The Info List - Leslie Stephen

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Sir Leslie Stephen
Leslie Stephen
KCB (28 November 1832 – 22 February 1904) was an English author, critic, historian, biographer, and mountaineer, and father of Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf
and Vanessa Bell.


1 Life

1.1 Marriage

1.1.1 (1) Harriet (Minny) Thackeray 1867–1875 1.1.2 (2) Julia Duckworth
Julia Duckworth

1.2 Career 1.3 Mountaineering

2 List of selected publications 3 Death 4 Family tree 5 References 6 Bibliography

6.1 Anne Thackeray
Anne Thackeray

7 External links

7.1 External images

Life[edit] Sir Leslie Stephen
Leslie Stephen
came from a distinguished intellectual family,[1] and was born at 14 (later renumbered 42) Hyde Park Gate, Kensington
in London, the son of Sir James Stephen and (Lady) Jane Catherine (née Venn) Stephen. His father was Colonial Undersecretary of State and a noted abolitionist. He was the fourth of five children, his siblings including James Fitzjames Stephen
James Fitzjames Stephen
(1829–1894) and Caroline Emilia Stephen (1834–1909). His family had belonged to the Clapham Sect, the early 19th century group of mainly evangelical Christian social reformers. At his father's house he saw a good deal of the Macaulays, James Spedding, Sir Henry Taylor and Nassau Senior. Leslie Stephen
Leslie Stephen
was educated at Eton College, King's College London
and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. (20th wrangler) in 1854 and M.A. in 1857. He was elected a fellow of Trinity Hall in 1854 and became a junior tutor in 1856.[2] In 1859 he was ordained but his study of philosophy, together with the religious controversies surrounding the publication of The Origin of Species (1859) by Charles Darwin, caused him to lose his faith in 1862, and in 1864 he resigned from his positions at Cambridge, and moved to London. He recounted some of his experiences in a chapter in his Life of Fawcett as well as in some less formal Sketches from Cambridge: By a Don (1865). These sketches were reprinted from the Pall Mall Gazette, to the proprietor of which, George Murray Smith, he had been introduced by his brother.[1] Marriage[edit] (1) Harriet (Minny) Thackeray 1867–1875[edit]

Harriet and Leslie Stephen, 1867

Harriet's grave, Kensal Green Cemetery

The family connections included that of William Makepeace Thackeray. His brother, Fitzjames had been a friend of Thackeray's and assisted in the disposition of his estate when he died in 1863. His sister Caroline met Thackeray's daughters, Anny (1837–1919) and Minny (Harriet Marian Thackeray 1840–1875) when they were mutual guests of Julia Margaret Cameron
Julia Margaret Cameron
(of whom, see later). This led to an invitation to visit from Leslie Stephen's mother, Lady Stephen, where the sisters met him. They also met at George Murray Smith's house at Hampstead. Minny and Leslie became engaged on 4 December 1866 and married on 19 June 1867. After the wedding they travelled to the Swiss Alps
and northern Italy, and on return to England lived at the Thackeray sister's home at 16 Onslow Gardens with Anny, who was a novelist. In the spring of 1868 Minny miscarried but recovered sufficiently for the couple to tour the eastern United States. Minny miscarried again in 1869, but became pregnant again in 1870 and on 7 December gave birth to their daughter, Laura Makepeace Stephen (1870–1945). Laura was premature, weighing three pounds. In March 1873 Thackeray and the Stephens moved to 8 Southwell Gardens. The couple travelled extensively, and by 1875 Minny was pregnant again, but this time was in poor health. On 27 November she developed convulsions, and died the following day of eclampsia.[3] After Minny's death, Leslie Stephen
Leslie Stephen
continued to live with Anny, but they moved to 11 Hyde Park gate South in 1876, next door to her widowed friend and collaborator, Julia Duckworth. Leslie Stephen
Leslie Stephen
and his daughter were also cared for by his sister, the writer Caroline Emelia Stephen, although Leslie described her as "Silly Milly" and her books as "little works".[4][5][3] Meanwhile, Anny was falling in love with her younger cousin Richmond Ritchie, to Leslie Stephen's consternation. Ritchie became a constant visitor and they became engaged in May 1877, and were married on 2 August. At the same time Leslie Stephen
Leslie Stephen
was seeing more and more of Julia Duckworth. (2) Julia Duckworth
Julia Duckworth

