Virginia Woolf's Garden: The Story of the Garden at Monk's House

Virginia Woolf's Garden: The Story of the Garden at Monk's House

Hardback

By (author) Caroline Zoob, Photographs by Caroline Arber, Foreword by Cecil Woolf

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  • Publisher: Jacqui Small LLP
  • Format: Hardback | 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 242mm x 280mm x 26mm | 1,240g
  • Publication date: 1 November 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1909342130
  • ISBN 13: 9781909342132
  • Illustrations note: 250 colour photographs, 20 archive photographs, 20 artworks
  • Sales rank: 26,210

Product description

Monk's House in Sussex is the former home of Leonard and Virginia Woolf. It was bought by them in 1919 as a country retreat, somewhere they came to read, write and work in the garden. From the overgrown land behind the house they created a brilliant patchwork of garden rooms, linked by brick paths, secluded behind flint walls and yew hedges. The story of this magical garden is the subject of this book and the author has selected quotations from the writings of the Woolfs which reveal how important a role the garden played in their lives, as a source of both pleasure and inspiration. Virginia wrote most of her major novels at Monk's House, at first in a converted tool shed, and later in her purpose-built wooden writing lodge tucked into a corner of the orchard. Caroline Zoob lived with her husband, Jonathan, at Monk's House for over a decade as tenants of the National Trust, and has an intimate knowledge of the garden they tended and planted. The photographer, Caroline Arber, was a frequent visitor to the house during their tenancy and her spectacular photographs, published here for the first time, often reveal the garden as it is never seen by the public: at dawn, in the depths of winter, at dusk. The photographs and text, enriched with rare archive images and embroidered garden plans, take the reader on a journey through the various garden 'rooms', (including the Italian Garden, the Fishpond Garden, the Millstone Terrace and the Walled Garden). Each garden room is presented in the context of the lives of the Woolfs, with fascinating glimpses into their daily routines at Rodmell. This beautiful book is an absorbing account of the creation of a garden which will appeal equally to gardeners and those with an interest in Virginia and Leonard Woolf.

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Author information

CAROLINE ZOOB is an embroiderer and textile artist, and is the author of The Hand-Stitched Home and Childhood Treasures. Caroline, together with her husband Jonathan, tenanted Monk's House from the National Trust from 2000-2011. Apart from Leonard and Virginia, no-one has lived in the house for that length of time since the house was acquired by the Woolfs in 1919.

Review quote

'takes the reader on a visually sumptuous tour of the property's famous grounds, uncovering its enchanting patchwork of 'rooms' and offering a fascinating glimpse into the Woolfs' daily lives.' Landscape 'her embroidered plans of the gardens add a delightful extra dimension to the book.' House & Garden "an indispensable treasure for any Woolf fan, Anglophile, or gardener" Blogging Woolf 'an unusual and affecting book' The Lady 'a glorious amalgam of biography and gardening' The Independent "a beautifully presented book ... visual pleasure ... uses [language] engagingly. Gardeners and Woolf readers will much enjoy her book" -- Robin Lane Fox Financial Times 'Zoob's admirably passionate approach to the house and garden as an artistic whole has produced an extraordinary book, full of quiet images that exactly capture the beauty of the place...Buy it!' The Independent on Sunday 'Zoob's book is enchanting and full of excellent excerpts from the Woolfs' letters and diaries' -- Anna Pavord The Independent 'touching account' The Sunday Times "The book has great charm and terrific photographs, is packed with horticultural information, and gives a delightful account of the domestic life of the Woolfs." -- Annabel Freyberg The World of Interiors "Rich with Caroline Arber's photography (and atmospheric sepia snaps of the Woolfs) the book documents the garden's developments from the Woolfs' time, through the Second World War, Virginia's death and Caroline's own decade-long tenancy. It remains a place of beauty and solace." The Simple Things 'A portrait of their life ... a delightfully layered garden history.' Garden Design Journal 'Lovely book celebrates the Woolfs' garden - the first (large picture book) about Monk's House' Virginia Woolf's Bulletin 'this book about a gifted amateur's garden has immense charm' Country Life "a thoughtful, intelligent account of restoring the garden at Rodmell as the tenant of the National Trust." Literary Review