Earlier this month, we spent a week in Hong Kong. It was during Chinese New Year, so all the temples that we visited had colourful decorations. Wong Tai Sin temple in Kowloon is very busy with visitors at New Year. Lots of people crowd around to have their photo taken with the statues of the Chinese Zodiac animals. The rabbit holds a book, probably because those born in a Rabbit year are known to be intellectual, scholarly and learned.
Another Indian writer, Rabindranath Tagore, is remembered with a bust in Gordon Square, Bloomsbury. In 1912, while travelling by ship from India to England, Tagore translated his collection of Bengali poems, called “Gitanjali”, into English. He was the first Asian to be awarded the Nobel prize for literature.
Virginia Woolf is not the only writer honoured in Tavistock Square in Bloomsbury. There is also a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the centre of the park.
In 1909, when Gandhi travelled by ship from London to Cape Town, during the 15 day journey, he wrote “Hind Swaraj” – his first book and the book that formulated a plan for Indian independence.
There is also a bust of the ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates, on a plinth overlooking the pond at Winthrop Hall (see previous blog).
Have walked past Winthrop Hall at the University of Western Australia without before having noticed the quote on the long seat which overlooks the pond. It says, “Verily by beauty it is that we come at wisdom” from a poem by Robert Bridges called a “Testament to Beauty” and composed in 1929. The quote relates to the university’s motto which is “Seek Wisdom”
Robert Bridges is not now well-known, but in his own time achieved considerable fame, and was poet laureate from 1913 to 1930.
In Woburn Square, hidden away amongst buildings that are part of the University of London, there is an interesting sculpture that relates to Virginia Woolf. “The Green Man” by Lydia Kapinska has an accompanying sign with extracts from the novel, “The Waves”, which was published by the Hogarth Press in 1931.
This is the view from 38 Brunswick Square where Virginia Woolf lived with her brother Adrian in 1911 and 12. They also shared the house with Maynard Keynes and Leonard Woolf, and Leonard proposed to Virginia while they were living there.