Sunday, June 5, 2011

Tweaking away at Monk's House ...

.....Described as "a modest brick and flint dwelling, weather-boarded on the street side", it was bought by the Woolfs in 1919, the year of the publication of Night and Day (hence the moon and the sun) for all of 700 quid. It had no bath, hot water or even a toilet.

As Quentin Bell puts it:
"On September 1st they loaded two waggons with their possessions, crossed the Ouse and moved into Monk's House ... Virginia was obliged to admit to herself she was depressed. Whether the melancholy arose from the comparative imperfections of her new house or from the fact that Duckworth was about to publish Night and Day is not easily determined."

I am no Virginia Woolf but I have to say, in a flippant aside, that the possession of hot and cold running water and a toilet does contribute greatly to my happy-ometer. The personal hygiene arrangements - or rather the lack of them - of past generations has always been a deeply interesting subject for me.

Anyway, to get back to the picture in hand, I am now seeing my way with it and plan to include the Long Man of Wilmington which I am quite sure cannot be seen from Monk's House but is in the vicinity, well about 10 miles off. He is a figure, originally carved from the chalk uplands, regarded as a guardian of the South Downs. So in he goes. Tomorrow
For now, it's back to the drawing board ...


  1. Oh yes, a hot shower and a toilet does it for me these days too! I'm afraid my knowledge of Virginia Woolf is not good either. I will have to go to the library again! I do like your picture.
    I am really enjoying the Brontes but have shed a few tears. Those poor children, what a life!

  2. Well, I Googled Monks House and Haworth. I now have information overload! Thank you for taking me on this interesting journey!

  3. Hi Deb, I find information overload is one of tthose mysterious modern conditions often linked to taking a 10 minute break with a cup of coffee in front of a computer screen. Ten minutes mysteriously turns into 30 in which time you find you have hopped thousands of miles through time and space ... who needs the tardis?

  4. I loved seeing your sketchbook and the drawings of VW from her photos....particularly her "demon bowler" one !