– to which I had to reply: no. But now I have … well not the whole of it yet – but I definitively will! Briggs is a clear and talented narrator, and she offers clever insights into both Woolf and her work.
Godrevy lighthouse (Cornwall) is said to have inspired Virginia Woolf to write To the Lighthouse – though in the book, she locates the lighthouse in the Hebrides. The lighthouse’s visitor book contains the signature of Virginia Stephen (Woolf). She first visited on 12 September 1892
If you follow my blog on a regular basis you might remember that I wrote a post under the heading “Theory of Mind”, where I tried to discuss the complexity of the characters inner-life in To the Lighthouse. Here is Briggs on Woolf’s way of creating the subjectivity of human beings:
In daily life she (Woolf) was as capable as the next person of ignoring the selfhood of others, but within her fiction, she encourages her readers to extend their sympathies through the use of the imagination, deliberately writing in the tradition of George Eliot, who believed that “Art is the nearest thing to life; it is a mode of amplifying experience and extending our contact with our fellow-men beyond the bounds of our personal lot”. Both writers share a tradition of women’s writing in which moral awareness carries the reader across the boundaries of gender, class and race in the interest of wider sympathy and understanding.
Historic Print of Godrevy Island, position:
50 14′.549 N 005 24′.015 W (not for navigation purposes)
Godrevy Island is situated 3½ miles across St.Ives Bay, where rugged cliffs rise from the sea. Gulls, oyster-catchers and pipits make their homes on the island, which is partly covered with grass, as it slopes down to the sea. In springtime, carpets of brightly coloured primroses, sea thrift and heather bring beauty to the scene, for although the island is close to the mainland, it is open to the full force of Atlantic gales. A dangerous reef extends outwards towards St.Ives, called the Stones and on this many vessels have come to grief.
LITERATURE nature writing Reading to write the-HOME-project Woolf writing An Inner Life class Cornwall gender George Eliot Godrevy lighthouse inner-life Julia Briggs literature race selfhood Theory of mind To the Lighthouse virginia woolf women's writing writing
sketcher, reader, writer