Monday 30 October 2023

At home with Virginia

 Whilst everyone else is busy with all things witchy today, please allow me to take you back a few weeks to when it was my birthday. I dithered about what I wanted to do, but in the end I booked us in for a tour round one of those small National Trust properties which are only open on certain days and can only handle a small number of visitors. I'd had an idea that I'd like to pay a visit to the Monk's House over in East Sussex, so at long last we made it happen. I instantly fell in love with the interior of this mid 16th century weatherboarded house. It reminded me of something else, but I couldn't for the life of me pin it down. It finally came to me a few days ago...if anyone's familiar with the work of Kaffe Fassett it does seem to be along similar lines. 











This is the home of Virginia and Leonard Woolf which they bought as a weekend retreat in 1919. By then her sister Vanessa Bell was living very near by at Charleston Farm with the rest of the Bloomsbury set and I would imagine both places saw some extraordinary bursts of creative output. The major difference is this one feels less placed and far more homely.  As the war progressed and after their London flat was damaged in an air raid  they moved down here permanently. Virginia had a writing studio set up in the garden and the room below became her personal bedroom. The tiled surround was made for her by her sister recalling the holidays they enjoyed together in Cornwall and the books behind the chair are a set of Shakespeare's works which she rebound as she found the process soothing  when she was ill. Undoubtedly it was a place where Virginia enjoyed periods of solace in between her traumatic bi-polar episodes. Tragically her mental health eventually deteriorated to such a low point that she drowned herself in 1941. Leonard continued to live here up until his death in 1969.



Arilx




12 comments:

  1. I can't quite make out the painting on the backs of the chairs. It is a fascinating house, and that last picture of the fireplace is wonderful.

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    1. I think that they might be jugs with flowers in, but they were behind a cordon and difficult to make out. Arilx

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  2. A special treat and a slightly sad tale about the curse of creative genius.

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    1. She would have received treatment today, but you still can't always save people sadly. Arilx

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  3. It does have a very homely vibe.

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    1. It feels like she's just out of sight. Arilx

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  4. Replies
    1. It's small, but they've managed to pack a lot in. Arilx

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  5. Green with envy, I'd love to go there! x

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    1. Definitely worth it if you're ever this way. Arilx

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  6. Isn't it beautiful. There's so many pretty artistic details and the house itself is really attractive from the outside. I'm quite taken with that lamp! I hope you had a happy birthday! It was a lovely thing to do to celebrate it. I've never read any Virginia Woolf!

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    1. I read VW when I was a student. It's fascinating, but hard to fathom what she means a lot of the time. You almost feel you nearly understand it, but it remains just out of reach. Arilx

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