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A Boy at the Hogarth Press | Mrs W was in a very happy mood . . . | From the Slightly Foxed archives

A Boy at the Hogarth Press | ‘Mrs W was in a very happy mood . . .’

‘The Hogarth Press where I’m working, is in the heart of the literary world, with authors coming in all the time. Mrs Woolf, wife of the manager, is a very celebrated author and, in her own way, more important than Galsworthy. LW and Mrs W think nothing of Galsworthy . . .’

There have been many memoirs of life among the Bloomsberries, but none more wickedly frank or funny than A Boy at the Hogarth Press. In 1926, at the age of 16, Richard Kennedy left school without a single qualification and went to work at Leonard and Virginia Woolf’s Hogarth Press. Though home from home for London’s intellectual élite, the Press’s damp basement at Tavistock Square was anything but elegant, with the legendarily mean LW keeping a close check on everything, including the toilet paper, and frequently exploding when confronted with RK’s latest idiocy. The Woolfs clearly developed a fondness for their apprentice, but when he left several years later LW pronounced him ‘the most frightful idiot he [had] ever had the privilege of meeting in a long career of suffering fools’.

Since today marks Virginia Woolf’s birthday, we were drawn to rereading Richard Kennedy’s mischievous memoir. Please read on for an excerpt from the book, together with some further reading recommendations.

With best wishes, as ever, from the SF office staff
Jess, Isabel, Rebecca and Izzy

PS We are looking for an illustrator who works in black and white to join our roster of freelancers at Slightly Foxed. Please click the link below for more details.

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