Home

Message from the Society

The Virginia Woolf Bulletin

Society Publications

Resources

Membership

Events

Useful Links

A Mrs. Dalloway Walk in London


A MRS. DALLOWAY WALK FROM DEAN’S YARD, WESTMINSTER, TO REGENT’S PARK - NEAREST TUBE STATION: WESTMINSTER

This walk combines Mrs Dalloway’s, from her house to Bond Street where she buys the flowers and hears the car backfire, with Rezia’s and Septimus's (who also hear the car at the same time) from there to Regent’s Park. I think I am now convinced by Bradshaw’s MDA (see n. to p. 123) that Mrs. Dalloway is set on an imaginary Wednesday in June 1923, as neither the 13th nor the 20th quite fits some of the references.

START IN DEAN’S YARD NEXT TO WESTMINSTER ABBEY OFF VICTORIA STREET
    [Richard Dalloway] entered Dean’s Yard ... approaching his door: MDA 129
TURN L INTO GREAT COLLEGE STREET (Daiches [p. 88] suggests this is the street where the Dalloways may have lived)

TURN R INTO BARTON STREET (Wilson [p. 196] suggests this is the street where the Dalloways may have lived, but she is wrong in stating that Woolf was admiring a house here in January 1923 [it was in 1915])

AT THE END OF BARTON ST, TURN L INTO COWLEY ST, R & R AGAIN INTO GREAT PETER STREET; R INTO PERKINS RENTS, CONTINUE OVER INTO ABBEY ORCHARD STREET TO VICTORIA STREET
    Big Ben strikes. There! Out it boomed ... the hour [10am] ... [Clarissa] crossing Victoria Street: MDA 6
CROSS TO DEAN FARRAR STREET, CONTINUE OVER INTO DARTMOUTH STREET, L INTO QUEEN ANNE’S GATE

WHERE QUEEN ANNE’S GATE TURNS SHARP L, TURN R TO CROSS BIRDCAGE WALK INTO ST. JAMES’S PARK
    coming along with his back against the Government buildings [from, say, the Foreign Office] Hugh Whitbread: MDA 7
FOLLOW PATH TO CROSS BRIDGE [regrettably built in the 1950s in place of the previous 1857 iron suspension bridge] OVER LAKE
    in the middle of St James’s Park on a fine morning: MDA 9
CONTINUE ALONG PATH TO THE MALL; TURN L & THEN R UP QUEEN’S WALK
    [Clarissa] reached the Park gates ... looking at the omnibuses in Piccadilly: MDA 10

    Devonshire House, Bath House, the house with the china cockatoo ... walking towards Bond Street:MDA 11
Devonshire House was immediately opposite the top of Queen’s Walk, between Stratton and Berkeley Streets (it was demolished in 1924: see Woolf’s paragraph commencing ‘Coming back to London .. a battered cottage ... has replaced Devonshire House', Nation & Athenaeum, 14 March 1925, pp. 812-13; reprinted in The Essays, Vol. 4). Bath House, 82 Piccadilly, is on the corner of the next street to the L, Bolton Street; in the 1920s it was owned by Lord and Lady Ludlow; it was demolished in 1960; the present building is occupied by the Ministry of Defence (Showalter’s MDA, n. 6; Beja’s MDA, p. 148; Bradshaw’s MDA, n. to p. 7). No. 1 Stratton Street, which incorporated 80 Piccadilly, was the home of Baroness Burdett-Coutts (1814-1906) who kept in the window a china cockatoo which indicated that she was in residence (Beja’s MDA, p. 148; Bradshaw’s MDA, n. to p. 7).

AT PICCADILLY TURN R & L INTO OLD BOND STREET (detour further along Piccadilly to Hatchard’s [note placing of the apostrophe (Bradshaw’s MDA, n. to p. 8)] if wished)
    looked into Hatchard's shop window ... walked back towards Bond Street ... waiting to cross: MDA 12
CONTINUE UP OLD BOND STREET
    stopped to look at a Dutch picture ... flags flying ... one roll of tweed in the shop ... a few pearls ...: MDA 13
J and E Atkinson Ltd, 24 Old Bond Street (Beja’s MDA, p. 148; Bradshaw’s MDA, n. to p. 12) - see below; no. 24 is at the top of Old Bond Street on the R


CONTINUE INTO NEW BOND STREET
    ... at the window of a glove shop: MDA 13
Possibly A. Bide Ltd, Glovers, 158A New Bond Street (Bradshaw’s MDA, n. to p. 9): on L; or perhaps the London Glove Co., 83 New Bond Street (Beja’s MDA, p. 148): on R, near Oxford Street
    ... salmon on an iceblock ...: MDA 13
Almost certainly the window of Gilsons Ltd, 121 New Bond Street (Bradshaw’s MDA, n. to p. 9): on L
    up Bond Street to a shop where they kept flowers for her ... Mulberry’s: MDA 14-15
Most likely based on G. Adam and Co., florists and fruiterers to HM the King and HRH the Prince of Wales, 42 New Bond Street (Bradshaw’s MDA, n. to p. 11): on R
    The violent explosion ... came from a motor car ... precisely opposite Mulberry’s: MDA 16
    rumours were at once in circulation from the middle of Bond Street to Oxford Street on one side, to Atkinson’s scent shop on the other: MDA 17 (see above)
J. and E. Atkinson Ltd, 24 Old Bond Street (Beja’s MDA, p. 148; Bradshaw’s MDA, n. to p. 12). Note that Woolf uses the U-word ‘scent' (it appears five times in Mrs. Dalloway), whereas the PO in Bradshaw’s note uses the non-U word ‘perfumery'. Woolf usually writes ‘scent' and only very occasionally ‘perfume'.
    Septimus looked. ... ‘Let us go on, Septimus', said his wife: MDA 18
    omnibuses ... Clarissa on one side of Brook Street: MDA 20
    glove shops and hat shops and tailorsshops on both sides of Bond Street: MDA 21
CROSS OVER OXFORD STREET
    ‘Now we will cross', [Rezia] said: MDA 19
CONTINUE INTO VERE STREET, R INTO HENRIETTA PLACE, L AT CAVENDISH SQUARE & CONTINUE UP HARLEY STREET

