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Stephen Family - Overview

Stephen Family - Overview

 

'To the Lighthouse' as a whole, and 'Time Passes' in particular were inspired by Woolf's memories of childhood summer holidays spent at Talland House, near St Ives, a place to which she returned almost compulsively as an adult. When Woolf's mother died suddenly in May 1895, her father, Leslie Stephen, could not bear to go back to Talland House, and new tenants took over the lease. The young Stephens returned ten years later, in August 1905, and when they saw the house lit up by other inhabitants, felt like 'ghosts' themselves. 'Time Passes' recounts the experience of mourning for and revisiting its loss, not through a series of conventional memories, but by imagining how the empty house - or its spirit - might have experienced the absence of the family.

The history of Talland House from 1882 to 1895 was recorded in family photographs taken during the holidays. As well as photographs, this section includes extracts from Woolf's journal, August 1905, manuscript and typescript images from her late unfinished memoir 'A Sketch of the Past', an essay on 'Talland House' by Marion Dell, and other supporting material. To view this material either use the Stephen Family option from the main top menu or select one of the following options,