Virginia Woolf’s Armchair

Virginia Woolf’s memoirs resonate richly with seating, beginning with the rocking chair from which she heard her father drop books to the floor at Hyde Park Gate. Leslie Stephen had “written all his books lying sunk in that deep rocking chair,” Woolf would recall in the essay “A Sketch of the Past,” his feet clear of the ground, a writing board across his lap. Yet Woolf did not herself begin as an armchair storyteller.