Feb 24, 2020
Leonard Woolf: A Biography
Posted by Victoria Glendinning

Award winning biographer Victoria Glendinning draws on her deep knowledge of the twentieth century literary scene, and on her meticulous research into previously untapped sources, to write the first full biography of the extraordinary man who was the dark star at the center of the Bloomsbury set, and the definitive portrait of the Woolf marriage A man of extremes, LeonaAward winning biographer Victoria Glendinning draws on her deep knowledge of the twentieth century literary scene, and on her meticulous research into previously untapped sources, to write the first full biography of the extraordinary man who was the dark star at the center of the Bloomsbury set, and the definitive portrait of the Woolf marriage A man of extremes, Leonard Woolf was ferocious and tender, violent and self restrained, opinionated and nonjudgmental, always an outsider of sorts within the exceptionally intimate, fractious, and sometimes vicious society of brilliant but troubled friends and lovers He has been portrayed either as Virginia s saintly caretaker or as her oppressor, the substantial range and influence of his own achievements overshadowed by Virginia s fame and the tragedy of her suicide But Leonard was a pivotal figure of his age, whose fierce intelligence touched the key literary and political events that shaped the early decades of the twentieth century and would resonate into the post World War II era Glendinning beautifully evokes Woolf s coming of age in turn of the century London The scholarship boy from a prosperous Jewish family would cut his own path through the world of the British public school, contending with the lingering anti Semitism of Imperial Age Britain Immediately upon entering Trinity College, Cambridge, Woolf became one of an intimate group of vivid personalities who would form the core of the Bloomsbury circle the flamboyant Lytton Strachey Toby Stephen, the Goth, through whom Leonard would meet Stephen s sister Virginia and Clive Bell Glendinning brings to life their long nights of intense discussion of literature and the vicissitudes of sex, and charts Leonard s course as he becomes the lifelong friend of John Maynard Keynes and E M Forster She unearths the crucial influence of Woolf s seven years as a headstrong administrator in colonial Ceylon, where he lost confidence in the imperial mission, deciding to abandon Ceylon in order to marry the psychologically troubled Virginia Stephen Glendinning limns the true nature of Leonard s devotion to Virginia, revealing through vivid depiction of their unconventional marriage how Leonard supported Virginia through her breakdowns and in her writing In co founding with Virginia the Hogarth Press, he provided a secure publisher for Virginia s own boldly experimental works As the minence grise of the early Labour Party, working behind the scenes,Woolf became a leading critic of imperialism, and his passionate advocacy of collective security to prevent war underpinned the charter of the League of Nations After Virginia s death, he continued to forge his own iconoclastic way, engaging in a long and happy relationship with a married woman Victoria Glendinning s Leonard Woolf is a major achievement a shrewdly perceptive and lively portrait of a complex man of extremes and contradictions in whom passion fought with reason and whose far reaching influence is long overdue for the full appreciation Glendinning offers in this important book.

  • Title: Leonard Woolf: A Biography
  • Author: Victoria Glendinning
  • ISBN: 9780743246538
  • Page: 369
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Leonard Woolf A Biography Award winning biographer Victoria Glendinning draws on her deep knowledge of the twentieth century literary scene and on her meticulous research into previously untapped sources to write the first f

    Julie

    I thought I was ready to offer a detailed critique on this one as it irritated me enough to spew out my disappointment to my friends but when it came to actually reviewing it here it occurred to me it was mediocre enough to not bother wasting too much effort There is too much in this biography, and yet not enough While Glendinning offers a good biography of Leonard Woolf, I would have to say there is nothing in here that I didn t already know by reading Woolf s autobiography and his letters So W [...]


    Jesse

    After reading three biographies of Virginia Woolf, I decided it was time to read about her husband, Leonard Woolf In the scholarship on Virginia, Leonard is a figure which divides people into a group that thinks he was good to his wife and a group which holds the opinion that he limited her creative powers After reading Glendinning s biography, I ll go with the form, if only for the argument that without Leonard Virginia might have well died before she had published even one novel The great trag [...]


    James Murphy

    Because I ve also read Victoria Glendinning s excellent biography of Vita Sackville West, and now her life of Leonard Woolf, I think she knows these people well Leonard was a person who certainly deserved the attention this book provides Despite his own considerable achievements as writer and publisher, he s obviously important as the first critic and care giver and nurturer Glendinning s word of Virginia Woolf He played a very large role in making it possible for her to have the health and crea [...]


