• LOCATION 1 | 'Such Friends': Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group

    Entrance to Gordon Square

    Welcome to Bloomsbury! I’m Dr. Kathleen Dixon Donnelly and I’ll be your guide for this walk. You should be standing at the entrance to Gordon Square, facing the garden, with the small cafe on your right. Before we get going, I'll tell you a bit about myself, and today's walk.

    As you can tell from my accent, I’m not from around here. I’m American, and for the last few years I was based in Dublin doing research on the writers and artists of the early 20th century. Now I teach here in the UK.

    I’ve always been interested in creative people, and wanted to find out more about how their relationships, friendships, marriages, affected their work.

    One group included William Butler Yeats and his friends who founded the Abbey Theatre. He said in one of his poems,
    ‘Think where man's glory most begins and ends,
    and say my glory was I had such friends,’
    so I have used ‘Such Friends’ as the title for all my work about ‘my’ writers.

    Today's walk is about novelist Virginia Woolf and her relatives and ‘such friends’ who made up the Bloomsbury group. They spent their days writing and painting, and their evenings in drawing rooms—or salons—where they ate, drank, fell in and out of love, argued and talked. We'll explore their lives when they were just starting out, before Virginia became well-known for her writing. As we go, I’ll tell you about the relationships among these interesting—and creative—‘such friends.’

    Let's start walking now. Go into the garden through the gate, and make your way up the path to your right. VoiceMap uses your location to play commentary automatically, so put your phone away and focus on your lovely surroundings. My directions will keep you on track. There might be some silences, but you can keep walking and my voice will kick in at each location.

Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
'Such Friends': Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group