Late last summer one of my best friends, Angelika, moved to England for a two-year work assignment. I recently flew over to London to spend a long weekend catching up with her and exploring her new home. Angelika’s also a poet, so you can imagine our time there had many writerly themes!
We visited three writers’ homes and I felt connected to each one in different ways. I’ll share a bit about Virginia Woolf’s Sussex home in this post, and in the coming weeks I’ll take you through the other homes!
Something that was new to me is that not all houses have numbers in England. Some have names. Angelika explained to me that having a house name instead of a number is ‘posh.’ 🙂 Virginia Woolf’s home is Monk’s House and she and her husband Leonard used it as their country home.
Virginia and her husband started Hogarth Press, which was named after their other home where they first started printing their books, Hogarth House. I thought this was special for a few reasons. One, it was uncommon in 1917 for a woman to be an equal business partner. Two, Sarah Jessica Parker now has a publishing imprint SJP for Hogarth. (And you may remember my long-time SJP fandom.)
This is Leonard’s actual desk and I love that they have staged it with Hogarth Press stationery!
A few (seemingly inactive) beehives were out back (not pictured), so my beekeeper side felt connected to this. 🙂
The style of the exposed beams in their living room reminded me of home. (The original owner of our house is responsible for hand-hewn beams in our living room that look very similar to this.)
The Woolfs’ home felt simple and peaceful. No wonder the gems Virginia wrote in A Room of One’s Own were mined here.