Coal-Mining Midlands of England

Coal-Mining Midlands of England

The area traditionally known as the Midlands of England consists of the East and West Midlands, independent modern statistical regions of England and constituencies of the European Parliament. The largest city in the Midlands is Birmingham in the West Midlands. The territory is low-lying and flat, with some isolated hills. The region was instrumental in the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries in England for its large amount of natural resources, such as coal and limestone. Coal was particularly important during the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries as it was the only, or predominant, source of power. What came to be known as the Black Country in the West Midlands played a crucial role in promoting and maintaining the Industrial Revolution[1]. Various parts of the Midlands, namely Warwickshire and Leicestershire, are occasionally referred to as the Heart of England because the geographic center of England lies within this area.


A color-coded, regional map of England. The red area denotes the Midlands. Image from:


The East Midlands consists of the following counties: Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire (except North and East Lincolnshire), Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, and Rutland[2]. Principle urban centers in this area include Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Northampton, and Nottingham[3]. The region is home to large quantities of limestone and the East Midlands Oil Province. The East Midlands still exudes industry. Not only is the area home of the world’s first factory (Sir Richard Arkwright’s Cromford Mill) and the location of the first steel rails ever laid for the Derby railway station in 1857 and the site of the first tank (built in 1915), but it is also home to the world’s oldest working factory (a textile factory at Lea Bridge). Furthermore, 25% of the United Kingdom’s cement is manufactured in the East Midlands at three large sites in Hope and Tunstead in Derbyshire, and in Ketton Cement Works in Rutland.


A map of England, which indicates the area of the East Midlands via shading. Image from:


A group of miners leaving a Midlands colliery at the end of the day. Image from:


A group of miners working in a Midlands colliery. Image from:












The counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Stafforshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, and Worcestershire compose the West Midlands[4]. The territory is home to Birmingham, the most populous city in the Midlands and the second-most populous city in the United Kingdom, and the Black Country. Much of the Industrial Revolution in the United Kingdom began in Birmingham and the Black Country. Two reasons for this are: the longest river in the United Kingdom, River Severn, traverses the region southeastwards, flowing through the county towns of Shrewsbury and Worcestershire, and the Ironbridge Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is also located in the West Midlands[5]. The Black Country may be considered the world’s first industrial landscape, while the nearby Ironbridge Gorge claims to be the birthplace of industry. The region also encompasses five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: the Wye Valley, Shropshire Hills, Cannock Chase, Malvern Hills, and parts of the Cotswolds. Finally, Warwickshire of the West Midlands is home to the town of Stratford upon Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare.


A coal train at Bromford Bridge on the ex-Derby to Birmingham main line (taken September 5, 1962). Image from: Brooksbank, Ben.
A map of England, indicating the region of the West Midlands. Image from:












The Black Country was the basis for industrial development in the Midlands, especially the West Midlands. The term commonly refers to all, or parts, of the four Metropolitan Boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, and Wolverhampton[6]. During the Industrial Revolution, the Black Country became one of the most industrialized parts of Britain with coal mines (or collieries), coking, iron foundries, glass factories, brickworks, and steel mills. The name “Black Country” is believed to come from the soot from the heavy industries that covered the area, although the 30-foot thick coal seam close to the surface is another possibility. There were as many as 500-600 small pits for mining purposes in the Black Country alone. By Victorian times, the Black Country became known for its pollution, particularly from iron and coal industries and their many associated smaller businesses. This led to an expansion of local railways and coal mine lines[7]. Lastly, a broken ridge separates this area into two regions and forms part of a major watershed of England, promoting transportation of both workers and resources[8].


The Racecourse Colliery at the Black Country Museum. This mine is very similar to the other 499-599 small-pit coal mines/colliers previously in operation in the Black Country. Image from: Allen, Chris.

Garsington Manor

Garsington Manor

Garsington Manor has a long history, having been built in the Middle Ages. Lady Ottoline Morrell and her husband Philip from 1913 to 1928. The couple restored the home during the 20s, creating Italian-style landscaping across the grounds. The Morrells hosted many of their friends over the years at Garsington, including D. H. Lawrence, Siegfried Sassoon, Lytton Strachey, Aldous Huxley, Mark Gertler, and Bertrand Russell; they had many guests during the First World War in particular, when they hosted friends who were conscientious objectors (“Garsington Manor, Oxfordshire, England”).

The friends who spent much of their time at Garsington Manor were not strangers to drama: “It has been described variously as ‘the house of the Ottoline’s,’ a ‘cesspool of slime,’ ‘the setting for a Mozart opera,’ ‘Shandygaff Hall,’ ‘a Boccaccio court,’ ‘a refuge from the storm.’ One thing is

by Unknown photographer, vintage snapshot print, July 1915

sure: Garsington Manor never lacked either attention or comment during the 14 crowded years it was the home of Lady Ottoline Morrell and her husband, Philip” (Seymour). Lady Ottoline had an affair for years with Bertrand Russell, who lived at Garsington for a period of time – Philip was actually aware of the affair and begrudgingly accepting of it, along with Russell’s spouse as well. Philip had also apparently father two children out of wedlock over the course of one summer. One Christmas in particular got out of hand, much like their other parties:

