Julia Duckworth (née Jackson), 1867


Julia Duckworth (née Jackson), possibly by Oscar Gustave Rejlander, 1867

From the age of sixteen, Julia became “familiar with the duty of the sick bed.” She nursed her mother who suffered from rheumatism and accompanied her on many trips to health resorts in Europe. Julia Jackson met her future husband, Herbert Duckworth, in Venice in 1862. The young barrister, taking vacation abroad, was a friend of Julia’s sister Mary (1840-1917) and her husband Herbert Fisher (1825-1903).

In 1866, the first time her second husband Leslie Stephen saw Julia, he said: “I saw and remembered her, as I might have seen and remembered the Sistine Madonna or any other presentation of superlative beauty. Her loveliness thrills me to the core, whenever I call up the vision.

She and Leslie Stephen married and had four children, one of which was Virginia Woolf.

source: Smith College Libraries

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