Virginia Woolf on Henry James

One of my favorite moments from the Letters: “Well then, we went and had tea with Henry James today…and Henry James fixed me with his staring blank eye—it is like a childs marble—and said ‘My dear Virginia, they tell me—they tell me—they tell me—that you—as indeed being your fathers daughter nay your grandfathers grandchild—the descendant I may say of a century—of a century—of quill pens and ink—ink—ink pots, yes, yes, yes, they tell me—ahm m m—that you, that you, that you write in short.’ This went on in the public street, while we all waited, as farmers wait for the hen to lay an egg—do they?—nervous, polite, and now on this foot now on that.” (L 1.306; 25 August 1907; to Violet Dickinson)