The Early Years

Virginia Adeline Stephen was born on January 25, 1882 at 22 Hyde Park Gate, Kensington, the third child of the biographer Sir Leslie Stephen (1832-1904) and his second wife Julia Prinsep Stephen (1846-1895).  This was a fertile intellectual milieu, for not only could the family tree lay claim to authors and artists, but guests such as Henry James, Thomas Hardy and George Meredith were frequent and stimulating visitors.  Virginia and her brothers Toby (1880-1906) and Adrian (1883-1948), as well as her sister Vanessa (1879-1961) were encouraged in their artistic and literary pursuits at an early age, sometimes joining forces in their creative endeavours.  

1.  Anne Thackeray Ritchie.  Bluebeard's keys: and other stories. London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1874. The daughter of William Thackeray, the author was the sister of Leslie Stephen’s first wife.

2.  Virginia Woolf.   A Cockney's farming experiences.  London: Cecil Woolf, 1994. The publisher is the nephew of Virginia and Leonard Woolf.

3.   James Kenneth StephenLapsus calami.  Cambridge: Macmillan and Bowes, 1891.  The author was Virginia’s cousin.

4.  Julia Duckworth Stephen.  Notes from sick rooms.  Reprint of: London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1883.  Orono, Maine: Puckerbrush Press, 1980.


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