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Paula Maggio:

Here is what Bloomsbury Group members and their contemporaries were doing as World War I began.

Originally posted on SuchFriends Blog:

A production of The Wrens, a one-act play by Lady Augusta Gregory, 62, is playing in London. One of her fellow Abbey Theatre founders, George Moore, also 62, is in the city, but they haven’t spoken for years.

Painter Vanessa Bell, 35, is with her art critic husband Clive, 32, and his family at Cleve House in Wiltshire. Their friend, biographer Lytton Strachey, 34, is nearby in Marlborough, working on his essay, ‘Cardinal Manning.’ With all the talk of war, he is a bit worried about his sister who is travelling in Germany.

Vanessa’s sister, Virginia, also 32, is with her husband, Leonard Woolf, 33, farther east at her Sussex country house, Asham.

In Cambridge, visiting Americans Gertrude Stein, 40, and Alice B. Toklas, 37, have just been introduced to philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, 53, and Alice has heard bells…

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The National Literacy Trust book bench illustrating Mrs. Dalloway has been installed in Gordon Square, Mrs. Dalloway bench with mapBloomsbury for eight weeks as part of the Books About Town art trail.

The trail features fifty benches shaped as open books and decorated by professional illustrators and local artists. The project provides an opportunity for the public to explore London’s literary connections, while enjoying art from some of the country’s top artists and celebrating the fun of reading, according to the project website.

Fiona Osborne of One Red Shoe painted the Dalloway bench. It features Clarissa on the front and Septimus Warren Smith on the back, and it is located on the Bloomsbury Trail.

“I painted the Mrs. Dalloway bench as well as the Railway Children. It was a privilege to illustrate and will hopefully raise a good amount for the Literacy Trust when they hold the auction in eight weeks time,” said Osborne in an email to Blogging Woolf. She also offered to share photos of her work on the bench as it progressed.

The project was launched July 2, and the benches will be auctioned on Oct. 7, with the proceeds going to the National Literacy Trust.

The Guardian is asking book lovers to be part of a poll to select the book that will be depicted on the fifty-first bench. It is also requesting reader submissions of book bench photos.

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BBC Two announced the production of a three-part television drama set over a 40-year period about the Bloomsbury group called, Life In Squares, which will focus on the relationships between Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.

The Bloomsbury Group From the BBC:
Life In Squares tells the story of the Bloomsbury group over 40 years, from the death of Queen Victoria to the Second World War, as they attempted to forge a life free from the constraints of the past. Their pursuit of freedom and beauty was always passionate, often impossible and ultimately devastating, yet their legacy is still felt today.”

The series was written by Amanda Coe and will be directed by Simon Kaijser. Production starts this summer.

Other performances of Woolf in the works:

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Ham Spray videos on YouTube

There are three short 16mm films by Beakus Penrose, filmed in and around Ham Spray in 1929 that are now posted on YouTube. They were conserved by the National Film & Television Archive for “Carrington: the Exhibition,” Barbican Art Gallery, 1995.

The films are:

  • “Dr Turner’s Mental Home,” featuring Saxon Sydney Turner, Rachel MacCarthy, Lord David Cecil, Dora Carrington, Ralph Partridge, Frances Partridge.
  • “Untitled” (‘The Bounder’ to me) starring Dora Carrington, Stephen Tomlin, Julia Strachey, Oliver Strachey.
  • “Topical Budget Ham Spray September 1929″ with Dora Carrington, David Garnett, Frances Partridge, Ralph Partridge, Lytton Strachey, James Strachey.

As Todd Avery, associate professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, posted on the VWoolf Listserv, “In the late 1920s, Carrington, Ralph and Frances Partridge, Saxon Sydney-Turner, and others produced four short home-made films—including `Dr. Turner’s Mental Home,’ starring Saxon, which was screened at the Woolfs’ home in London.  Until last year, with the exception of one or two public screenings in the 1990s, these films were available for viewing by appointment only in the tiny basement viewing room of the British Film Institute, in London, and only on VHS.  A BBC presenter seems somehow to have procured a copy of the films, and posted them online (I will resist regaling you with the tale of cultural espionage by which I may or may not, earlier in the year, have tried and failed/succeeded to procure my own copy).

