A Room of One’s Own – the Homes of Virginia Woolf
Online Walking Tour
Guide Stephen Benton will give a digital tour of the London and country residences that shaped the life and works of one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, Virginia Woolf. He will showcase the homes where Woolf lived, and explore the physical inspiration and the socio-cultural context that influenced her writing.
First, he will illustrate Woolf’s childhood home where she was born in 1882, 22 Hyde Park Gate in Kensington. This elegant Victorian townhouse set the stage for the writer’s formative years, and it was here that her writing passion began to blossom. Next, he will explore the Gordon Square home in Bloomsbury where Virginia and her friends, including the renowned painter Vanessa Bell, lived during the early 20th century. Bloomsbury, in central London, became synonymous with an influential circle of writers, intellectuals, and artists during this period. Woolf was a central figure in this Bloomsbury group, and their vibrant discussions and camaraderie had a profound effect on her writing.
Stephen also will show the locations where Woolf’s iconic works “Mrs. Dalloway” and “To the Lighthouse” were written. While her London homes influenced a significant part in Woolf’s literary life, the English countryside also inspired her creative process. Monk’s House in Sussex, the charming country cottage she shared with her husband Leonard, played a vital role in her personal and literary development. Now owned by the National Trust, Monk’s House exudes a sense of tranquility and is surrounded by lush gardens; a peaceful retreat that no doubt inspired many of Woolf’s writing moments. Royal Oak is thrilled to present this digital tour, a literary pilgrimage, to allow us to look at Virginia Woolf’s physical past and gain a deeper understanding of the inspiration for her literary legacy.