Born: February 22, 1857, Paddington, London, United Kingdom
Died: January 8, 1941, Nyeri, Kenya
Buried: Saint Peter's Cemetery, Nyeri, Nyeri, Kenya
Education: Charterhouse School
Lived: 9 Hyde Park Gate, Kensington, London SW7 5DH, UK
Virginia Woolf was born Adeline Virginia Stephen at 22 Hyde Park Gate in Kensington, London. Her parents were Sir Leslie Stephen (1832–1904) and Julia Prinsep Duckworth Stephen (née Jackson, 1846–1895.)
Address: Hyde Park Gate, Kensington, London SW7 5DH, UK
Type: Historic Street (open to public)
Hyde Park Gate is a street in central London, which applies to two parallel roads in Kensington on the southern boundary of Kensington Gardens. It is probably most famous for having the former residence and death place of Sir Winston Churchill. It is in a picturesque part of London and a very expensive place to live.
Notable queer residents at Hyde Park Gate:
• English Heritage Blue Plaque: 9 Hyde Park Gate, SW7 Robert Baden-Powell (1857-1941), “Chief Scout of the World lived here.”
• English Heritage Blue Plaque: 22 Hyde Park Gate, SW7 Sir Leslie Stephen (1832-1904), “Scholar and writer lived here.”
Who: Adeline Virginia Woolf, née Stephen (January 25, 1882 – March 28, 1941)
Leslie Stephen was a notable historian, author, critic and mountaineer. He was a founding editor of the Dictionary of National Biography, a work that would influence Virginia Woolf’s later experimental biographies. Julia Stephen was born in British India to Dr. John and Maria Pattle Jackson. She was the niece of the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron and first cousin of the temperance leader Lady Henry Somerset. Julia moved to England with her mother, where she served as a model for Pre-Raphaelite painters such as Edward Burne-Jones. Julia named her daughter after the Pattle family: Adeline after Lady Henry’s sister, who married George Russell, 10th Duke of Bedford; and Virginia, the name of yet another sister (who died young) but also of their mother, Julia’s aunt. Woolf was educated by her parents in their literate and well-connected household. Her parents had each been married previously and been widowed, and, consequently, the household contained the children of three marriages. Julia had three children by her first husband, Herbert Duckworth: George, Stella, and Gerald Duckworth. Leslie had first married Harriet Marian (Minny) Thackeray (1840–1875), the daughter of William Thackeray, and they had one daughter: Laura Makepeace Stephen, who was declared mentally disabled and lived with the family until she was institutionalised in 1891. Leslie and Julia had four children together: Vanessa Stephen (later known as Vanessa Bell) (1879), Thoby Stephen (1880), Virginia (1882), and Adrian Stephen (1883.) Sir Leslie Stephen’s eminence as an editor, critic, and biographer, and his connection to William Thackeray, meant that his children were raised in an environment filled with the influences of Victorian literary society. Henry James, George Henry Lewes, and Virginia’s honorary godfather, James Russell Lowell, were among the visitors to the house. Julia Stephen was equally well connected. She came from a family of beauties who left their mark on Victorian society as models for Pre-Raphaelite artists and early photographers, including her aunt Julia Margaret Cameron who was also a visitor to the Stephen household. Supplementing these influences was the immense library at the Stephens’ house, from which Virginia and Vanessa were taught the classics and English literature. Unlike the girls, their brothers Adrian and Julian (Thoby) were formally educated and sent to Cambridge, a difference that Virginia would resent. The sisters did, however, benefit indirectly from their brothers’ Cambridge contacts, as the boys brought their new intellectual friends home to the Stephens’ drawing room. After the death of their parents and Virginia’s second nervous breakdown, Vanessa and Adrian sold 22 Hyde Park Gate and bought a house at 46 Gordon Square in Bloomsbury.
Queer Places, Vol. 2 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
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