Leonard Woolf, the third of ten children of Sidney Woolf (1844–1892) and his wife, Marie de Jongh (1848–1939), was born in Kensington on 25th November, 1880. His father, who was a lawyer, died when he was eleven, leaving his family in financial difficulties.
Woolf was educated at St. Paul’s School and in 1899 he went to Trinity College, on scholarships for five years. While at the University of Cambridge he became friends with Thoby Stephen, the brother of Virginia Stephen and Vanessa Stephen.
In 1902 he was the first Jew to be elected to the famous undergraduate society known as the Apostles. Other members included E. M. Forster, Roger Fry,George Edward Moore, Robert Trevelyan, Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson andDesmond MacCarthy. According to his biographer, Stanford Patrick Rosenbaum: “G. E. Moore was the dominant influence there, and to him Woolf owed his commitment to rationality, clarity, and common sense; Moore’s concern with states of mind and his basic distinction in Principia ethica (1903) between instrumental and intrinsic value was incorporated into Woolf’s political theory.”
Leonard Woolf suffered a stroke and died at Monk’s House on 14th August 1969.
The Village in the Jungle – 1913
The Wise Virgins – 1914 (Republished in 2003 by Persephone Books)
International Government – 1916
The Future of Constantinople – 1917
The Framework of a Lasting Peace – 1917
Cooperation and the Future of Industry – 1918
Economic Imperialism – 1920
Empire and Commerce in Africa – 1920
Socialism and Co-operation – 1921
International co-operative trade – 1922
Fear and Politics – 1925
Essays on Literature, History, Politics – 1927
Hunting the Highbrow – 1927
Imperialism and Civilization – 1928
After the Deluge (Principia Politica), 3 vols. – 1931, 1939, 1953
Quack! Quack! – 1935
Barbarians at the Gate – 1939
The War for Peace – 1940
A Calendar of Consolation – selected by Leonard Woolf, 1967