Virginia and Leonard Woolf, 1912
Woolf was born in London, the third of ten children of Solomon Rees Sidney Woolf (known as Sidney Woolf), a barrister and Queen's Counsel, and Marie (née de Jongh). His family was Jewish. After his father died in 1892 Woolf was sent to board at Arlington House School near Brighton, Sussex. From 1894 to 1899 he attended St Paul's School, and in 1899 he won a classical scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was elected to the Cambridge Apostles. Other members included Lytton Strachey, John Maynard Keynes, G. E. Moore and E. M. Forster. Thoby Stephen, Virginia Stephen's brother, was friendly with the Apostles, though not a member himself. Woolf was awarded his BA in 1902, but stayed there for another year to study for the Civil Service examinations held then.
In October 1904, Woolf moved to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to become a cadet in the Ceylon Civil Service, in Jaffna and later Kandy, and by August 1908 was named an assistant government agent in the Southern Province, where he administered the District of Hambantota. Woolf returned to England in May 1911 for a year's leave. Instead, however, he resigned in early 1912 and that same year married Virginia Stephen.
17 The Green Richmond, 2017
Leonard and Virginia Woolf lived at 17 The Green Richmond starting from October 1914. In early March 1915 the couple moved to nearby Hogarth House, Paradise Road.
The Round House, Lewes, 2017
In 1919, the Woolfs purchased the Round House in Pipe Passage, Lewes. The same year they discovered Monk’s House in nearby Rodmell, which both she and Leonard favored because of its orchard and garden. She then bought Monk’s House and sold the Round House.
Together Leonard and Virginia Woolf became influential in the Bloomsbury Group, which also included various other former Apostles.
In December 1917, Woolf became one of the co-founders of the 1917 Club, which met in Gerrard Street, Soho.