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Virginia Stephen at the Dr Williams’s Library

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-136
JournalWomen: A Cultural Review
Volume27
Issue number2
Early online date6 Oct 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

King's Authors

Abstract

This article considers the implications of Virginia Stephen’s membership of the foremost library of Protestant nonconformity in London—the Dr Williams’s Library. Drawing on research in the library’s archives, the author focuses on the original record of Stephen’s membership in the 1905 ‘Index of Readers’. While paying close attention to the semantic specificities of the record itself, this article also positions Stephen’s individual record in the wider context of the community of readers this index documents. The article explores the degree to which Stephen’s encounter with the predominantly female and scholarly, but also distinctly lower-middle-class and professional readership of the Dr Williams’s Library may have influenced the concerns of her 1909 short story ‘Memoirs of a Novelist’ and her first novel, The Voyage Out.

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