Archive Advent Calendar: 13 December 2013
It could only be Virginia Woolf who wrote the piece on George Eliot which appeared in the Times Literary Supplement on November 20, 1919. Woolf reconfigured Eliot’s reputation in the piece viewing Eliot and her literary reputation from a distinctly female perspective and concluding in her final sentence:
“We must lay upon her grave whatever we have it in our power to bestow of laurel and rose”.
Woolf’s own joining form to the London Library dates from 1904 when she was 22 years old. It is richly revealing. Note her self-described occupation or position “Spinster”. The £40 she paid for life membership at the age of twenty-two makes a clear statement about her future career direction and the date is significant too. Virginia took out life membership of the London Library four days after the death of her father, Leslie Stephen who had been President of the London Library from 1892 until his death. Within three years of Virginia signing her joining form she was writing Melymbrosia later published as her ground breaking novel The Voyage Out”.
© Helen O’Neill Archive, Heritage and Development Librarian