Virginia Wolf, regarded as one of the foremost literaryy figures of the twentieth century came to live in Blackheath for a few months with her father Sir Leslie Stephen in approx 1903.
The death of her mother some years previously had left her in a fragile mental state.
Whilst living in the house that her father had rented from Lady Roberts Austen ‘Blatchfeld’ (whom she describes as an old lady) Virginia wrote some letters to he friend Violet Dickinson.
Virginia’s relationship to Violet has been widely speculated as that of a lesbian nature.
In her letters written in 1903 she addresses Violet by her nickname ‘Sparroy. She calls her the only sympathetic person in the world.
It is interesting to see that Virginia was not impressed with Blackheath. She describes Surrey as a sham country. She states it is not as bad a Hindhead but is over run with ‘cockneys and culture’. She goes on to say ‘everyone artistic seems to retire here and build a red brick house with sham Elizabethan white and black.
Virginia’s father died the year after in 1904, which provoked her most alarming collapse and she was briefly institutionalized.