thoby stephen


The four Stephen children, all around two years old (clockwise): Vanessa (b. 1879), Thoby (b. 1880), Virginia (b. 1882), Adrian (b. 1883). 

Virginia and Adrian are seen with their mother, Julia. Their father Leslie once said “Our own children were to her a pure delight. To see her with a baby on her breast was a revelation, and her love grew with their growth.” 

And then Thoby, leaving me enormously impressed and rather dazed, would switch off to tell me about another astonishing fellow - a man who trembled perpetually all over. […] When I asked why he trembled, Thoby somehow made me feel it was part of his nature - he was so violent, so savage; he so despised the whole human race. “And after all,” Thoby said, “it is a pretty feeble affair, isn’t it?” Nobody was much good after twenty-five, he said. But most people, I gathered, rather rubbed along, and came to term with things. Woolf did not and Thoby thought it sublime.

Virginia Woolf on Leonard Woolf, ‘Old Bloomsbury’ in Moments of Being