The two collections belonged to the novelist Rosamond Lehmann and the diarist and writer Frances Partridge, once described by fellow group member Clive Bell as having “the best legs in Bloomsbury”. Lehmann and Partridge became friends at Cambridge University, later getting to know the group of intellectuals that also included Woolf, EM Forster, Lytton Strachey and JM Keynes.
One of the documents in the archive, which has been acquired by King’s College Cambridge, sees Clive Bell writing to Partridge on 3 April 1941, shortly after Woolf’s final disappearance. “I’m not sure whether the Times will by now have announced that Virginia is missing. I’m afraid there is not the slightest doubt that she drowned herself about noon last Friday,” writes Bell. “She had left letters for Leonard and Vanessa [Woolf and Bell]. Her stick and footprints were found by the edge of the river. For some days, of course, we hoped against hope that she had wandered crazily away and might be discovered in a barn or a village shop. But by now all hope is abandoned; only, as the body has not been found, she cannot be considered dead legally.”