WHERE WERE GREAT BOOKS WERE BORN
Built out of a wooden toolshed, the small writing room in which Virginia Woolf penned many of her most famous novels stood in the garden of a house she bought with her husband Leonard in 1919. An important rural gathering place for the Bloomsbury Group, Monk’s House in Sussex attracted famous guests like TS Eliot and EM Forster. Although the modernist author described the importance of having a space for writing in her 1929 essay A Room of One’s Own, this was not an ideal spot for concentration. According to The Guardian: “She was always being distracted – by Leonard sorting the apples over her head in the loft, or the church bells at the bottom of the garden, or the noise of the children in the school next door, or the dog sitting next to her and scratching itself and leaving paw marks on her manuscript pages. In winter it was often so bitterly cold and damp that she couldn’t hold her pen and had to retreat indoors.” Despite that, Woolf wrote parts of novels like Mrs Dalloway and The Waves here. It was also the place where Woolf wrote her final words in 1941: a farewell letter to Leonard, shortly before she waded into the river Ouse and drowned.