The 'custom' of fiction: Virginia Woolf, the short story, and the Hogarth Press


Hunter A (2007) The 'custom' of fiction: Virginia Woolf, the short story, and the Hogarth Press. English, 56 (215), pp. 147-169.

First paragraph: When he married Virginia Stephen in August 1912, Leonard Woolf was worth around £600, the bulk of which sum had come from winnings on the Melbourne Cup sweepstake of 1908. A ‘penniless Jew,' Virginia called him. Marriage was only made possible by her family inheritance (approximately £9000) and the modest income it returned (about £400 annually). Editing work and journalism helped the couple keep up with expenses in the early years; after 1925, and the success of The Common Reader and Mrs Dalloway, a more comfortable living was to be had on the strength of Virginia's royalties. All the while, canny investments in stocks, bonds, and property steadily improved the Woolfs' capital wealth. That many of these interests were in imperial ventures abroad didn't seem to trouble Leonard, despite his public position that European expansionism had led to ‘the subjection and economic exploitation of the African and to subjection or anarchy and economic exploitation in China'. Virginia, who had early endeavoured to boost the sagging Stephen family coffers by her writing, affected indifference to money matters, once there was plenty in the bank.

English: Volume 56, Issue 215

Publication date30/06/2007
PublisherOxford University Press