Virginia Woolf’s great-grandniece Sophie Partridge and Virginia’s great-grandniece Emma Woolf with their two-year-old son Ludovic Cecil Woolf (Ludo), who was allowed to “meet” his great, great-aunt Virginia!
The extraordinarily beautiful statue depicts a life-size Virginia Woolf in relaxed repose on a bench where people can sit next to her while enjoying the gentle views of Richmond.
Virginia Woolf lived and worked in leafy Richmond with husband Leonard for ten years between 1914 and 1924. Virginia described Hogarth House as “the finest house in England”. There they founded the Hogarth Press in 1915 and Richmond influenced Virginia’s life and work.
Cheryl Robson of Aurora Metro Arts and Media Charity has devoted five years to fundraising and campaigning to raise over £60,000 to erect a statue of Virginia Woolf in Richmond to celebrate her, her literary heritage and strong connection to to celebrate Richmond. Dozens of volunteers helped with the project and the public expressed their overwhelming support with literally hundreds of individual donations.
World-renowned writer and women’s rights advocate, Virginia Woolf loved the quiet life that Richmond offered her away from London. Richmond gave Virginia freedom to write, freedom to grow as a person, and freedom to think for herself again. She wrote, “I should be grateful to Richmond and Hogarth, and indeed, whether it’s my invincible optimism or not, I’m grateful.”
Sculptor Laury Dizengremel said, “Being commissioned to create the first-ever full-length statue of Virginia Woolf and portray her happy side was an absolute thrill.”
This new historic addition to Richmond has garnered widespread support including: Mark Haddon, Sarah Gristwood, Anne Sebba, Claire Tomalin, Philippa Gregory, Kit de Waal, Jackie Kay, AS Byatt, Frances Spalding and Sarah Waters. Online endorsements came from many including: Margaret Attwood, Jodi Picoult, Deborah Frances-White, Elizabeth Day, Caroline Criado Perez, Phillip Pullman and Neil Gaiman.
The charity’s sister company, Aurora Metro Books, is a small publishing house in the heart of Richmond that aptly resembles Hogarth Press. Here, Cheryl Robson has just opened her first local independent bookstore, Books on the Rise. During the campaign, Aurora Metro published Peter Fullagar’s book Virginia in Richmond, which received excellent reviews.