SOWING: An Autobiography of the Years 1880 to 1904 by Leonard Sidney Woolf

SOWING: An Autobiography of the Years 1880 to 1904

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This retrospective view of the first twenty four years of Leonard Woolf's life (he is now eighty) is an equable and enlightened account of the formative influences of his youth-expectedly intellectual rather than personal, and it is contemplative in cast, evaluative, and often entertaining. From the security and stability of a Victorian boyhood in a more than comfortable Jewish home, the circumstances of his life changed at the death of his father, which left his mother with nine children, a large house and a very small income. His first two years away at school taught him- thoroughly- cricket ""and the nature and problems of sex"". The next five years at St. Paul's- ""the nursery of British philistinism"" gave him an intensive background in the classics- and he went on, again on a scholarship, to Trinity College at Cambridge. There, as one of a group of serious young men, ""sceptics in search of truth"" and sharing in the enthusiasms and passions for literature, he was influenced by many- but in particular G.E. Moore, and was the close friend of Lytton Strachey. The chronicle ends with his decision to go to Ceylon- in the Civil Service, and it is to be assumed and hoped that the memoir will be continued. It is distinguished by the freshness of his observations, the range of his intellect and the play of his wit.

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace