Updated: Jun 25
English painter and interior designer Vanessa Bell, sister to acclaimed author Virginia Woolf, designed the book jacket for the first edition of Woolf’s To the Lighthouse in 1927. The novel, Woolf’s fourth, was said to be inspired by Godrevy Lighthouse in St. Ives, where the family holidayed when the children were young. Bell, who created cover designs for all of Woolf’s major works, chose to depict the eponymous lighthouse rising from swirling, pointillistic waves, which blend into the scalloped border - itself a recurring motif in Bell’s work.
Dust jacket for To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, illustrated by Vanessa Bell
(first edition, 1927) via BL.uk