Still in the thralls of this year’s Conference on Virginia Woolf, which ended just three days ago, I have two anecdotes to share.
Both connect to Catherine Hollis, author of Leslie Stephen as Mountaineer: ‘Where does Mont Blanc end, and where do I begin?’, one of four Bloomsbury Heritage monographs published by Cecil Woolf Publishers this spring.
Here is the first. On the morning of the second day of the conference, I was sitting in the Fairfield Inn lobby sipping the truly bad coffee and trying to wake up.
Vara Neverow sat down to chat with me, and soon afterward, Catherine joined us. I had never met Catherine, but as soon as Vara mentioned Catherine’s penchant for mountain climbing, my still sleepy ears perked up.
“You’re the mountaineer,” I cried. “You’re Catherine. Hollis.”
“Yes,” she answered. “Who are you?”
“I’m weather,” I replied. And she immediately knew what I meant.
Of course, that sent us all into gales of laughter. No pun intended. And we told and retold that little story throughout the conference. But just in case any of you missed hearing it, I have repeated it here.
Now for the second tale, which Catherine shared with me today via e-mail. I will leave the telling to one of the participants, Catherine Gregg, author of Virginia Woolf and ‘Dress Mania’: ‘the eternal and insoluble question of clothes’, another of the monographs introduced by Cecil at the June conference.
Catherine has posted the story on the Bookslut blog, so I’ll just give you a teaser. Her tale involves a ratty dressing gown, a parcel of books, a bottle of wine and Cecil Woolf. Read on.