An incident from Christmas 1914 provided some literary fodder. Katherine, Murry, Koteliansky, the artist Mark Gertler, Lawrence, and Frieda were all staying at Gilbert Cannan’s windmill cottage in Buckinghamshire, when someone suggested putting on an improvised play. Things got out of hand – the gathering was so inebriated that they were unable to carve the Christmas pig – and the play descended towards a bacchanalia, with Katherine flirting outrageously with Gertler. This incident gave Lawrence the episode in Women in Love, where Gudrun goes off with the artist Loerke. (Darroch)

Lawrence was one of multiple authors who wrote about Lady Ottoline, often satirizing her. Lawrence depicted her as Hermione in Women in Love, who he said trated her guests “‘like prisoners marshalled for exercise’” (qtd. in Seymour). “Another (Siegfried Sassoon) paid ungallant homage to Ottoline as an eccentric aristocrat – her height, beaky nose and titian hair would always draw attention – in a satiric account of his hostess wobbling her way down a ladder to greet him in a pair of billowing pink silk bloomers” (Seymour). Aldous Huxley wrote about Ottoline as well in Chrome Yellow. Lady Ottoline was far from fond of these depictions. Her friendships with Lawrence and Huxley were ruined after their writing, particularly Huxley, who was living rent-free at Garsington at the time.

However, despite all of the drama and negative attention put on Lady Ottoline, she and Philip did their best to provide a haven for their friends, especially from the war. They provided farm jobs and living quarters for objectors, and showed great hospitality. The farm work helped with the upkeep and cost of the property, but after the armistice Philip and Lady Ottoline had to sell – the land was getting too expensive. Their legacy with the Bloomsbury group lives on, and is forever a staple of Garsington.

Craiglockhart War Hospital


“War causes enormous numbers of specific injuries and conditions. Often special hospitals had to be set up to deal with them. In 1916, during the First World War, Craiglockhart War Hospital for Officers near Edinburgh was set up to deal with shell-shocked officers. Originally the buildings were part of a hydropathic institute, where patients went to receive water therapy. Sporting facilities included swimming, golf, tennis and cricket. Patients made model yachts, joined the camera club and walked in the fields around the hospital.

Staff and patients of Craiglockhart hospital in March 1917 (Hammond).

The patients would be occupied during the day, but often wandered the corridors at night. Many of them were haunted by the horrible scenes of death and destruction that they had experienced. Craiglockhart’s most famous patients were the war poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. They were treated by William Rivers, the famous psychologist who developed the ‘talking cure’ for shell-shocked officers at Craiglockhart. It is now part of Napier University” (Science Museum).




It is important to note what the different things this hospital did in comparison to other hospitals during that time. There were a primary two methods used by the two different doctors that had treated Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, respectively. A variety of treatments were used at Craiglockhart. William Rivers drew on ideas from psychoanalysis and helped popularise Sigmund Freud’s work with his use of the ‘talking cure’. But Arthur Brock thought the key was to keep the patients active (Theatre Cloud).

Elaine Showalter wrote of the various things done to soldiers in irder to cure them during this time. She writes of the treatment that Sassoon received, even though he wasn’t actually neurasthenic, placed in the hospital only on the basis of his friend Robert Graves who was trying to protect him.

“In this case the diagnosis was neurasthenia, the setting was Craiglockhart Military Hospital near Edinburgh, the therapist was Dr. W. H. R. Rivers, and the patient was Second Lieutenant Siegfried Sassoon. This time the patient and the doctor were friends; the therapy was kindly and gentle; the hospital was luxurious; the most advanced Freudian ideas came into play. Yet the reprogramming of the patient’s consciousness was more profound and longer-lasting than in Yealland’s electrical laboratory” (Showalter).

So as one can see, there were indeed various methods that seemed to work, yet some seemed better or longer lasting than others. Another method Showalter wrote about was in the difference between how men and women were treated.

“The contrast to both the treatment of hysterical soldiers and the rest cure of neurasthenic women is significant. Many military psychiatrists had criticized the usefulness of Weir Mitchell’s rest cure for shell-shock patients. Soldiers who were isolated and treated with the rest cure, R. D. Gillespie claimed, did not recover and remained ill throughout the war. Hugh Crichton-Miller protested that rest in bed, nourishment, and encouragement were insufficient to restore masculine self-esteem: ‘Progressive daily achievement is the only way whereby manhood and self-respect can be regained.’ Thus instead of the enforced passivity of Virginia Woolf or Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Sassoon was encouraged to resume a life of energetic masculine activity. He was provided with a room of his own, and a place to publish his work. As a poet, he was never deprived of his voice” (Showalter).


Though it is no longer a war hospital, very little has changed about the appearance of the building itself. This is a front view of the hospital.

Both Sassoon and Owen were at the hospital in 1917, where Sassoon encouraged Owen to write his poetry. The pair were seen by many to have a romantic relationship though a big part was their influence on one another in terms of their literary work.


Feedback given by Siegfreid Sassoon to Wilfred Owen is visible on drafts of famous poems like Dulce et Decorum est (Hammond).


Cover of The Hydra which was the literary magazine at the hospital


Finally, there is information as to the work both poets did while at Craiglockhart. The hospital was not just a hospital, it was a meeting place for these great poets. Without this meeting, readers today would not have even heard of Owen’s work as he was primarily unpublished besides his work in the literary magazine of the hospital itself. Their influence on each other remains a great factor today as evidenced through their work as two of the greatest war poets.

