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Virginia Woolf and Heritage$
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Jane deGay, Tom Breckin, and Anne Reus

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781942954422

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781942954422.001.0001

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Virginia Woolf’s Female Heritage: The Legacy of Anny Thackeray Ritchie, Woolf’s “Transparent Medium”

Virginia Woolf’s Female Heritage: The Legacy of Anny Thackeray Ritchie, Woolf’s “Transparent Medium”

Chapter:
(p.47) Virginia Woolf’s Female Heritage: The Legacy of Anny Thackeray Ritchie, Woolf’s “Transparent Medium”
Source:
Virginia Woolf and Heritage
Author(s):

Marion Dell

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781942954422.003.0006

Virginia Woolf holds an unassailable place in twentieth-century literary modernism. What has been insufficiently acknowledged, not least by Woolf herself, is the profound influence of legacies from her nineteenth-century extended family which helped to shape her as a writing woman. Highly significant are the lines of descent from Anny Thackeray Ritchie. I consider Woolf’s inheritance from Ritchie in part, given our location, by exploring their shared connections with Yorkshire. I suggest that Woolf’s response to Ritchie, and to her past in general, is characterised by ambivalence and paradox. Woolf resolves her conflicting cycles of affiliation and rejection by figuring Ritchie as a ‘transparent medium’, in liminal space, obscured but always present.

Keywords:   Anny Thackeray Ritchie, Transparent medium, Yorkshire, Legacies, Ambivalence

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