Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sheffield Place: April 16, 2015

The great ponds at Sheffield place at the right season of the year are bordered with red, white, and purple reflections, for rhododendrons are massed upon the banks and when the wind passes over the real flowers the water flowers shake and break into each other. But there, in an opening among the trees stands a great fantastic house, and since it was there that John Holroyd, Lord Sheffield, lived, since it was there that Gibbon stayed, another reflection imposes itself upon the water trance.  Did the historian himself ever pause here to cast a phrase, and if so, what words would he have found for those same floating flowers?  Great lord of language as he was, no doubt he filled his mind from the fountain of natural beauty. (E6 102-3)

On or about April 16 1937, Woolf was making final editorial changes to her essay "Reflections at Sheffield Place" which she described as "an article on Gibbon's Aunts" (D5 80).  Sheffield Place is located about 10 miles north of Lewes.

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