Virginia Woolf behind her parents Leslie and Julia Stephen reading, 1893


Virginia Woolf behind her parents Leslie and  Julia Stephen (née Jackson) reading, 1893

Leslie Stephen treasured this photograph. “When I look at certain little photographs—at one in which I am reading by her side at St. Ives with Virginia in the background… I see as with my bodily eyes the love, the holy and tender love which breathes through those exquisite lips, and I know that the later years were a deep strong current of calm inward happiness, and the trials, so to speak, merely floating accidents on the surface.

In 1897, two years after Julia’s death, Leslie Stephen added a postscript to his memoir: “Virginia has been out of sorts, nervous and overgrown too; I hope that a rest will bring her round.” She “is devouring books, almost faster than I like.

source: Smith College Libraries

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