angus Davidson, who was an assistant at the Hogarth Press, she writes: “perhaps we shall never meet again; but I hope so. Leonard sends his love. He is sitting with a marmozet on his neck.” Leonard’s marmoset, Mitz, actually distracted a rally of Nazis in Bonn, ensuring the Woolfs safe passage to Italy.
Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College