BEGINNING AGAIN: An Autobiography of the Years 1911 to 1918 by Leonard Woolf

BEGINNING AGAIN: An Autobiography of the Years 1911 to 1918

Email this review


Successor to the earlier Sowing and Growing, Beginning Again takes up the story of Leonard Woolf's life as he leaves Ceylon after a six and a half year sojourn as a civil servant and returns to London, which was to be his home. After a delightful period of becoming re-acquainted with his Cambridge friends and the Stephen family (Virginia, Vanessa Bell, Adrian), he set about settling in. He was thirty-one and felt that he left his youth behind, returning ""slightly middleaged."" The years from 1911 to 1918 saw many changes in personal and public terms. He married Virginia Stephen, and her health became a charge that outweighed even the trials of the war; he took up with her an existence of serious writing, leavened by journalism; he observed and participated in the feminist movement and later in the demonstrations to acclaim the Russian revolution. With Virginia, he started the Hogarth Press, a therapy for her that thrived to profit them both, and make a publishing name. He knew many people -- Katherine Mansfield, George Bernard Shaw, Rupert Brooke, H.G. Wells, The Webbs, Lady Otteline Morrell, Ramsay MacDonald, and he characterizes them with a calm, penetrating detachment. Even his record of Virginia's illness, his constant battle to keep her sane, how it was fought and sometimes lost, a record set forth so that the reader may assess the relationship of genius and madness, is written with a calmness, a candor that still does not mask his determined devotion. For all Bloomsbury followers.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1964
Publisher: arcourt, Brace & World