Letter from Virginia Woolf to Thomas Hardy, 17 May 1923

[Page 1]

Hogarth House

Paradise Road



Telephone: Richmond 496

Dear Mr. Hardy,

I was once so bold as to write a thank you for your poem [upon] my father, Leslie Stephen. I have always treasured your reply.

My husband, Leonard Woolf, has just been made literary Editor of the Nation & Athenaeum, & I am writing to say how proud it would make us if you would send us anything of yours for the paper. It would be impertinent for us to try to tell you how great an honour we should think it. There is, of course, no other writer who could give the paper the distinction that you could give it.

Please excuse me if I bother you in making this request. I cannot help thanking you once more for the profound & increasing pleasure which your writings give me.

Yours sincerely

Virginia Woolf.
T.O. [Page 2]

Draft reply in pencil by Thomas Hardy

Dear Mrs Woolf:

It was a pleasure to me to see the name subscribed to your letter, as being that of the daughter of one who influenced me in many ways when I was a young man.

That the Nation is now to be edited by Mr Woolf raises expectations, & I am sure conducting it will be interesting to him & to you.

As for your kind suggestion that I should contribute something, alas I have fallen into the sere & yellow leaf, & fear I am unable to undertake writing now: indeed I doubt if I can redeem one or two promises rashly made a long time ago. But there are plenty of young pens available, & I shall, just the same, take much interest in the paper.

Yours sincerely