Has any couple in twentieth-century intellectual life so captured and held attention as have Leonard and Virginia Woolf? The have proved endlessly interesting as individuals, partners, writers, modernists, and as the central players in the absorbing drama of Bloomsbury. Yet surprisingly scant attention has been paid to their remarkable achievements as publishers. Now J.H. Willis, Jr., combines wide-ranging literary knowledge with more than ten years of research to enhance forever our appreciation of Leonard and Virginia Woolf as publishers.
In this exemplary work of scholarship, Willis, an English professor at the College of William and Mary, traces the history of Hogarth Press, Leonard and Virginia Woolf's publishing enterprise, from its beginnings as a hand press in their drawing room to its later success as a small, profitable commercial printing press, run in partnership with the poet John Lehmann. In the early years, the Woolfs limited Hogarth Press to literary works, such as short stories by Katherine Mansfield or T. S. Eliot's poetry, but they later published books of political, historical and social importance by such pioneers as Sigmund Freud and John Maynard Keynes. Initially conceived by Leonard Woolf as a diversion for himself and his wife from the demands of their work, Hogarth became the vehicle through which Virginia Woolf was able to publish her writing free from the constraints of editors. A readable and carefully researched addition to Bloomsbury studies.