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Virginia Woolf's Mystic Garden(s)

Hutchings, Rory Michael (2020) Virginia Woolf's Mystic Garden(s). In: Gardens Trust 10th New Research Symposium, 05 Sep 2020, Online. (Unpublished) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:91136)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)


In her autobiographical writings, Virginia Woolf describes a walk around her garden at Monk’s House in Lewes:

‘The buzz, the croon, the smell, all seemed to press voluptuously against some membrane; not to burst it; but to hum round one such a complete rapture of pleasure that I stopped, smelt; looked.’ (Virginia Woolf, Moments of Being)

This description, and many like it throughout her writings, captures Woolf’s mystical ecstasies, what she called her “moments of being”, which came on most fervently in her experiences of the natural world - primarily within the garden - and intimately shaped her fiction.

Proceeding from Woolf’s writings on gardens, both real and imagined, this paper will explore how the mystical tendencies of her work manifest in the garden space. And how the horticultural theories of Woolf’s contemporaries, including William Robinson and Reginald Farrer, are transmitted and absorbed into Woolf’s own horticultural and mystical sensibility.

Whilst both Woolf’s ecologies and her mystical tendencies have been widely studied, there has been less attention paid to the meeting place between these two interests, despite their frequent convergence in Woolf’s writings. This paper will chiefly reference the following texts: Moments of Being (2002), The Waves (1931) and Between The Acts (1941).

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Uncontrolled keywords: Virginia Woolf, Gardens, Mysticism, Modernism
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Q Science > QK Botany
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
Depositing User: Rory Hutchings
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2021 10:11 UTC
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2021 10:41 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Hutchings, Rory Michael.

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