[Vwoolf] Monks? Monk's?

Stuart N. Clarke stuart.n.clarke at btinternet.com
Mon Feb 17 09:34:39 EST 2020

In order to impose consistency in the “Virginia Woolf Bulletin”, we have gone for Monks.  If there ever had been monks – which there weren’t – there surely would have been more than one, and we know that Monks’ is definitely wrong.

I agree with Mark about the gate.  Notices, esp. those in caps, tend towards dropping punctuation as much as possible.

Take the Underground as an example: “As there is no such thing as an ‘official name’, it is impossible to be certain about the use of apostrophes, hyphens, brackets and the like, especially where, as is sometimes the case, the name of any particularly station at any particular time can appear differently on the station building, platform nameboards, timetables, maps and tickets.”
Rose, Douglas (2007), The London Underground: A Diagrammatic History, 8th edn, London: Douglas Rose


From: Mark Hussey via Vwoolf 
Sent: Monday, February 17, 2020 1:52 PM
To: 'Danell Jones' ; vwoolf at lists.service.ohio-state.edu 
Subject: Re: [Vwoolf] Monks? Monk's?

A perennial question! Funnily enough, I just went through the ms of my biography of Clive Bell (forthcoming April 2021) and put in the apostrophe throughout because that is how it appears in a letter of Clive’s I quote. I have always thought either was acceptable, and I think VW herself uses both. I was never much swayed by the absence of the apostrophe on the gate as that seemed likely to have been an aesthetic rather than orthographic decision.


From: Vwoolf <vwoolf-bounces+mhussey=verizon.net at lists.osu.edu> On Behalf Of Danell Jones via Vwoolf
Sent: Saturday, February 15, 2020 1:57 PM
To: vwoolf at lists.osu.edu
Subject: [Vwoolf] Monks? Monk's?


So where are we with the spelling of Woolf’s Sussex cottage these days? Monk’s? Monks’? Monks? Does it matter? 


I’m leaning toward Monks because that’s how its spelled on the gate of the house, not to mention Woolf’s own idiosyncratic disregard of apostrophes. . 


That said, I believe she was not consistent about the spelling—to no one’s surprise, I’m sure. 


Is there any consensus on this grave issue? 









Danell Jones

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