Julia Duckworth
Julia Duckworth
by Julia Margaret Cameron, 1872

See also: Julia Duckworth His second marriage was to Julia Prinsep Duckworth (née Jackson, 1846–1895). Julia had been born in India and after returning to England she became a model for Pre-Raphaelite painters such as Edward Burne-Jones.[6] In 1867 she had married Herbert Duckworth (1833 − 1870) by whom she had three children prior to his death in 1870. Leslie Stephen
Leslie Stephen
and Julia Duckworth
Julia Duckworth
were married on 26 March 1878. They had four children:

Vanessa (1879–1961) married Clive Bell Thoby (1880–1906) Virginia (1882–1941) married Leonard Woolf Adrian (1883–1948)

In May 1895, Julia died of influenza, leaving her husband with four young children aged 11 to 15 (her children by her first marriage being adult by then).[7] Career[edit] In the 1850s, Stephen and his brother James Fitzjames Stephen
James Fitzjames Stephen
were invited by Frederick Denison Maurice
Frederick Denison Maurice
to lecture at The Working Men's College. Leslie Stephen
Leslie Stephen
became a member of the College's governing College Corporation.[8] Stephen was an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and received the honorary degree Doctor of Letters
Doctor of Letters
(D. Litt.) from the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
and from the University of Oxford
University of Oxford
(November 1901[9]). While at Cambridge, Stephen became an Anglican
clergyman. In 1865, having renounced his religious beliefs, and after a visit to the United States two years earlier, where he had formed lasting friendships with Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., James Russell Lowell and Charles Eliot Norton, he settled in London
and became a journalist, eventually editing the Cornhill Magazine
Cornhill Magazine
in 1871 where R. L. Stevenson, Thomas Hardy, W. E. Norris, Henry James, and James Payn
James Payn
figured among his contributors. In his spare time, he participated in athletics and mountaineering. He also contributed to the Saturday Review, Fraser, Macmillan, the Fortnightly, and other periodicals. He was already known as a climber, as a contributor to Peaks, Passes and Glaciers (1862), and as one of the earliest presidents of the Alpine Club, when, in 1871, in commemoration of his own first ascents in the Alps, he published The Playground of Europe, which immediately became a mountaineering classic, drawing—together with Whymper's Scrambles Amongst the Alps—successive generations of its readers to the Alps. During the eleven years of his editorship, in addition to three volumes of critical studies, he made two valuable contributions to philosophical history and theory. The first was The History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century (1876 and 1881). This work was generally recognised as an important addition to philosophical literature and led immediately to Stephen's election at the Athenaeum Club in 1877. The second was The Science of Ethics (1882). It was extensively adopted as a textbook on the subject and made him the best-known proponent of evolutionary ethics in late-nineteenth-century Britain. He was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1901.[10] Stephen also served as the first editor (1885–91) of the Dictionary of National Biography. Mountaineering[edit]

Leslie Stephen
Leslie Stephen
painted by George Frederic Watts, 1878.

Stephen was one of the most prominent figures in the golden age of alpinism (the period between Wills's ascent of the Wetterhorn
in 1854 and Whymper's ascent of the Matterhorn
in 1865) during which many major alpine peaks saw their first ascents. Joining the Alpine Club in 1857 (the year of its formation), Stephen made the first ascent, usually in the company of his favourite Swiss guide Melchior Anderegg, of the following peaks:

– 11 September 1858 with T. W. Hinchliff and Melchior Anderegg Bietschhorn
– 13 August 1859 with Anton Siegen, Johann Siegen and Joseph Ebener Rimpfischhorn
– 9 September 1859 with Robert Living, Melchior Anderegg and Johann Zumtaugwald Alphubel
– 9 August 1860 with T. W. Hinchliff, Melchior Anderegg
Melchior Anderegg
and Peter Perren Blüemlisalphorn – 27 August 1860 with Robert Living, Melchior Anderegg, F. Ogi, P. Simond and J. K. Stone Schreckhorn
– 16 August 1861 with Ulrich Kaufmann, Christian Michel and Peter Michel Monte Disgrazia
Monte Disgrazia
– 23 August 1862 with E. S. Kennedy, Thomas Cox and Melchior Anderegg Zinalrothorn
– 22 August 1864 with Florence Crauford Grove, Jakob Anderegg and Melchior Anderegg Mont Mallet
Mont Mallet
– 4 September 1871 with G. Loppe, F. A. Wallroth, Melchior Anderegg, Ch. and A. Tournier

He was President of the Alpine Club from 1865–68. List of selected publications[edit]

