The Power Women of Mecklenburgh Square

Francesca Wade’s “Square Haunting” chronicles five pioneering feminists and scholars who lived on the same London square between the two world wars.

Imagine five pioneering feminist scholars and writers assembled into one enchanting group portrait: the American poet Hilda Doolittle (known as H.D.), the novelist Dorothy L. Sayers, the classicist Jane Ellen Harrison, the medievalist Eileen Power and Virginia Woolf, whose career changed so much for women in literature and public life.

Clockwise from top left: Dorothy Sayers, Virginia Woolf, Eileen Power, Hilda Doolittle, and Jane Ellen Harrison.

Francesca Wade, a British journalist and the editor of The White Review, brings these five together in her vividly written first book, “Square Haunting,” because they all lived in Bloomsbury, on Mecklenburgh Square. Although they resided there at different times — and, except in the case of one or two, it is unclear whether they ever met — each worked to overturn obstacles that had long “kept women subordinate,” forging new paths to the economic independence and intellectual fulfillment Woolf heralded in her landmark essay “A Room of One’s Own.”

read more here @ The New York Times


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