Virginia Woolf’s Typesetting Apprenticeship and Katherine Mansfield on “Other People’s Presses”
In the first two decades of the twentieth century, the amateur little press and periodical scene was enthusiastic, seductive, and—for the most part—ephemeral. Into this vibrant scene entered Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield, along with their partners, Leonard Woolf and John Middleton Murry. This chapter considers why these two couples, four writers, were drawn into letterpress printing at this point in time. It shows that private presses were urged into being not only by the pleasures of printing, but by the frets of censorship and the distaste for the tyranny of publishers and editors; Woolf and Mansfield wanted to write freely without the pressures of external editing. In other—a quite complicated—ways, the Woolfs' Hogarth Press was an impetus to the Mansfield/Murry Heron Press, as an example and as, in ways, a censor.
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