Leonard Woolf


Schooling: Brighton, St. Paul's, Trinity College at Cambridge. Traveled to Ceylon as a civil servant in 1904, there to remain until 1911. Upon returning to England, he began courting Virginia Stephen, with the encouragement of her sister Vanessa and his close friend Lytton Strachey.

"[...] it would be wrong to think of him as one so cerebral in his approach to life as to be quite separated from his fellows by a 'superior' Cambridge arrogance. [...] If he ever had that quality he lost it in Ceylon. I have only to recall the many times that I myself have heard him, patiently, quietly, without the faintest air of condescension or of 'side', explaining to the Rodmell Labour Party some difficult question concerning the League Covenant or the taxation of land. He had only one aim in view, to make a difficult proposition clear; there was an honesty and a simplicity about him to which those audiences responded. His clarity gave them greater acuteness than they knew themselves to possess; his manifest sincerity was entirely lovable."
— Quentin Bell, from the introduction to Sowing: An Autobiography of the Years 1880-1904 (1980 edition)

Published works:
The Village in the Jungle (1913)
The Wise Virgins (1914)
International Government (1916)
Cooperation and the Future of Industry (1918)
Economic Imperialism (1920)
Empire and Commerce in Africa (1920)
Socialism and Cooperation (1921)
Fear and Politics (1925)
Essays on Literature, History, Politics (1927)
Hunting the Highbrow (1927)
Imperialism and Civilization (1928)
After the Deluge (Principia Politica, 3 vols., 1931, 1939, 1953)
Barbarians at the Gate (1939)
The War for Peace (1940)
Quack! Quack! (1953)
Sowing (1960)
Growing (1961)
Ceylon Diaries (1963)
Beginning Again (1964)
Downhill All the Way (1967)
The Journey Not the Arrival Matters (1970)

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