“Opening the Door”: The Hogarth Press as Virginia Woolf’s Outsiders’ Society

Ursula McTaggart, Wilmington College of Ohio

This essay argues that Virginia Woolf’s personal publishing venture, the Hogarth Press, both prefigured and influenced her later vision of a feminist, transnational Outsiders’ Society, a proposal that she outlined in the 1938 text Three Guineas. Woolf imagined an Outsiders’ Society with neither meetings nor leaders that pieced together a multiplicity of private actions to exert political influence. The Hogarth Press, however, was already a material incarnation of this strategy as its translations, feminist works, political pamphlets, and political fiction challenged both the male-dominated British canon and the nationalistic patriarchy that Woolf deplored in Three Guineas.

Mary Wollstonecraft Sojourner Truth Margaret Atwood Abigail Adams Amy Tan H.D. Simone de Beauvoir Zora Neale Hurston Frances Burney Virginia Woolf

"The white saxifrage with the indented leafe is moste commended for the breakinge of the Stone."

— Turner, Herbal, III, 68 [1568]