“Among the highlights: Saxon as a deranged doctor in the first film, and a splendid bathtub scene with Rachel MacCarthy; Carrington riding her white horse behind Ham Spray—and in slow motion!  James Strachey snarling at the camera; Lytton Strachey mugging and laughing from an upstairs window; Ralph and Frances and Carrington diving into the pond artistically and then struggling to stay afloat upon inflatable swans.  And so much more!”

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Woolf seminar at SCSU

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Jans Ondaatje Rolls, author of The Bloomsbury‬ Cookbook will be giving talks at a number of festivalsBloomsburyCookbook_title_26523 and venues this year, but you will have to be in England to attend.

  • May 24, noon – 1 p.m., Charleston Festival, Lewes, East Sussex
  • July 15, 2–3 p.m., Buxton Festival, Derbyshire
  • July 17, 7–8 p.m., National Portrait Gallery, London
  • Sept. 14, 3:30–4.30 p.m., Hampstead & Highgate Literary Fetitval, London
  • Sept. 27, TBA, Porlock Literary Festival, Somerset
  • Oct. 4, TBA, Ilkley Literary Festival, West Yorkshire
  • Oct. 6, TBA, Cheltenham Literary Festival, Gloucestershire
  • Oct. 16, 2:30 p.m., Knutsford Literary Festival, Cheshire

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Thanks to Chris Sullivan for sending Blogging Woolf this image of a recipe for Angelica Garnett’s Cherry Tart. It’s from Jans Ondaatje Rolls’  The Bloomsbury Cookbook: Recipes for Life, Love and Art, published this spring.

The book offers more than 180 recipes — some handwritten and never before published — from Frances Partridge, Helen Anrep and David and Angelica Garnett.
Bloomsbury Recipe

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Gloomsbury, a series on the BBC’s Radio 4, is a spoof of the Bloomsbury Group that follows the fortunes ofGloomsbury Vera Sackcloth-Vest, a writer, gardener and transvestite.

Its second season, which will air later this month, features the last performances of the late actor Roger Lloyd Pack who died nearly two months ago of pancreatic cancer. He plays the amorous gardener Gosling and long-suffering husband Lionel Fox.

 

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Once again, Virginia Woolf has influenced runway fashions, this time at London Fashion Week. Check out these links for references to Woolf, Charleston, Bloomsbury and fashion:Screen Shot 2014-02-22 at 10.08.39 AM

  • Handpainted Burberry fashions, a la Charleston Farmhouse. Read the New York Times story.
  • London Fashion Week autumn/winter 2014 blog: Days one, two and three in The Telegraph.
  • “The inspiration is Virginia Woolf — very poetic and super fragile as if the girl has never been out in the sun,” said the makeup artist in a Women’s Wear Daily story that also refers to the Woolf look as “a bit of a mad woman.”

Read fashion sightings from the past.

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BloomsburyCookbook_title_26523A Bloomsbury cookbook promising a combination of food, life, love and art, will be available in hardcover on April 22.

The Bloomsbury Cookbook: Recipes for Life, Love and Art by Jans Ondaatje Rolls offers more than 180 recipes — some handwritten and never before published — from Frances Partridge, Helen Anrep and David and Angelica Garnett. The recipes, according to publisher Thames & Hudson, promise to “take us into the very heart” the world of the Bloomsbury Group by recreating mealtime atmospheres at locations such as Monk’s House, Charleston Farmhouse and Gordon Square.

The publisher is billing the book as more than a cookbook. Its photographs, letters, journals and paintings will contribute a social history angle as well. It is priced at £24.95.

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