Siegfried Sassoon

“In 1917 Sassoon wrote a statement condemning the war which was read out in parliament by an MP. To avoid a court martial, his friend and fellow writer Robert Graves convinced the review board that Sassoon was suffering from shell shock. He was sent to Craiglockhart to recover. Sassoon had been a published writer before the war and he continued to write while at Craiglockhart. The poem Dreamers was first published in The Hydra. He eventually returned to the front in France before a head wound led to him being invalided back to Britain, where he spent the rest of the war” (Hammond).


Siegfried Sassoon

Wilfred Owen

“Owen saw fierce fighting during the war, including being trapped for days next to the dead body of a fellow officer. Such events severely traumatised him and he became a patient at Craiglockhart. His doctor, Arthur Brock, encouraged him to write as part of his treatment and he was for a time editor of the Hydra. He was also inspired by meeting the older Sassoon, who would offer feedback on his work. Owen’s best remembered poems, such as Dulce et Decorum est and Anthem for Doomed Youth, were written at Craiglockhart. Like Sassoon, Owen returned to the front in France after leaving Craiglockhart. He was killed on the 4th of November 1918, one week before the Armistice was declared” (Hammond).


Wilfred Owen


Works Cited

Hammond, Claudia. “Did Craiglockhart hospital revolutionise mental healthcare?” BBC iWonder, BBC,
“Science Museum. Brought to Life: Exploring the History of Medicine.” Craiglockhart War Hospital for Officers,
Showalter, Elaine. Female malady. 1985.


Charleston Farmhouse

Charleston Farmhouse

Over the years, Charleston Farmhouse was home to not only Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, and their family but to their extended family, their friends, and their lovers.

In 1916, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant moved to the Charleston Farmhouse in Sussex. Living at the house along with Bell and Grant were her two sons Julian and Quentin and Grant’s friends and lover David Garnett. Due to both Grant and Garnett being conscientious objectors of the First World War, they needed to find work on a farm otherwise they would have gone to prison. Grant and Garnett were able to find work on a farm near the Charleston Farmhouse, so that is why they chose that location to live.

Prior to 1916, Vanessa Bell had been living at Little Talland House and Asheham House with where Virginia and Leornard Woolf lived. Vanessa Bell’s husband, Clive Bell, ended up living and farming at Garsington Manor, the house of Lady Ottoline Morrell.

John Maynard Keynes book he wrote while at Charleston.

Throughout the war years, the Charleston Farmhouse became more than just Vanessa and Duncan’s home. It became the country retreat for the Bloomsbury group. Common visitors were Clive Bell and his companion Mary Hutchinson. Another regular visitor was Roger Fry, the art critic and founder of the Omega Workshops. Jonh Maynard Keynes visited so frequently that he had his own room in the house. Some other visitors were, Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, Lytton Strachey, and E.M. Forster. All these visitors came to experience the house. Some days there would be no hot water to warm the guests. Other days, instead of ordering one turkey for 11 people, they ordered 11 turkeys. This house was always welcoming to Bloomsbury members. At this house, many Bloomsbury members were inspired and completed some of their work. One being John Maynard Keynes who wrote the book that made him famous while he was at Charleston. He wrote the book, The Economic Consequences of the Peace in 1919. Vanessa Bell

“The house seems full of young people in very high spirits, laughing a great deal at their own jokes…lying about in the garden which is simply a dithering blaze of flowers and butterflies and apples,” wrote Vanessa in 1936

Following the First World War, the house because the holiday home for Bell and Grant. With the threat of the Second World War, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, and Clive Bell all decided to make Charleston their principal home.

Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant lived at Charleston up until their deaths. Bell died in 1961 and Grant in 1978. Following their deaths, Angelica, their daughter, lived there until 1980 when she died. In that same year, The Charleston Trust was formed to preserve the house as it was in the 50s.

The Art:

“One after another the rooms were decorated and altered almost out of recognition, as the bodies of the saved are said to be glorified after the resurrection.” Garnett in his autobiography

The house did not only provide inspiration for many literary pieces of work but it also became a hub for art and decoration. The Bloomsbury groups painted on the walls, stenciled wallpaper, and crafted curtains, fabrics, and rugs. In an interview done at Charleston Farmhouse with Vanessa Bell’s granddaughter, Virginia Nicholson, the writer Ann Geneva noted that “the rooms and furniture are covered in free flowing paintings of sensuous nudes, fruit, flowers and geometrical designs by various hands but sharing the same period flavour” (21). The main artists of the Bloomsbury group were Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, and Roger Fry. The art in the house is inspired by the post-impressionists.

Throughout the years of living at the house, Grant, Bell, and Fry ended up painting almost the entire house. The house was treated as if it were a canvas. The walls, tables, chairs, bookcases, and other furniture were all painted. While at Charleston, Ann Geneva noted “insistence on color and creativity comes at you from every corner of every room in the farmhouse” (21). The paintings were not conservative and were often colorful with lots of patterns.


“I’m painting flowers – one can’t resist them – when the sun comes out you can’t conceive what the medley of apples, hollyhocks, plums, zinnias, dahlias, all mixed up together is like.” Vanessa Bell to Roger Fry, 1930

When Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant first got the house, the garden was used for fruit and vegetable plants and trees. Following the First World War, Roger Fry designed a new layout for the garden so it could include more flowers and pool. The garden was to be shaped like a rectangle. As time passed, the garden slowly began to take shape. Quentin Bell contributed to the garden with mosaic pavements and pools.










