Virginia Stephen married Leonard Woolf in1912. This image depicts how they appeared on the day of their engagement ... July 23, 1912. The photo—a modern print—is currently maintained at Smith College Libraries where it is also featured in an article: “Woolf in the World: A Pen and a Press of Her Own.”


Virginia Stephen, daughter of an “intellectual aristocrat,” married Leonard Woolf, a Jewish man, in 1911. They had no children.

The Woolfs formed Hogarth Press in 1917, initially as a hobby for Virginia, hand-printing and publishing thirty-four books between 1917 and 1932. They authored some of the books themselves with Vanessa Bell, Virginia’s sister, supplying the artwork or woodcuts.

Leonard encouraged his wife and recognized her huge talent. But Virginia wrote at a time when female writers were often unpublished. Rejecting the “norm,” Virginia observes (in a famous passage from A Room of One’s Own):

When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen, some Emily Bronte who dashed her brains out on the moor or mopped and mowed about the highways crazed with the torture that her gift had put her to. Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon [Anonymous], who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.

The Woolfs published T.S. Eliot (including Poems in 1919), as well as experimental works by other relatively unknown (at the time) authors like E.M. Forster, Katherine Mansfield and Robert Graves.

Although she loved living in London, Virginia’s doctors thought the stress of city life was contributing to her mental problems. As a result, she spent much of her adult life away from the city she adored.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jan 01, 2003

Updated Last Revision: Jul 14, 2019

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"LEONARD WOOLF" AwesomeStories.com. Jan 01, 2003. Jun 01, 2020.
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