Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Charleston farmhouse

The last resident of Charleston farmhouse was Duncan Grant who lived there till 1978. By that time the house has fallen into despair. It wasn't in a great state when he and Vanessa Bell moved in with her children in 1914, around the time of WWI. It had no running water, water has to brought in from a stream outside which freezes in winter. There was no indoor plumbing, there were earth closets. I had to look up what earth closets were, a kind of outhouse with a bucket which needed to be emptied! No electricity which came in later years. There were no telephones, they had to write to each other or walked to each others houses. Due to their having to write to each other they left behind a huge body of work, written communication which we have today that gave us an insight to their lives and thoughts. They spent the war years holed up here in the country. Vanessa Bell had become such a country homebody that everyone worried that she may never thrive in the city again. Go back to London she did after the war to find it changed, the Bloomsbury she knew before the war was gone but they continued to play an important part in each others' lives till their dying days. In fact more so because the opportunities were different, Virginia, Vanessa's sister became a celebrated writer, the others went on to write and to paint.....

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