Works Cited:

“Charleston Farmhouse.” Wikipedia, Accessed 24Nov. 2017.

Charleston: The Bloomsbury Home of Art & Ideas. The Charleston Trust, 24 Nov. 2017.

Geneva, Ann. “An Encounter with Charleston Farmhouse.” Art Book, vol. 5, no. 3, June 1998, p.20.

EBSCOhost,,ip,sso&dp=a9hAN=10451785&site=eds-live&authtype-sso&custid=s8475574. Accessed 24 Nov. 2017.

Senior, Emily. “The House The Bloomsbury Group Turned In To A Working Piece Of Art.” House & Garden, 4 Oct. 2017, 24 Nov. 2017.

52 Tavistock Square

52 Tavistock Square, which lies in the Bloomsbury district in the borough of Camden in London, was a very important location in the life of Virginia Woolf, who bought the property with her husband Leonard Woolf in early 1924. 52 Tavistock Square was her longest location of residence and where she did most of her writing.

Inside, the house featured large murals personalized and painted by Woolf’s sister Vanessa Bell and brother-in-law Duncan Grant.

Woolf, who had been living outside of her native London for years, excitedly writes about buying the property in her diary:

“At this very moment, or fifteen minutes ago to be precise, I bought the ten years lease of 52 Tavistock Sqre London W.C. 1—I like writing Tavistock. Subject of course to the lease, & to Providence, & to the unforeseen vagaries on the part of old Mrs Simons, the house is ours: & the basement, & the billard room, with the rock garden on top, & the view of the square in front & the desolated buildings behind, & Southampton Row, & the whole of London – London thou art a jewel of jewels, & jasper of jocunditie – music, talk, friendship, city views, books, publishing, something central & inexplicable, all this is now within my reach.”

Because of her return to London and her newfound life in the lively and vibrant neighborhood of Tavistock Square, Woolf was inspired to write a story of a woman walking throughout London. Thus, “Mrs. Dalloway” was conceived, written, and published here at 52 Tavistock Square, as Virginia and Leonard housed their printing press within their home.

Hogarth Press

Hogarth Press, the printing press owned by Virginia and Leonard, her husband, was housed in the basement of the house. They utilized this press to publish many of Woolf’s works, such as _______ and published books for several other Bloomsbury’s, such as E.M. Forster, Sigmund Freud, and, most notably, this location is where the couple published T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland”.

The Fall of 52 Tavistock Square

Virginia and Leonard moved from Tavistock Square in 1939 after purchasing nearby 37 Mecklenburg Square. Shortly after moving, the London Blitz claimed the both properties over the course of two months, when nearly 200 German bombs fell over London and destroyed the Woolf’s Mecklenburg property in September 1940 and 52 Tavistock Square in October.

After the damage to the home, the Hogarth Press was briefly relocated to Hertfordshire.

Woolf recorded the tragic event in her diary, stating:

“Our private luck has turned. John says Tavistock sqre is no more….But its almost forgettable still; the nightly operation on the tortured London. Mabel wants to leave it. L. sawing wood. The funny little cross on the Church shows against the downs. We go up tomorrow….the Siren, just as I had drawn the curtains. Now the unpleasant part begins. Who’ll be killed tonight? Not us, I suppose. One doesn’t think of that – save as a quickener. Indeed I often think our Indian summer was deserved; after all those London years. I mean, this quickens it. Every day seen against a very faint shade of bodily risk.”

Months later, on March 28th, 1941, Woolf committed suicide. The destruction of the property, due to its emotional meaning for Woolf, is thought to have contributed to her decision to take her own life. Many suggest that she feared for the impending war after losing something so close to her to warfare.

The Location Today

Obviously no longer standing, the site of the former 52 Tavistock Square is now home to the Tavistock Hotel, which was established in 1951, only ten years after Woolf’s residence was destroyed.

Today, in Tavistock Square, you will find a sculpture of Virginia Woolf, honoring the influence and significance she brought to the area.


Works Cited:

Londonist. “Virginia Woolf’s London.” Londonist, 16 Aug. 2014,


“Virginia Woolf’s Homes Destroyed in the London Blitz.” The Virginia Woolf Blog, 3 May 2017,


“Where Virginia Woolf Lived in London.” The Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain,




“Virginia Woolf Buys a House in Bloomsbury.”, A&E Television Networks,


“Buying Tavistock Square.” Blogging Woolf, 9 Jan. 2016,


“The History of Hogarth Press.” Penguin Books,


King’s College, Cambridge

Michal Zaglewski

Dr. Carpentier

Modern British Literature

24 November 2017

The Founding of Kings College

King’s College is a part of  the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England. The college was founded in the year 1441 by Henry VI; however, due to the Wars of the Roses there was no enough funds for the college to be finished. Then in the year King Henry VII took interest in the college and finished its construction in the year 1508. The most distinguished part of this college is its chapel and is regarded as one of the greatest examples of Gothic English Architecture. The chapel also houses the world’s largest fan-vault in its interior. The stain glass windows that are present in the chapel are considered some of the best of their era. While the college was founded much earlier the chapel’s construction began in 1446 and was competed in 1544, under the rein of King Henry VIII.

