“…a kind of intellectual rooming-house…”

From: Penelope Fitzgerald: Charlotte Mew and Her Friends (1984) Chapter Seven – Nunhead and St Gildas:

“Charlotte’s idea was the last resort, which at all costs must be concealed from the world at large; lodgers…

The matter of men having to do the speaking divided Miss Lotti once again from the buoyant new Women, who did their own speaking for themselves and no longer felt a deep shame in letting off part of the house. Only a little while later Vanessa and Virginia Stephen divided up 46 Gordon Square, just around the corner from Gordon Street, into a kind of intellectual rooming-house, while in Doughty Street, the Mews’ old home, both men and women were moving into the Havelock Ellises’ communal house, the fellowship of the New Life. These hints of the coming twentieth century meant nothing to Charlotte and Anne, who were only concerned to see that their mother should have nothing to do with actually collecting the rent, and so would be spared as much as possible of the terrible humiliation. A long-term tenant, a widow, Mrs Caroline Gordon Lennox McHardy, moved in, and some arrangement must have been come to about the front stairs, on which she must never be met.”

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