Monday, July 14, 2008

Woolf’s Letters

Sometimes what these letters turn up is not a pearl of wisdom but simply the delightful recognition of the mundanity of all our lives.

In January of 1903, Woolf (then, of course, not yet Woolf at all, but Virginia Stephen, just turned 21), wrote to her brother Thoby at Cambridge to let him know that their half-brother had helped them each open a bank account and that Thoby needed to send the bank his signature for their files.

Thoby turns out to have been just as negligent with his banking as the rest of us, so, a week or so later Woolf writes him back:
“My dear Grim,
I suppose the Bank wants your signature not from mere curiosity or for purposes of decoration—or to put in its autograph book—but simply so that unscrupulous persons may not forge your cheques. Write your name again as you will always write it on the back of cheques and send it to
The Union of London and Smiths Bank Ltd.
Charing Cross Branch,
66 Charing Cross,
S. W.
Yr. Goat”

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