Forster in Cambridge

Over the years the college has obtained many notable alumni, including Virginia Woolf and E.M. Forster. Forster attended the college from the year 1897 to the year 1901. Forster’s attendance to Cambridge allowed him to broaden his intellectual horizons from the rigid English culture he was raised in. Forster would eventually use the term “day student” as a criticism for public schooling and how it stifled creativity. Forster felt that in public schools children were forced into one of thinking, not allowing for any explortation in academia. His attendance to King’s college exposed him to the Mediterranean culture and allowed him to explore his own intellectual interests. At King’s College Forster began to question his Catholic morals and question his more traditional values. He began to break away from what he was thought and started to become his own man. In his first two years at Cambridge Forster was given a 2nd class degree in Classics and then after another two years was given another 2nd class degree in History.  He used what he learned, both academically and socially, at Cambridge to make his stories and works that one day would be known and read by many.

Cambridge Apostles

During his time in Cambridge he became a part of the secret group known as the Cambridge Apostles, which later went on to be known as the Bloomsbury Group. The group discussed all types of topics that usually consisted of philosophy, ethics, and politics. Forster influence by this group and the college he attended can be seen in his novel The Longest Journey. Forster commented on his work, discussing what Cambridge meant to the main character.

“Cambridge is the home of Rickie, . . . his only true home; the Cambridge of G. E. Moore which I knew at the beginning of the century: the fearless and uninfluential” (Forster).

As a member of the Cambridge Apostles Forster discusses many topics and shared his opinions on various subjects. One topic that came up often in this group of people was World War I. In fact several of the Apostles, including Forster, where completely opposed to the idea of the war. Forster wrote to another member of the Apostles and his friend, Lytton Strachey, about his thoughts on the war.

“I have one of the simpler forms of war-malady – can only think of young men killing each other while old men praise them” (Forster).

He also writes to Strachey about how he had begun teaching.

“Teaching English to eleven policemen of extreme beauty” (Forster).

Forster also mentions famous authors and members of the Cambridge Apostles in many of these letters, authors such as D.H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, and Leonard. These letters are good examples of how Cambridge made Forster into his own man. The letters contain his own intellecutally formed thoughts and opinions on matters such as the war.

King’s College Today

King’s College today is a landmark for tourists coming to London. Even after all this time the chapel is still revered as one of the greatest architectural pieces to be built. However, the college is not only known for its chapel’ amazing architecture and stained glass windows found within it. The college is also famous for its choir that broadcasts a Christmas Eve service around the world. Currently the school has an acceptance rate of 20.8% and has about 700 students. The college has over 20 different subjects that students can study and explore during their stay at King’s. Even today the college is still known for its famous alumni and the influences they have had on the world of academia.

Works Cited

 “E. M. Forster Biography.”, TheFamousPeople, November 1 2017,   Accessed    21 November 2017.

“E.M. Forster.” Cambridge Authors, Cambridge Authors, 2017,   Accessed 20 November 2017.

Furbank, P.N. E.M. Forster: A Life. Mariner Books, 1994.

“King’s College, Cambridge.” Wikipedia, Wikipedia, October 24 2017,  ,_Cambridge. Accessed 19 November 2017.

Furbank, P.N. E.M. Forster: A Life. Mariner Books, 1994.

“Strachey papers (20th century series). Vol. XII (ff. 191).” British Library,     Accessed 22 November 2017.



Background on the Location:
In the United Kingdom, there is a country called Cornwall in the South West part of England. This country is surrounded by the Celtic Sea and the English Channel. Zennor is a village in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom.
Between the years of 1915 and 1917 D.H. Lawrence and his wife Frieda lived near Zennor. During this time he finished his book Women in Love. The Lawrences were accused of being German spies off the Cornish coast. D.H. and Frieda “were harassed constantly by the authorities and they were eventually asked to leave Cornwall”. The Defense of the Realm Act (DORA) “gave the couple a three-day notice to leave their home”. Lawrence later describes “his and his wife’s experiences with DORA in his novel Kangaroo”.

Effect on the Arts:
The “scenery and strong light” upon Cornwall had great influence on visual art. “Writers, sculptors, and painters were some artists that were influenced by the beauty of Cornwall”.
“Modernist writers such as Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence, and Katherine Mansfield lived in Cornwall between the wars”. Several books and other forms of artwork were documented within Cornwall.

Wikipedia pages for Zennor and Cornwall:
Zennor.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Oct. 2017. Web. 20, November. 2017.
Cornwall.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Nov. 2017. Web. 20, November. 2017.

The Village Of Zennor/Cornwall:
“It lies above the high, rocky cliffs of the coast and the rugged, boulder-strewn, granite hills and moors” (Cornwall Guide). During the First World War, the Lawrences stayed in Tinner’s Arms, following Higher Tregerthen which is near Zennor. The locals of “Zennor were very suspicious of the Lawrences’ presence within their village”. Although Frieda was German, the Lawrences had no connection to being spies for her country. “The local police lead an investigation and with their findings, the Lawrences were asked to leave”. This suspicion of the people could be looked upon as far due to D.H. being very vocal with his opinion about the people of Cornwall.

“When he first went to Cornwall, he was very critical of the Cornish describing them as …like insects gone cold, living only for money, for dirt. They are foul in this. They ought all to die. Yet in the next line, he admits …Not that I’ve seen much of them – I’ve been laid up in bed. But going out, in the motor and so on, one sees them and feels them and knows what they are like. It’s hardly surprising that the locals didn’t care for the eccentric writer” (Lawrence, Cornwall Guide).

