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Sowing: An Autobiography Of The Years 1880 To 1904
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Sowing: An Autobiography Of The Years 1880 To 1904 (Autobiography of Leonard Woolf #1)

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  47 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The author's childhood in Victorian London and his youth at Cambridge, when he met his future wife, Virginia, and others who were to become members of the Bloomsbury Group. "Just what an autobiography should be" (New Yorker).
Paperback, 210 pages
Published October 18th 1989 by Mariner Books
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Feb 22, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it
Shelves: autobiography
This is the first volume in Leonard Woolf’s five volume autobiography; covering the years 1880 to 1904 (childhood and university). Woolf wrote his autobiographies in his 80s (the 1960s). This volume covers his early childhood whilst his father was alive and the family was wealthy, the death of his father and the family having to move to save money, various public schools and finally Cambridge.
It is very interesting, but rather dry and analytical. Woolf clearly had a brilliant mind and the best
Mar 10, 2009 Roanne rated it really liked it
LW's life as a young child, growing up in London, feeling like an outsider because he was an intellectual. It seems that the most important event in his childhood was the death of his father when LW was eleven years old ... plunging the family from prosperity to virtual poverty. He excelled in school, where he managed to get into and afford Cambridge, and at that excellent university he met GE Moore (one of his greatest mentors), Lytton Strachey, Saxon Sydney Turner, and Thoby Stephens. He descr ...more
Dec 04, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it
This does reinforce my suspicion that Virginia and Leonard were probably somewhat intolerable to be around. So snooty! Although he does assert that his family's brush with "poverty" makes him a socialist - for compassionate reasons about how hard England makes it to get ahead if you don't start with money, although I can't imagine him actually interacting well with the working classes. But it's generally a delightful to read. At least the Bloomsbury group did productive things with all the time ...more
Nov 02, 2007 Kathryn rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, read it quickly in spurts over two days or so, and am eager to read the rest of them. Enjoyable not only for his voice (clear and pondering and kind of charmingly aged), but for all the homely bits about his famous friends and his very famous wife.

Even though I found myself often disagreeing with his convictions (always stated very firmly), it didn't lessen my enjoyment of his writing and his reminiscences. Was fascinated by his accounts of his very Victorian boyhood
May 09, 2014 Salvatore rated it liked it
Woolf's first volume of his autobiography makes me wonder what dinner conversation was like between him and Virginia. So much of a whirlwind of people, ideas, opinions. The book almost requires an intimacy of Woolf's life already, naming names and stating opinions of their person in a couple of paragraphs and then brushing them aside. Fun fact: Woolf apparently had the cleanest feet his doctor had ever seen. This is before he set off for Ceylon.
Sep 24, 2012 Janette rated it liked it
Woolf is not a very smooth writer -- lots of lumps and bumps as he describes his childhood and University years and his friendships, particularly with Lytton Strachey and Maynard Keynes. Not a great analysis of the era or the personalities, but an interesting personal view of the time. This is an autobiography in five volumes. It will be interesting to see how it progresses.
Lisa Davis-craig
Apr 05, 2012 Lisa Davis-craig rated it liked it
First in Woolf's 5 vol. bio. A somewhat slow start but enough to intrigue me into moving on with the set.
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Leonard Sidney Woolf was a noted British political theorist, author, publisher (The Hogarth Press), and civil servant, but perhaps best-known as husband to author Virginia Woolf.
More about Leonard Woolf...

Other Books in the Series

Autobiography of Leonard Woolf (5 books)
  • Growing: An Autobiography of the Years 1904 to 1911
  • Beginning Again: An Autobiography of The Years 1911 to 1918
  • Downhill All The Way: An Autobiography of the Years 1919 To 1939
  • Journey Not The Arrival Matters: An Autobiography Of The Years 1939 To 1969

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