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Just Listen Podcast: The Lady in the Looking Glass: A Reflection

Virginia Woolf was born into intellectual and social aristocracy.  Her father, Leslie Stephen, was an editor and historian.  Her mother was a known and admired beauty, often used as a model for important Pre-Raphaelite painters.

Virginia was not sent to school, in accordance with the custom of the times.  She received a splendid education as an autodidact but remained resentful and offended on this account.  Her mother died when she was young prompting her first nervous breakdown.  Virginia took over supervision of the affairs of the household at the age of thirteen.

She married Leonard Woolf – an unconventional choice for her.  He was an anti-imperialist, a Jew, and a free-thinker.  From their house in Bloomsbury they began a circle that was hugely influential on British arts and letters and architecture for years.  With a flexible notion of gender preferences, the Bloomsbury group “lived in squares, but loved in triangles.”

Leonard and Virginia’s press, Hogarth Publishers, published both non-fiction and fiction, including the first English translations of Freud.

Today’s work is one of a number of Virginia’s writings which features a looking glass, and numerous scholars have chosen this image as a focal point for understanding her work.

“The Lady in the Looking Glass:  A Reflection” by Virginia Woolf…we begin….