Cornwall Guide of Zennor:
Zennor.” Cornwall Guide, 18 Sept. 2016. Web. 20, November. 2017.

Zennor, Cornwall: Where Writer DH Lawrence was accused of Spying
In 1915 an English writer arrives at Cornwall. According to the people of Cornwall this writer, D.H. Lawrence, was quite controversial.
“Lawrence absolutely loathed the war and would speak out very aggressively against it without very much sensitivity to other people’s beliefs and feelings and he upset a lot of the locals; there is this strange artist turned up with his German wife telling us that the war is bad that’s not necessarily going to go down very well. And there were fears that not only was Lawrence decrying the war effort but he was aiding the enemy” (Professor Tim Kendall).

Lawrence was “accused of signaling German boats off the north coast of Cornwall”. The couple was supposedly “sending coded messages by the particular ways they hung up their laundry on their wash line”.

“As the war progressed, anti-German feeling in the country grew, and some of the Cornish people turned against Lawrence and Frieda. War-time rumors developed: there was a stock of petrol for German submarines at the bottom of the cliffs near the Lawrences’ cottage: the patterns on the Lawrence’s chimney were a signal for patrolling submarines (the main Atlantic convoy route lay along the nearby coast). They were stopped on one occasion by a military patrol and their shopping searched (a square loaf of bread was seized on as a camera)” (Cornwall Calling).

The “paranoia and fear amongst the people and authorities of the war was very thorough”. The main rulings for accused spies were under the jurisdiction of DORA. “These rulings were created to constant outbreak after the war”.
“The Government making legislation in wartime that gives them incredible powers to intervene in civil life. It was first passed on the 8th August 1914 but there were six or seven variations of it over the course of the war” (Dr. Catriona Pennell, University of Exeter).

WW1 at Home BBC: Zennor, Cornwall
Kendall, Tim, and Catriona Pennell. “World War One At Home, Zennor, Cornwall: Where Writer DH Lawrence was Accused of Spying.” BBC, BBC, 28 May 2014. Web. 20, November. 2017.

World War One At Home – BBC Radio Cornwall.” BBC, BBC, 2014. Web. 20, November. 2017.

Timeline with D.H. Lawrence’s Works:

In 1915, “D.H. wrote The Rainbow and was prosecuted by the Public Morality Council for obscenity.” Bow Street ordered over a thousand copies to be destroyed. This “uprising destroyed Lawrence’s source of income and any further chances of being published again in England”.
Works that Feature Cornwall after his departure:
1918- The Fox
1923- Kangaroo

D.H. and Frieda were married shortly after her divorce on July 13, 1914 in the Kensington’s Registrar’s Office. The “couple’s original plans were to return to Italy after their wedding but due to the outbreak of war they had to remain in England”. This is when the Lawrence’s purchased the Tregerthen Cottage in Zennor.

“They found a cottage in Zennor that they could rent for five pounds per year. They bought some second-hand furniture and moved in during March 1916. They persuaded Katherine Mansfield and John Middleton Murray to take the cottage next door. However, Katherine hated it there and Murray turned down Lawrence’s offer of blood-brotherhood and after only a few weeks they left” (Cornwall Calling).

D.H. Lawrence, author.” D.H. Lawrence, author. Web. 20, November. 2017.

The Letters and Quotes

‘“A letter written by Frieda in February 1917 refers to 3 ships being torpedoed “just here” and they saw the men struggling in the water. In 1917 they were accused of signaling to submarine crews in the channel using lights, and their cottage was searched by the police. Finally, on October 11th, 1917 they received an order to leave the county by the 15th, under the Defense of the Realm Act”’ (Cornwall Calling).

“When we came over the shoulder of the wild hill, above the sea, to Zennor, I felt we were coming into the Promised Land. I know there will be a new heaven and a new earth take place now: we have triumphed. I feel like a Columbus who can see a shadowy America before him: only this isn’t merely territory, it is a new continent of the soul” (Moore 437).

Letter of 25 Feb. 1916 to Ottoline Morrell, from The Collected Letters of D.H. Lawrence, ed. Harry T. Moore (Heinemann, London: 1962, repr. 1970), vol. 1, p. 437. 20, November. 2017.

[Jan. 1916, Porthcothan, to J.D. Beresford]: “We have been here a week…We love being here. There have been great winds, and the sea has been smoking white above the cliffs – such a wind that it made one laugh with astonishment…I do like Cornwall. It is still something like King Arthur and Tristan. It has never taken the Anglo-Saxon civilization, the Anglo-Saxon sort of Christianity. One can feel free here, for that reason – feel the world as it was in that flicker of pre-Christian Celtic civilization when humanity was really young – like the Mabinogion – not like Beowulf and the ridiculous Malory, with his grails and his chivalries. But the war has come” (Lavery).

[7 Jan. 1916, Porthcothan, to Katherine Mansfield]:”…I love being here in Cornwall – so peaceful, so far off from the world…a fine thin air which nobody and nothing pollutes. [But he’d been very ill with the respiratory disease later diagnosed as TB, as well as suffering a deep spiritual depression that he struggled to vanquish in his admiration of the Celtic otherness of Cornwall, ‘bare and dark and elemental’, as he described it in another letter, to Catherine Carswell]” (Lavery).

