Love Letters: Leonard Woolf & Trekkie Ritchie Parsons 1941-1968

Love Letters: Leonard Woolf & Trekkie Ritchie Parsons 1941-1968

by Judith Adamson, Leonard Woolf
     
 

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“To know you and love you has been the best thing in life.” —Leonard Woolf wrote to Trekkie Parsons in 1942.

Trekkie, a painter and book illustrator, was married to the publisher Ian Parsons who was away at war. Leonard was 61, Trekkie 39. They first got to know each other a few months after Virginia Woolf’s suicide. When Ian came

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Overview

“To know you and love you has been the best thing in life.” —Leonard Woolf wrote to Trekkie Parsons in 1942.

Trekkie, a painter and book illustrator, was married to the publisher Ian Parsons who was away at war. Leonard was 61, Trekkie 39. They first got to know each other a few months after Virginia Woolf’s suicide. When Ian came back from the war, they became even closer. Trekkie, a feisty feminist, had never wanted a husband and now, it seemed, she had two, spending her weekends with Ian and weekdays with Leonard, and telling no one of their arrangement. That is how they lived for twenty-five years. Apart from a handful of letters, no one has read their correspondence, which Trekkie had sealed until after her death. These remarkable letters tell the story of their unusual relationship.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This collection of letters documents the relationship between Leonard Woolf, the writer best known as the husband of Virginia Woolf and publisher of the Hogarth Press, and Trekkie Parsons, a painter and book designer more than 20 years his junior. The correspondence lasts from the beginning of their friendship in 1941, the year Virginia Woolf died, until Leonard's death in 1968. Throughout most of that time, Woolf and Parsons were involved intimately and designed rather unusual living arrangements with shared or neighboring houses, where Ian Parsons, Trekkie's husband and Woolf's colleague, joined them. The letters are sporadic, since Woolf and Trekkie spent as much time as possible together, and they often seem to continue conversations that occurred off the page, making the letters difficult to read. The letters are unedited, though Adamson (English, Dawson Coll., Montreal) has added footnotes to help the reader navigate through their social circles. She also provides headnotes and an introduction. Woolf's letters are startlingly romantic and moving, and the letters reveal the development of the couple's intimacy. They also show Woolf and Trekkie sharing their professional and artistic concerns and dealing with the minutiae of daily life. These very personal letters, mostly kept private until Trekkie died in 1995, will be of greatest interest to those fascinated by the Woolfs and anything Bloomsbury. Recommended for libraries with modern literary collections. Paolina Taglienti, Long Island Univ., Brooklyn, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780712664738
Publisher:
Random House UK
Publication date:
04/23/2002
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.06(w) x 9.19(h) x 1.19(d)

Read an Excerpt

“To know you and love you has been the best thing in life.” —Leonard Woolf wrote to Trekkie Parsons in 1942.

Trekkie, a painter and book illustrator, was married to the publisher Ian Parsons who was away at war. Leonard was 61, Trekkie 39. They first got to know each other a few months after Virginia Woolf’s suicide. When Ian came back from the war, they became even closer. Trekkie, a feisty feminist, had never wanted a husband and now, it seemed, she had two, spending her weekends with Ian and weekdays with Leonard, and telling no one of their arrangement. That is how they lived for twenty-five years. Apart from a handful of letters, no one has read their correspondence, which Trekkie had sealed until after her death. These remarkable letters tell the story of their unusual relationship.

Meet the Author

Judith Adamson is Professor of English at Dawson College, Montreal, and the author of The Dangerous Edge, a political biography of Graham Greene. She selected and introduced the essays in Greene’s last book, Reflections.

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