Interested in art and literature, as well as local history? You are invited to the Virginia Woolf Statue Fundraising Campaign meeting at the house of Ms Cheryl Robson on Tuesday May 23rd at 5pm at 48 The Vineyard, TW10 6AZ.
Ms Robson and sculptor Laury Dizengremel – who has been commissioned to create a statue of Virginia Woolf for Richmond Park – are looking forward to meeting anyone who might be willing to lend a hand – whether it be for actual fundraising or for any promotional activity for the project!
Author Virginia Woolf lived in Richmond from 1914 to 1924, moving into Hogarth House on Paradise Road in 1915. This is where their publishing company Hogarth Press was founded: she was initially publishing hand-printed books with her husband Leonard as a hobby, famously setting up a printing press in their dining room. She loved going on long walks in the park, and she often wrote about it in her diaries. Here are two excerpts from The Voyage Out that describe her experiences, seen through the eyes of her protagonist, Rachel Vinrace.
“I like walking in Richmond Park and singing to myself and knowing it doesn’t matter a damn to anybody. I like seeing things go on–as we saw you that night when you didn’t see us– I love the freedom of it–it’s like being the wind or the sea.”
“I take the dogs out. I go up Richmond Hill, along the terrace, into the park. It’s the 18th of April–the same day as it is here. It’s spring in England. The ground is rather damp. However, I cross the road and get on to the grass and we walk along, and I sing as I always do when I’m alone, until we come to the open place where you can see the whole of London beneath you on a clear day. Hampstead Church spire there, Westminster Cathedral over there, and factory chimneys about here. There’s generally a haze over the low parts of London; but it’s often blue over the park when London’s in a mist. It’s the open place that the balloons cross going over to Hurlingham. They’re pale yellow. Well, then, it smells very good, particularly if they happen to be burning wood in the keeper’s lodge which is there. I could tell you now how to get from place to place, and exactly what trees you’d pass, and where you’d cross the roads. You see, I played there when I was small. Spring is good, but it’s best in the autumn when the deer are barking; then it gets dusky, and I go back through the streets, and you can’t see people properly; they come past very quick, you just see their faces and then they’re gone–that’s what I like–and no one knows in the least what you’re doing–“