[17 Jan. 1916, Porthcothan, to J. Middleton Murray and K. Mansfield]: “I still like Cornwall…The landscape is bare, yellow-green and brown, dropping always down to black rocks [this sounds to me like Chaucer, The Franklin’s Tale, with its ‘rokkes blake’ of Brittany, which topographically resembles those of W. Cornwall] and a torn sea. All is desolate and forsaken, not linked up. But I like it” (Lavery).

[24 Feb. 1916, Porthcothan, to JM Murray and K. Mansfield] “We went out looking for a house, and I think we have found one that is good. It is about 7 miles from St Ives, towards Land’s End, very lonely, in the rocks on the sea, Zennor the nearest village: high pale hills, all moor-like and beautiful, behind, very wild: 7 miles across the country to Penzance. [They stayed briefly at the village pub there, The Tinner’s Arms – it’s still there, next to the church dedicated – a rare instance of this – to St Senara, with its pew-end carved famously in the form of the Mermaid of Zennor. He goes on:] Primroses and violets are out, and the gorse is lovely. At Zennor, one sees infinite Atlantic, all peacock-mingled colors, and the gorse is sunshine itself, already. But this cold wind is deadly. [His health was precarious, and this climate would not be good for him, as he soon found. But he clearly longed for this move to work]” (Lavery).

Lavery, Simon. “DH Lawrence in Cornwall, pt 1 – The Promised Land.” Tredynas Days, 8 Jan. 2017. Web. 20, November. 2017.

“’It is a most beautiful place,’ he rhapsodized to friends. ‘A tiny granite village nestling under high, shaggy moor-hills, and a big sweep of the lovely sea beyond”’ (Lawrence, Aslet).

Zennor, Cornwall Today

“WHAT TO SEE: The Wayside Folk Museum at Zennor is housed in a listed watermill, but before you dash in, linger outside to see its plague stone: vinegar was put into a hollow in order to disinfect coins so that they could be exchanged with neighboring parishes in times of cholera.
WHERE TO EAT: The Tinner’s Arms is everything a country pub should be – log fires, stone floors, good local food. It was built in 1271 to house the masons who constructed St Senara’s church.
WHERE TO SHOP: You can’t buy much in Zennor, so head for the Trelowarren Gallery, near Helston, which has a wonderful display of Cornish craftwork.
WHERE TO STAY: Next to the Tinner’s Arms, the White House, built in 1838, offers bed and breakfast”

Aslet, Clive. “Zennor, Cornwall, buried treasure in D.H. Lawrence country.” Daily Mail Online, Associated Newspapers, 19 Mar. 2010. Web. 21, November. 2017.

Omega Workshops

Nestled near Tottenham Court Rd., London, are the Omega Workshops, which were established on May 14th, 1913 at 33 Fitzroy Square.  The Omega Workshops were an artistic and cultural hub, founded by artist and philosopher, Roger Fry, who coined Post-Impressionism.  His workshops were the first to fully embrace Post-Impressionism, which brought experimental design to Edwardian Britain, and was founded and made up of other significant members of Bloomsbury, like E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, Clive Bell, Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell, and Ethel Sands.  Fry’s goal to unify artists like himself, would finally come together and soon embrace the urgency to carry out products of brash, bold, and brutal colors, and fuel the inspiration to develop original art.

“Artists must protest against the remissness and indifference of the governing classes who instead of enfrocing the adultrered foods act., stamp it all over with the givernment stamp, indicating that it is gaurenteed to be the best dairy-made butter.” -Roger Fry

             33 Fitzroy Square, London. (from 1929 to 2003 the London Foot Hospital) 

                               Fry, Roger. Poster, 1918. Lithograph. 

One of the unique characteristics that distinguished the products from this workshop, was that it allowed artists to anonymously contribute their work.  By prohibiting artists to sign their work, and only allowing them to label it with the Greek letter Ω Omega, it created a personal trait that was only exclusive to those involved.  The Omega is also symbolic of the end of an art era, as the omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet.

Letter from Roger Fry to Vanessa Bell including a sketch for an Omega rug design
© Annabel Cole

“Post Impressionism as a present known will have any real effect upon true art I think nobody believes” -Richard Herford

Fry’s vision for the workshops set out to “provide an income and an outlet for artists who ascribed to the Post Impressionism aesthetic but not to socialist ideals”, which he successfully embarked on, in challenging the commercial market in domestic interiors.  Especially, given this time period, art was created for pleasure, not for money.  The Omega workshops were not solely a place of conventional art, like paintings, in fact, it covered multiple aspects of art including furniture, linens, decor for the home, rugs, and clothing.

“State should allow complete free trade in art, and refuse all subventions and all honours to artiste.” -Roger Fry

Bell, Vanessa and Grant, Duncan. Printed Linen 1913 (Printed)
Fry, Roger. Omega dining chairs , 1913.


Fry, Roger. Amenophis, 1913. Stencil-printed linen, 71 x 79.5 cm.


According to Fry, a work of art must have the power of making the “outsider” – the audience – “whose eyes are the least active of his senses, aware of something real and exciting, … in perfect simplicity.”   By creating authenticity in the omega products, taking a more abstract and liberated approach, it provided a place for those post WWI counterparts to enjoy the ebullient art pieces which the Omega Workshops presented.  Ultimately, putting collective minds in unison to break the conventional isolated artist in the studio, technique.


Grant, Duncan. Design, 1913-15, The Courtauld Gallery © Estate of Duncan Grant. All rights reserved, DACS 2009.
Fry, Roger. Painted Plate with Letter Omega, 1913 © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London













Although the Omega Workshops were short-lived and shut down in 1919 because of financial conflicts, they held a significant pivotal influence on art and interior design, ultimately being a revolutionary development during its existence. Read more

Garsington Manor

Anthony LaRocco
Dr. Carpentier
Modern British Literature
20 November 2017
Garsington Manor
Garsington Manor in South Oxfordshire, England has a long and interesting history dating back to the sixteenth century. In the late sixteenth century, a manor house in the town was built using the old buildings of Abbington Abbey. The manor was owned by the Wickham family and the ownership of the building by the Wickhams was a transitional time for the building [“In 1780 Anne Wickham, the heir to the manor, married Thomas Drake Tyrwhitt-Drake of Shardeloes, Bucks (qv), in whose family the manor remained, largely tenanted and unaltered”]. This would be the case until 1914 when Ottoline and her husband Phillip would buy the estate from the Wickham family.
Although the Morrells bought Garsington Manor in 1913, they would not move into the manor until 1915. From the start of the Morrells’ occupancy, Garsington Manor would become a haven for the arts and a refuge from London and more importantly, the war. Robert Gathorne-Hardy notes in Ottoline at Garsington: Memoirs of Lady Ottoline Morrell 1915-1918, “By 1915 life in London had become entirely changed by the War Politics and our old interests had been swept away and there seemed no spot that one touched that didn’t fly open and show some picture of suffering, some macabre of death” (Gathorne-Hardy 31). In other words, Garsington was meant to be an escape from the war and its hectic life and carnage. This would make sense because Phillip Morrel, Ottoline’s husband was part of the anti-war movement, a movement that would involve many other members of the intelligentsia of England. Garsington Manor’s status as a haven for the arts resulted in itself, the birthplace of many literary and artistic ideas. One of the more prolific writers at Garsington Manor was D.H (David Herbert) Lawrence. What was more interesting was that the inspiration for his characters in his works was Lady Ottoline Morrell. One such example was Women In Love. Lady Ottoline Morrell writes in a letter to D.H Lawrence that, “On I read, chapter after chapter, scene after scene, all written, as far as I could tell, in order to humiliate me”. This was Lady Ottoline’s reaction to D.H Lawrence’s novel. D.H Lawrence used Lady Ottoline Morrell as a figure of satire. This in turn leads to many others to mock and satirize her. What made her a figure of satire so much? Lady Ottoline was known for two things primarily; her dress and her many affairs (Lady Ottoline was known to have affairs with Lawrence, Bertrand Russell, and Siegfried Sassoon to name a few). This made her a perfect target for attack. Other literary connections existed at Garsington. Men such as Siegfried Sassoon, Aldous Huxley, and many of Virginia Woolf’s Bloomsbury Group also spent time at Garsington.
Besides the literary connections, Garsington Manor was also known as a symbol of luxury. One of the most notable changes done by the Morrells was the famed Italian style gardens. The Villa Capponi near Florence, Italy inspired the garden itself. The garden also had literary influences as well. One such example is in Virginia Woolf ‘s short story Kew Gardens. The story itself is concerned about conversations around the garden and the garden at Garsington Manor is the influence of the garden in the short story. The interior at Garsington Manor is also one of greatest importance. In the painter David Garnett’s autobiography The Flowers of the Florist “The oak panelling had been painted a dark peacock blue-green; the bare and sombre dignity of Elizabethan wood and stone had been overwhelmed with an almost oriental magnificence: the luxuries of silk curtains and Persian carpets, cushions and pouffe”. Ottoline made Garsington not only a place for literary figures to meet but also a chance for Ottoline to show off Garsington. It was the garden and the interior of the house that made Garsington Manor its reputation. The Morrells would eventually sell the manor in 1928.

Garsington Manor went through quite a number of owners and purposes after the Morrells. Its most known purpose after the ownership by the Morrells was its status as an opera house thanks partly to Leonard and Rosalind Ingrams, who owned the property from 1982 to 2005, the year Leonard died. Garsington Opera House would remain at its location until 2010 where it was moved to nearby Wormsley Estate but still keeps the title Garsington Manor.

Works Cited Page
“GARSINGTON MANOR, Garsington – 1001095| Historic England.” , Garsington – 1001095| Historic England, Jan. 2000, Web. Accessed 19 Nov 2017.
Ailwood, Sarah, and Melinda Harvey. Katherine Mansfield and Literary Influence. Edinburgh University Press, 2015.
Robert Gathorne-Hardy (ed.), Ottoline at Garsington: Memoirs of Lady Ottoline Morrell 1915 1918, Knopf. 1975.
Life, Country. “Garsington Manor Launches to the Market.”, Country Life, 22 Sept. 2015, news/garsington-manor-launches-to-the-market-11957. Accessed 19 Nov 2017.

Simkin, John. “Ottoline Morrell.” Spartacus Educational, Spartacus Educational, Aug. 1997, Accessed 19 Nov 2017.

Woodforde, Giles. “First View of Garsington’s New Home.” The Oxford Times, 10 June 2010, Accessed 19 Nov 2017