Virginia Stephen and Morley College, 1905–7

Clara Jones

in Virginia Woolf

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2016 | ISBN: 9781474401920
Published online September 2016 | e-ISBN: 9781474418638 | DOI:
Virginia Stephen and Morley College, 1905–7

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This chapter sheds new light on Virginia Stephen’s affiliation to Morley College through close reference to the original manuscript draft of Woolf’s so-called ‘Report on Teaching at Morley College’, held in the Monks House Papers. This unpublished draft, which I will refer to as the ‘Morley Sketch’, not only encourages a re-consideration of Virginia Stephen’s experiences at Morley but also draws attention to her authorial ambition to write history. Amongst the deletions in the ‘Morley Sketch’ we encounter the germ of her preoccupation with the history of ‘obscure lives’, which concerns a number of her early short stories, including ‘The Journal of Mistress Joan Martyn’. This chapter analyses the self-styled history syllabus Virginia Stephen taught her working-class student’s at Morley and the degree to which this was informed by her own formal education in history at King’s College London. The final section then argues that these complex cross-class encounters are written into The Voyage Out through the imagery of vaults and ‘subterranean passages’, a suggestive phrase borrowed from the deletions of the ‘Morley Sketch’.

Keywords: Morley College; Adult Education; ‘Morley Sketch’; The Voyage Out; ‘The Journal of Mistress Joan Martyn’; History

Chapter.  18369 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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