    Stephanie Patterson

    When I was a young graduate student in English, Leonard Woolf was a feminist punching bag the oppressive middle class husband of the brilliant, ethereal Virginia Woolf No one seemed to consider that living with someone mentally ill before the age of anti psychotic and mood stabilizing medication could have been somewhat of a struggle or that a little stolidness might provide Mrs Woolf with the stable environement she needed in order to write.Over the years Leonard has begun to get his due It was [...]


    Cindy Brown Ash

    I m such a nerd The man died before I was born, but when I got to the account of Leonard s death, I cried OK, I m a nerd, but the book is also that good Glendinning writes vividly, accounting for Woolf s contradictions, his mannerisms, his friendships, his relations with all the many sorts of people whose lives he touched She makes it clear that although he was a central part of Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury was not necessarily the center of his life She provides a beautiful and moving account of his r [...]


    Catherine

    An interesting read, but Glendinning is too much of an apologist for Woolf.


    Rob

    How to make it through a time of great social and political change while a being of a marginalized race, b being the stabilizing influence for a very creative and bright but very unstable wife, c influencing 20th century social and political thinking, d starting an important press and e living 89 productive years Among many other things there would have been no Virginia Woolf had there been no Leonard Wolf Well written, typically name ridden it is a biography it s an empathetic look into a membe [...]


    Ilze

    What is it about elm trees the good tempered tree Elms tolerate a great deal and this could be why cabinet makers had an interest in them, but the Woolfs Glendinning has written a unique and beautiful biography of a man she clearly has a lot of respect for Enough respect that we don t only get to see what Leonard Woolf did in his life, in a curriculum vitae kind of way, but there are descriptions of the way people treated him and his wife and later his mistress The book contains descriptions of [...]


    Ellen

    As usual, I m very happy with this biography, because Victoria Glendinning always produces wonderful biographies Of course, my favorite chapters are those that recount his meeting Virginia Stephen, courting her, marrying her, and tell us about their life together as companions, writers, and friends Because of Virginia s mental illness she was forbidden to have children, which makes me feel so badly for her Having a baby might have saved her from the depression and the suicide that she ultimately [...]


    Kllrchrd

    Ravishing dustjacket and a good read Some of the writing is a bit choppy, a bit bitty But the man himself comes across well, tho i don t know how he suffered some of the to me intensely dull semi political activities he got engaged in, he seemed selfless and capable of such extreme hard work Its interesting to read of the Webbs and other characters oops I don t want to give too much away From reading this Monks House which was his later residence shall always seem a warm and sunny place to me Ye [...]


    Richard

    I had been reading various sections of this whilst working on some writing, but as that comes to a close I thought I d finish the book as a whole I m glad that i did because even as the Bloomsbury chapters of his life came to a close his life got no less interesting The book is detailed but accessibly written I spotted a couple of minor errors paraphrasing sentences from his letters incorrectly in my opinion in the earlier sections that I had to read closely But this should not put you off, it w [...]


    Kate

    A well written and engrossing biography that makes me want to delve deeper into Leonard Woolf s writings While interested in reading about Leonard Woolf s life with Virginia Woolf, the chapters discussing his life following his wife s suicide held greater fascination for me I realised, while reading, that I had not given much consideration to what Leonard Woolf s life must have been like in his later years Victoria Glendinning paints a captivating picture of Leonard and includes many interesting [...]


    Patrick Barrett

    LW himself is a fascinating character, for the breadth and seriousness of his interests and his own writing as much as for his marriage to V and his recognition of her genius What makes this biography so wonderful is that that extraordinary life receives a treatment from Victoria Glendinning that is its equal for sympathetic understanding of diversity and historical and political context It s an utter delight to read and is the kind of treasure that can be kept going slowly alongside other books [...]


    Stefan

    Brilliant biography A penetrating account of the various aspects of this fascinating individual s life Interesting insights into Bloomsbury and the world of the British intelligentsia in the first half of the 20 th C.


    Martha

    Having read so many bios of V Woolf, it s good to read about how those events in Leonard s life related to VW and also to learn about him.


    Rob & Liz

    A book that took me a while to read because of the details involved An amazing man who certainly deserved his own biography apart from his perhaps famous wife Liz


    Laura

    after my Bloomsbury class am very intrigued she s a very good biographer


    Steve Shilstone

    The noted British publisher, author, engaged thinker, tenderly kept his mentally fragile genius of a wife alive for 30 years of marriage.



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      Posted by:Victoria Glendinning
      Published :2019-08-20T14:00:29+00:00