…it’s moving day.
Vanessa Stephen, 25, and her brothers Thoby, 24, and Adrian, 21, are packing up and movin’ out. Their sister Virginia, 22, has been shipped off to family friends so she won’t lapse into any of her ‘fits’ and disrupt the process.
Vanessa is in charge of this whole project, convincing her siblings that, now that their father had died, just months before, they’re entitled to their freedom. And that means getting out of this ‘house of all the deaths,’ as family visitor Henry James, 61, had referred to it.
The Stephen relatives are absolutely scandalized by the decision. Moving is one thing, but to Bloomsbury! That dirty, congested Bohemian neighbourhood. What on earth has come over Vanessa?!
But Vanessa knows what she wants. She found #43 Gordon Square, negotiated a lease, and is organizing and moving the whole household of 11 Stephens and seven servants.
Her sister Virginia remembered this time years later,
We were full of experiments and reforms…We were going to paint; to write; to have coffee after dinner instead of tea at 9 o’clock. Everything was going to be new; everything was going to be different. Everything was on trial.’
Here is the Google maps route from Hyde Park Gate to Gordon Square, but for the Stephen siblings, it was a world away: