Archive for the ‘Godrevy’ Category

Godrevy LighthouseWill Godrevy Lighthouse, an icon of literature thanks to Virginia Woolf’s 1927 novel To the Lighthouse, be put on the auction block? Or will it be taken over by the Gwinear-Gwithian Parish Council? No one knows for sure.

Tuesday, operator Trinity House said it would keep the lighthouse, which sits on its own island near Hayle. Even though the light does not function, the towering white structure serves as a daytime visual aid for mariners. And it is considered a key element of the area’s heritage. It is said to be one of the most photographed Cornish landmarks.

Godrevy was built in 1858 and 1859 on the largest rock of the Stones reef. The lighthouse lies 980 ft off Godrevy Head in St. Ives Bay. The beach at  St. Ives has been named among the UK’s top 10.

Read more about Godrevy Lighthouse

Godrevy going modern, July 10, 2012

Woolf sightings: When Virginia went to the lighthouse, Nov. 22, 2011



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Godrevy Lighthouse is going modern. The winking white dual beam of the 19th-century inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse will soon have a more limited range when its powerful light is replaced with 21st-century LEDs.

The 12-nautical-mile range of the light on the 153-year-old structure will decrease by one-third when the cost-cutting move to LED lights is made. Instead of being installed in the top of the lighthouse, the LED lights will be located adjacent to the structure.

The 153-year-old lighthouse is perched on Stones Reef at the northern point of St. Ives Bay, a stony reef that was responsible for a number of shipwrecks — some fatal — before the lighthouse was built in 1858-59.

Its octagonal tower, which rises 86 feet, was originally manned by three light-keepers who lived in an adjoining cottage before the light was automated in 1936. In 1995, the switch was made to solar power, so I am unsure why LEDs will be more cost-effective and efficient.

However, a spokeswoman called the new lights “superior” and said, “The new structure will mean less frequent maintenance visits which will reduce the overheads for providing this aid to navigation.”

Read more on Woolf, Godrevy and St. Ives:

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This photo is identified on Bonhams website as the page of the Godrevy Lighthouse visitors book that contains Virginia's childhood autograph. However, it appears to be the later version that her father, Leslie Stephen, signed for the entire family on Sept. 17, 1894. Note that it does not include Hunt's signature.

Virginia Woolf did make it to the lighthouse. It was Sept. 12, 1892, and she was 10 years old. The Godrevy Lighthouse visitors book containing her childhood signature was sold today for £10,250 at Bonhams in London.

The value of the Trinity House Visitors Book for Godrevy Lighthouse, which contains 159 pages of signatures from 1859 to 1934, had been estimated at £3,000-5,000, but Woolf’s signature doubled its value. Bound in brown calf, the book contains blue pages with red rules with columns under “Date,” “Name” and “Residence.

The Pre-Raphaelite painter, William Holman Hunt, was with the Stephen family group that made the 1892 trip to Godrevy, and the book contains his signature as well. You can view that page here. Virginia’s signature reads “A.V. Stephen London.”

The photo at right shows the names of the Stephen family on their second visit, Sept. 17, 1894. On that occasion Leslie Stephen, Virginia’s father, signed the visitors book for all four family members, Virginia, Adrian, Thoby and himself. The book also records an earlier visit by Virginia’s father, on Aug. 24, 1887, together with Thoby, Gerald Duckworth and J. W. Hills.

The rubble stone lighthouse in St. Ives dates from 1859 and is an octagonal tower 86 feet high. It was designed by Scottish engineer James Walker.

Scroll down for more Woolf sightings from the past week.

  1. Virginia Woolf’s signature doubles sale of visitor bookBBC News
    The author Virginia Woolf visited Godrevy Lighthouse, near St Ives, when she was 10 years old in 1892. The structure and its landscape would go on to form the inspiration for the 1927 masterpiece, To The Lighthouse. The story is set in the Hebrides off 
  2. Vega Cape Town students praised at opening of new campusBizcommunity.com
    “Just as Virginia Woolf needed a room of her own in which to write her timeless novels, so to do creative thinkers need a space that is conducive to innovation.The Fringe, over the next few years, looks to completely transform the eastern part of the …
  3. Paw Paw native named Rhodes ScholarWWMT
    Spencer is studying history and literature and has won prizes for his work on Virginia Woolf. He intends on pursuing his masters degree in literature at Oxford, where he will start next October.
  4. Paw Paw resident named 2012 Rhodes ScholarKalamazoo Gazette – MLive.com
    At Harvard, Lenfield has won top distinction as a scholar of the humanities since his freshman year and has won prizes for his work on Flaubert and Virginia Woolf, according to the bio. He is an accomplished pianist and poet. 
  5. Artist spends three years painting same tree after deaths of parents and friendMirror.co.uk
    You find it crops up a lot in the paintings of Constable, in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and also in War and Peace, where it takes on a symbolic meaning. “I’m alright now, but I think by taking this one little area of England and feeding off it 
  6. Four Seniors Named Rhodes ScholarsHarvard Magazine
    Winning top distinction as a scholar of the humanities since his freshman year, Spencer has won prizes for his work on Flaubert and Virginia Woolf, and has been editor-in-chief of a student literary magazine, arts columnist for the Harvard Crimson and …
  7. Will Neuroscience Kill the Novel?Big Think (blog)
    Virginia Woolf once wrote that “human character changed on or around December, 1910.” It’s a deliberately cryptic remark, but she was referring broadly to the wave of cultural modernism that blasted the relatively tidy world of late nineteenth-century …
  8. Bios track literary giantsPoughkeepsie Journal
    Book jack of “Virginia Woolf” by Alexandra Harris. Four major novelists — Kurt Vonnegut, Virginia Woolf, Leo Tolstoy and Charles Dickens — are the stars of the story in new biographies. Here is a look. Charles Shields now takes on Kurt Vonnegut. …
  9. Will The Iron Lady make women want to dress like Margaret Thatcher?The Guardian
    A Strong Woman could mean anything from a political wife (Jackie Kennedy), to an actor (Marilyn Monroe), to a novelist (Virginia Woolf), to a family with dodgy political affiliations (the Mitfords), to a political tyrant (Eva Peron). …
  10. Authors on their workSan Jose Mercury News
    The theme linking its diverse images: They feature places important to Leibovitz, including theMassachusetts homes of Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Louisa May Alcott; Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond; the Virginia Woolf and Charles Darwin …
  11. Leonard Woolf – A Life after CeylonThe Island.lk (subscription)
    Leonard’s marriage to Virginia Stephen was a turning point. Virginia Woolf in 1912 was unknown as a literary figure. She was fragile and subject to attacks of depression and mental breakdown over the next thirty years, until she finally committed …
  12. A Naked Kate Moss, a Pouty Brigitte Bardot, and Virginia Woolf’s Mom Led ARTINFO
     of Moss and Bardot, the top lot of the sale was a somewhat different glamor shot: Cameron’s 1867 portrait of Julia Jackson, Cameron’s young niece and favorite subject, who would later in life come to be known as the mother of Virginia Woolf
  13. Julia Marget Cameron’s intimate of Virginia Woolf’s mother sells for £57650 at …Art Daily
    Jackson had four children with Stephens, including Vanessa (Bell) and Virginia (Woolf), who immortalised her mother as Mrs Ramsay in her 1927 novel To the Lighthouse. Cameron’s portraits are currently subject to special focus in the Victoria and …
  14. BOOK WISE — Prophecies and picklesThe Hindu
    Some years ago I saw the haunting film “The Hours,” based on Michael Cunningham’s novel of the same name, in turn based on Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs Dalloway.” When I found “Michael Cunningham’s The Hours” listed on a bookseller’s website, I clicked and…
  15. Maugham’s thoughtful corrective on the fultility of warThe Australian
    This brilliant black comedy from director Gus Van Sant may be the best thing Kidman has done – and is a better film than The Hours (Thursday, 6.30 pm, Starpics), in which she plays writer Virginia Woolf, wearing a large prosthetic nose for the part. …

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St. Ives bayPlaces connected to Virginia Woolf are regularly in the news. Check out these two recent articles:


  • Green Spaces: Godrevy Point, Cornwall, England
    This is a Dec. 2 Times review of a carefully conserved patch of North Cornish coastline that offers views of Godrevy Island, its lighthouse and St. Ives. The lighthouse is said to be the inspiration for Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. St. Ives is the place where Woolf spent her summers up until the age of 12. Godrevy Point, which is protected by the National Trust, is popular with nature lovers, surfers, climbers and families.

The Cornwall Beach Guide provides more information about visiting the site. And wonderful 360-degree panoramic views of Godrevy Point and St. Ives can be found here.

You can also visit other Woolf places by clicking here.

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