Jerome K Jerome is another late 19th century/early 20th century writer who is remembered with a plaque in Bloomsbury. Jerome, the author of “Three Men in a Boat”, lived briefly at 32 Tavistock Place.
Jerome was a friend of J.M. Barrie (see previous post) and a member of Barrie’s amateur cricket team along with other writers such as Rudyard Kipling and H. G. Wells.
Today is the birthday of J.M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan. While in London, we passed by one of the first places where he lived when he came from Scotland in 1885. A blue plaque marks the spot where Barrie lived in lodgings, on the corner of Grenville and Bernard streets, in a building which no longer exists. In Peter Pan, this house became the Darlings home where Peter flew in to meet Wendy.
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.
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.
Just one block west of Tavistock Square (see previous blog) is Gordon Square where the Bloomsbury Group began. Virginia moved to 46 Gordon Square in 1904 with her sister Vanessa and brother’s Adrian and Thoby. On Thursday evenings they entertained many writers and painters including Lytton Strachey, Clive Bell, Roger Fry, and Leonard Woolf.
Today is Virginia Woolf’s birthday. Walking around Bloomsbury, during our recent visit to London, we came across many locations associated with her life. Virginia and Leonard Woolf lived at No 52 Tavistock Square from 1924 to 1939 and ran the Hogarth Press from this address. The building was destroyed during World War II but Virginia’s association with this area is remembered with a memorial in the south west corner of Tavistock Square Gardens.
Waterstones Bookshop in Gower Street, Bloomsbury has an extensive travel section. We were looking for books about walks in and around London and we chose from a large selection, “Walks for all Ages in Greater London” by Ardella Jones, to use when we next visit London.
The area surrounding Russell Square is closely associated with the Bloomsbury Group, that collection of writers, philosophers and artists that was so influential in the first half of the 20th century. The poet, T.S. Eliot, was on the periphery of this group with Virginia and Leonard Woolf publishing his poem “The Waste Land” in 1923.
T.S Eliot’s later poems were published by Faber and Faber, the company where he also worked as an editor. Faber and Faber were located in a building, on the north western corner of Russell Square, which is now part of the University of London.
The two protagonists, Connie and her sister-in-law Flora, in Liz Byrski’s “Family Secrets” (see previous blog), stay in a hotel overlooking Russell Square. The view from their hotel window takes in the fountain in the centre of the Russell Square garden.