The Poll Degree from a Third Point of View (1863). The "Times" on the American War: A Historical Study (1865). Sketches from Cambridge (1865). The Playground of Europe (1871). Essays on Free Thinking and Plain Speaking (1873). Hours in a Library (3 vols., 1874–1879). The History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century (2 vols., 1876). Samuel Johnson (1878). Swift (1882). The Science of Ethics (1882). Life of Henry Fawcett (1885).[11] An Agnostic's Apology and Other Essays (London: Smith, Elder and Company, 1893). Sir Victor Brooke, Sportsman and Naturalist (1894). The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I. (1895). Social Rights and Duties (1896). Studies of a Biographer (4 volumes, 1898–1902). The English Utilitarians (1900). George Eliot (London: Macmillan, 1902). English Literature and Society in the Eighteenth Century (Ford Lectures) (London: Duckworth and Company, 1903, 1904). Hobbes (1904). Stephen, Leslie (1977). Bell, Alan S, ed. Sir Leslie Stephen's Mausoleum Book. Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-812084-1. 


Leslie Stephen's grave, Highgate Cemetery

He died in Kensington
and is buried in the eastern section of Highgate Cemetery in the raised section alongside the northern path. His daughter, Virginia Woolf, was badly affected by his death and she was cared for by his sister, Caroline.[4] Woolf in 1922 created a detailed psychological portrait of him in the fictional character of Mr. Ramsay in her classic novel, To the Lighthouse, (as well as of her mother as Mrs. Ramsay). (Ref: The Diaries and Letters of Virginia Woolf) His probate is worded: STEPHEN sir Leslie of 22 Hyde Park-gate Middlesex K.C.B. probate London
23 March to George Herbert Duckworth and Gerald de L'Etang Duckworth esquires Effects £15715 6s. 6d.[12] Family tree[edit] For Family Trees
Family Trees
of the Stephens, Thackerays and Jacksons, see Bicknell (1996)[13] and Bloom and Maynard (1994).[14]

Stephen Family Tree[15][16]

Robert Wilberforce 1728–1768

Elizabeth Bird 1730–1798

m.(1) 1783 Anna Stent 1758–1790

James Stephen 1758–1832

m.(2) 1800 Sarah Wilberforce 1757–1816

William Wilberforce 1759–1833

John Venn 1759–1813

m. 1789 Katherine King 1760–1803

William Makepeace Thackeray 1811–1863

m. 1836 Isabella Gethin Shawe 1816–1893

James 1789–1859

1814 Jane Catherine 1793–1875

m. 1877 Richmond Ritchie

Annie 1837–1919

m.(1) Minnie Thackeray 1840–1875

Leslie 1832−1904

m.(2) 1878 Julia Duckworth 1846–1895

James Fitzjames 1829–1894

Caroline 1834–1909

Laura 1870–1945

4 see Julia Stephen


^ a b Luebering 2006. ^ ACAD & STFN850L. ^ a b Bicknell 1996. ^ a b Lewis, Alison M (Spring 2001). " Caroline Stephen
Caroline Stephen
and her niece, Virginia Woolf". JOURNAL OF THE FELLOWSHIP OF QUAKERS IN THE ARTS (21). Retrieved 10 December 2015.  ^ Bloom & Maynard 1994. ^ Smith College
Smith College
libraries biography of Julia Prinsep Stephen ^ Gérin 1981, p. 178. ^ J. F. C. Harrison, A History of the Working Men's College (1854–1954), Routledge
Kegan Paul (1954) ^ "University intelligence". The Times (36623). London. 27 November 1901. p. 6.  ^ American Antiquarian Society
American Antiquarian Society
Members Directory ^ "Review: Life of Henry Fawcett by Leslie Stephen". Westminster Review. 125: 83–95. 1886.  ^ Archives 2018. ^ Bicknell 1996, p. 1. ^ Bloom & Maynard 1994, p. xx. ^ Bell 1972, Family Tree pp. x–xi ^ Venn 1904.


