A NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE • LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE • “A beautiful and deeply moving book.”—Sally Rooney, author of Normal People
An engrossing group portrait of five women writers, including Virginia Woolf, who moved to London’s Mecklenburgh Square in search of new freedom in their lives and work.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY POPMATTERS
“I like this London life . . . the street-sauntering and square-haunting.”—Virginia Woolf, diary, 1925
In the early twentieth century, Mecklenburgh Square—a hidden architectural gem in the heart of London—was a radical address. On the outskirts of Bloomsbury known for the eponymous group who “lived in squares, painted in circles, and loved in triangles,” the square was home to students, struggling artists, and revolutionaries.
In the pivotal era between the two world wars, the lives of five remarkable women intertwined at this one address: modernist poet H. D., detective novelist Dorothy L. Sayers, classicist Jane Harrison, economic historian Eileen Power, and author and publisher Virginia Woolf. In an era when women’s freedoms were fast expanding, they each sought a space where they could live, love, and—above all—work independently.
With sparkling insight and a novelistic style, Francesca Wade sheds new light on a group of artists and thinkers whose pioneering work would enrich the possibilities of women’s lives for generations to come.