CROSS OVER MARYLEBONE ROAD (also called ‘Regents Park Road' at this point) AND TURN R OPPOSITE THE TUBE STATION ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD

Both Peter Walsh and Rezia see and hear an old woman singing what has turned out to be a translation of Hermann von Gilm’s poem ‘Allerseelen' (‘All Souls' Day'); see Virginia Woolf Bulletin, no. 17, pp. 50-2.

TURN L INTO PARK SQUARE EAST, L INTO THE OUTER CIRCLE, & R UP THE BROAD WALK
    bells struck eleven times: MDA 24
    the stone basins, the prim flowers: MDA 30
    Lucrezia Warren Smith, sitting by her husband’s side on a seat in Regent’s Park in the Broad Walk: MDA 25
    elm trees: MDA 26 [most elm trees succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease in the early 1970s]
    ‘I am going to walk to the fountain and back', [Rezia] said: MDA 26
    [Rezia] by the fountain (staring at the Indian and his cross): MDA 28
AFTER REACHING THE ‘READY-MONEYFOUNTAIN (see Whitworth), HEAD DIAGONALLY R ALONG PATH TO GLOUCESTER GATE.
    near the Zoo: MDA 29
WALK OUT OF GLOUCESTER GATE AND TURN L
    [Peter Walsh] remembered Regent’s Park; the long straight walk; the little house where one bought air-balls to the left; an absurd statue with an inscription somewhere or other: MDA 62 [see also MDA 39]
The OED gives a quotation from 1869: the India-rubber coloured air-balls, which are sold at fairs presumably balloons. Whitworth suggests that the ‘absurd statue' is the Ready-Money fountain, but Beja’s MDA (p. 153) and Bradshaw’s MDA (n. to p. 47) suggest that it may be the statue called ‘Matilda' (1878) by Joseph Durham: the fountain was donated by Matilda Kent to the parish of St Pancras which is to the East of Regent’s Park. The text would seem to support Whitworth - unless one had had the bright idea of the Matilda, which after all is outside the park near the Gloucester Gate; on the other hand, Matilda is a statue, whereas the fountain is not. Where was ‘the little house where one bought air-balls'? Nowadays you buy drinks from a ‘little house' to the left of the Broad Walk near the Ready-Money Fountain, and it’s obviously been there since before 1923. There isn’t an natural replacement word in English for ‘little house'; 'kiosk' wouldn’t have been used much before the War, and, in any case, ‘kiosk' suggests a stall with a roof, something more temporary.

THIS IS THE END OF THE WALK

IF WISHED, CONTINUE ALONG PARKWAY TO CAMDEN TOWN TUBE STATION (may be closed at weekends)

Stuart N. Clarke
Updated Jun 2000 [August 1999]

References

• Beja, Morris, ‘The London of Mrs. Dalloway' [map], Virginia Woolf Miscellany, No. 7, Spring 1977, p. 4
• Daiches, David, and John Flower, ‘A Walking Tour with Mrs. Dalloway', Literary Landscapes of the British Isles: A Narrative Atlas, Paddington Press Ltd, New York & London, 1979, pp. 82-9
• Sutherland, John, ‘Clarissa’s Invisible Taxi', Can Jane Eyre be Happy? More Puzzles in Classic Fictions, Oxford University Press, 1997, pp. 214-24
• Virtual Tour: Mrs Dalloway's London by Richard Goldman
• Weinreb, Ben, and Christopher Hibbert (eds), The London Encyclopaedia, 2nd ed., Macmillan, London, 1993
• Whitworth, Michael, ‘“The Indian and his Cross" in Mrs. Dalloway', Virginia Woolf Miscellany, No. 49, Spring 1997, pp. 4-5
• Wilson, Jean Moorcroft, ‘Walk 4: A Mrs Dalloway Walk (from Westminster to Regent’s Park) ', Virginia Woolf: Life and London: A Biography of Place, Cecil Woolf, London, 1987, pp. 195-99 (map p. [194])
• Woolf, Virginia, Mrs. Dalloway, Hogarth Press, Uniform Edition, 1947 [MDA in text]
• Woolf, Virginia, Mrs. Dalloway, ed. Morris Beja, Shakespeare Head Press, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, 1996 (map with notes pp. [xxxiv-xxxv])
• Woolf, Virginia, Mrs. Dalloway, ed. with introduction by David Bradshaw, Oxford University Press, 2000
• Woolf, Virginia, Mrs. Dalloway, ed. Stella McNichol with introduction and notes by Elaine Showalter, Penguin, London, 1992
• Woolf, Virginia, Mrs. Dalloway, ed. with introduction by Claire Tomalin, Oxford University Press, 1992


copyright© S. N. Clarke & VWSGB 1999-2000




back to top