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Archive for May 21st, 2013

A lovely combination: Virginia Woolf and suffrage. That means more than stuffing envelopes.

Woman and her Sphere

Night and DayIn Night and Day, set in 1910, Virginia Woolf writes explicitly of the  suffrage campaign. She places the office of her suffrage society, the ‘S.G.S.’, in the heart of Bloomsbury, in Russell Square. Mary Datchet works there (‘From ten to six every day’) in an office on the top-floor of a large house ‘which had once been lived in by a great city merchant and his family’. When Mary Datchet is found ‘lost, apparently, in admiration of the large hotel across the square’, she could in fact have been looking at not one but two  imposing hotels – the Russell and the Imperial.

A house with just such a view, number 23, on the north-western corner of the square, belonged to Sir Alexander Rendel, grandfather of Ellie Rendel, close friend of Ray Strachey. Although by 1910 the offices of the main women’s suffrage societies were in real life based…

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