12 November 2006

Leonard Woolf's Autobiography

Leonard Woolf is probably best known as the husband of Virginia Woolf, but in fact he had a remarkable life and set of achievements quite apart from his wife. He was a political activist and one of the founders of the League of Nations (which became the United Nations); he was a novelist and a journalist; and throughout the whole of his adult life he was a professional publisher, in charge of the very successful Hogarth Press, which he founded. The first volume of his autobiography deals with his childhood in a prosperous upper middle-class Jewish family and his early memories of growing up in late Victorian London, then his intellectual flowering when he went to Cambridge. The are some wonderful character sketches of his contemporaries, who became luminaries of the Bloomsbury Group, including Saxon Sydney Turner, Lytton Strachey, and Clive Bell. You also get full details of all the property leases and house buyings of this group as it established its regular system of one place in town and another in the countryside ... Read more >>



skipper said...

Slightly pedantic historical point;L of N did not really develop into UN- the atter started from scratch after the 2nd world war. Though some attempts to avoid the mistakes of L of N were made.

Roy said...

Thanks for this scholarly correction - but the UN was clearly inspired by the same objectives as the League, and had taken its cue from the groundwork put in by Woolf and his collaborators..