Gwendolen Mary "Gwen" M Raverat (Darwin) (1885 - 1957)

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Birthplace: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Death: Died
Managed by: Carlos Bunge Molina y Vedia
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About Gwendolen Mary "Gwen" M Raverat (Darwin)

Gwendolen Mary "Gwen" Raverat née Darwin (26 August 1885 – 11 February 1957) was a celebrated English wood engraving artist who co-founded the Society of Wood Engravers in England.


   * 1 Biography
   * 2 See also
   * 3 References
   * 4 Notes
   * 5 External links

Gwen Darwin was born in Cambridge, England, in 1885, the daughter of George Howard Darwin and his wife Maud du Puy. She was the granddaughter of the naturalist Charles Darwin and he first cousin of poet Frances Cornford. She married the French painter Jacques Raverat in 1911. They were active in the Bloomsbury Group and Rupert Brooke's Neo-Pagans until they moved to the south of France, where they lived in Vence, near Nice, until his death from multiple sclerosis in 1925. They had two daughters: Elisabeth (born 1916), who married the Norwegian politician Edvard Hambro, and Sophie (born 1919), who married the Cambridge scholar Mark Pryor.

In 1927, Raverat's brother-in-law Geoffrey Keynes asked her to provide scenic designs for a proposed ballet drawn from William Blake's Illustrations of the Book of Job to commemorate the centennial of Blake's death; her second cousin Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote the music to the work which became known as Job, a masque for dancing. The miniature stage set that she built as a model still exists, housed at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

Eventually she settled back in Cambridge where, in 1952, she published her classic childhood memoir Period Piece, which is still in print over 50 years later.[1] In 2004 her grandson, William Pryor, edited and published the complete correspondence between Gwen, Jacques, and Virginia Woolf under the title Virginia Woolf and the Raverats.

She illustrated a number of books with her distinctive line drawings and characteristic wood engravings, including Period Piece, and prints from her original wood blocks are much sought after today.

Darwin College, Cambridge, occupies both her childhood home and the neighbouring Old Granary where she lived for the last years of her life. The college has named one of its student accommodation houses after her.[2] Picture of her childhood home, now part of Darwin College. [edit] See also

   * Darwin-Wedgwood family
   * Period Piece: A Cambridge Childhood, first published in 1952 by Faber & Faber. ISBN 1-904555-12-8 (hardcover) ISBN 0-571-06742-5 (paperback).
  1. ^ The Customer Reviews on Amazon explain why the book remains so popular.
  2. ^ Darwin College: Facilities
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Gwendolen Mary "Gwen" Raverat (Darwin)'s Timeline

August 26, 1885
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
February 11, 1957
Age 71