“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, December 19, 1922, Hogarth House, Richmond; and 182 Ebury Street, Belgravia, London

Virginia Woolf, 40, is looking forward to dinner tonight with her new friend, fellow author Vita Sackville-West, 30, at Vita’s posh home in Belgravia.

Virginia and her husband Leonard, 42, met the Nicholsons—Vita and her husband Sir Harold Nicholson, 36—just a few days ago at a party hosted by Virginia’s brother-in-law, art critic Clive Bell, 41, at his Gordon Square house.

46 Gordon Square

Clive had arranged the get-together specifically so the two couples could meet. Clive had passed on to Virginia Vita’s comment that she feels Woolf is the best female writer in England. This from an already established British writer is encouraging to Virginia, who just published her third novel, Jacob’s Room, this time with the Woolfs’ own Hogarth Press.

After their meeting, Virginia noted in her diary,

the lovely gifted aristocratic Sackville West…is a grenadier; hard, handsome, manly, inclined to a double chin. She is a pronounced Sapphist and [Vita] may, thinks [English composer] Ethel Sands, have an eye on me, old though I am.”


Meanwhile. A bit less than an hour away on the District Line, Vita has been telling Harold how impressed she is by Virginia

I’ve rarely taken such a fancy to anyone…I have quite lost my heart…I simply adore Virginia…She is both detached and human, silent till she wants to say something and then says it supremely well. She dresses quite atrociously.”

182 Ebury Street

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I through III, covering 1920 through 1922 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at the Osher program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.