Annan, Baron Noël Gilroy Annan (1984). Leslie Stephen: the Godless Victorian. Random House. ISBN 978-0-394-53061-1.  Bell, Alan (24 May 2012). "Stephen, Sir Leslie (1832–1904)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Dictionary of National Biography
(online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/36271.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.) Bell, Quentin (1972). Virginia Woolf: A Biography. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. ISBN 978-0-15-693580-7.  Bicknell, John W, ed. (1996). Selected Letters of Leslie Stephen: Volume 1. 1864-1882. Basingstoke: Macmillan. ISBN 9781349248872.  Bicknell, John W, ed. (1996). Selected Letters of Leslie Stephen: Volume 2. 1882-1904. Ohio State University Press. ISBN 978-0-8142-0691-1.  Broughton, Trev Lynn (2004). Men of Letters, Writing Lives. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-134-89156-6.  Harrison, Frederic (1908). "Sir Leslie Stephen." In: Realities and Ideals. London: Macmillan & Co. Hutton, Richard Holt (1908). "Mr. Leslie Stephen
Leslie Stephen
and the Scepticism of Believers." In: Criticism on Contemporary Thought and Thinkers. London: Macmillan and Co. Hyman, Virginia R. (1980). "Concealment and Disclosure in Sir Leslie Stephen's "Mausoleum Book"". Biography. 3 (2): 121–131.  Luebering, J. E. (21 December 2006). Sir Leslie Stephen. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2 January 2018.  MacCarthy, Desmond (1937). Leslie Stephen: The Leslie Stephen
Leslie Stephen
Lecture delivered before the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
on 27 May 1937. CUP Archive.  Maitland, Frederic William (1906). The life and letters of Leslie Stephen. London: Duckworth & Co. Retrieved 2 January 2018.  Stephen, Leslie (1977). Bell, Alan S, ed. Sir Leslie Stephen's Mausoleum Book. Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-812084-1.  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1886). Dictionary of National Biography. vol. VIII Burton Cantwell. London: Elder, Smith & Co.  (see also Dictionary of National Biography) Venn, John (2012) [1904 Macmillan, London]. Annals of a Clerical Family: Being Some Account of the Family and Descendants of William Venn, Vicar of Otterton, Devon, 1600-1621. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-108-04492-9.  also Internet archive


Kukil, Karen V. (2011). "Leslie Stephen's Photograph Album". Northampton MA: Smith College.  "Julia Prinsep Stephen (1846 - 1895): wife/mother/writer/volunteer". Woolf, Creativity and Madness. Smith College. 22 Mar 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2017.  Family tree "Stephen, Leslie (STFN850L)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 14 February 2018.  "Find a will. Index to wills and administrations (1858-1995)". Calendars of the Grants of Probate
and Letters of Administration. The National Archives. Retrieved 2 March 2018.  Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf
(1922). "To the Lighthouse"

Anne Thackeray
Anne Thackeray

Bloom, Abigail Burnham; Maynard, John, eds. (1994). Anne Thackeray Ritchie: Journals and letters. Columbus: Ohio State Univ. Press. ISBN 9780814206386.  Gérin, Winifred (1981). Anne Thackeray
Anne Thackeray
Ritchie: a biography. Oxford: Oxford U.P. ISBN 9780198126645.  Garnett, Henrietta (2004). Anny: A Life of Anny Thackeray Ritchie. London: Chatto & Windus. ISBN 0-7011-7129-4. 

External links[edit]

Find more aboutLeslie Stephenat's sister projects

Media from Wikimedia Commons Quotations from Wikiquote Texts from Wikisource Data from Wikidata

Works by Leslie Stephen
Leslie Stephen
at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Leslie Stephen
Leslie Stephen
at Internet Archive Works by Leslie Stephen
Leslie Stephen
at LibriVox
(public domain audiobooks) History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century at Internet Archive. Obituary Grave

External images[edit]

Leslie and Harriet Stephen 1867, in Kukil (2011) Julia Prinsep Jackson, c.1856, in Kukil (2011)

v t e

Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf


The Voyage Out Night and Day Jacob's Room Mrs Dalloway To the Lighthouse Orlando: A Biography The Waves The Years Between the Acts

Short stories

Monday or Tuesday A Haunted House and Other Short Stories

"A Society" "An Unwritten Novel" "The String Quartet" "Blue & Green" "Kew Gardens" "The Mark on the Wall" "The New Dress" "The Duchess and the Jeweller"




Flush: A Biography Roger Fry: A Biography


Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown The Common Reader

"Modern Fiction"

A Room of One's Own On Being Ill The London
Scene The Second Common Reader Three Guineas The Death of the Moth and Other Essays The Moment and Other Essays Women and Writing


Moments of Being

"A Sketch of the Past"


Bloomsbury Group Hogarth Press Monk's House Dreadnought hoax Leonard Woolf
Leonard Woolf
(husband) Julia Stephen
Julia Stephen
(mother) Leslie Stephen
Leslie Stephen
(father) Vanessa Bell
Vanessa Bell
(sister) Thoby Stephen
Thoby Stephen
(brother) Adrian Stephen
Adrian Stephen
(brother) The Hours (novel, film) From the Diary of Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf
(song cycle)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 29561082 LCCN: n79114258 ISNI: 0000 0001 2125 9159 GND: 118798731 SELIBR: 309666 SUDOC: 029238528 BNF: cb12090635m (data) BIBSYS: 90092319 HDS: 44279 NLA: 35523002 NDL: 00457625 NKC: mub2012689130 BNE: XX898