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Posts Tagged ‘Bloomsbury’

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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Originally posted on SuchFriends Blog:

…The Omega Workshops open their doors. Using money inherited from a Quaker uncle, painter and critic Roger Fry, 46, along with his Bloomsbury painter friends, Vanessa Bell, 34, and Duncan Grant, 28, produce textiles, ceramics, home furnishings—a whole range of art and decoration, for sale at 33 Fitzroy Square.

#33 Fitzroy Square, home of the Omega Workshops

#33 Fitzroy Square, home of the Omega Workshops

A few doors down from the house Vanessa’s sister, Virginia Woolf, 31, had shared with their brother, it is also convenient walking distance from where Vanessa and her husband, art critic Clive, 31, live with their two children.

Planning the opening celebration, Vanessa writes to Roger:  “We should get all our disreputable and…aristocratic friends to come, and after dinner we should repair to Fitzroy Square where there should be decorated furniture, painted walls, etc. There we should all get drunk and dance and kiss, orders would flow in and the aristocrats would feel…

View original 152 more words

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This video offers a fascinating inside look at Charleston Farmhouse, also known as “Bloomsbury in the Country.”

It includes an interview with Virginia Nicholson – who calls the home “nicely messy” — and offers lovely views of the gardens and the countryside.

Nicholson is the author of Millions Like Us, Singled Out and Among the Bohemians and is the daughter of Virginia Woolf’s nephew and biographer Quentin Bell.

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In this collection of Woolf sightings, Virginia is quoted regarding Wikipedia’s “woman problem” (6), the character of Edith in the remake of The Great Gatsby dismisses the famous author entirely (10) and Anne Olivier Bell lays Bloosmbury bare in a tell-all interview with The Independent (15).

  1. The Last Class: Beth Flynn, HumanitiesMichigan Tech NewsScreen Shot 2013-05-23 at 4.28.32 PM
    The students read James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf and others, and for their finale they presented on their final papers. One student asked of Lawrence: “sexist or savvy?” Another looked at androgyny in Woolf via Alice Walker. Another …
  2. Double vision, The Economist (blog)
    Their method—having their actors or opera singers use hand-held cameras to frame and shoot the scene which plays above the stage—developed out of Woolf’s own experiments with literary form. “Virginia Woolf’s writing created the idea,” says Ms …
  3. Coming of age in the nuclear age with ‘Ginger and Rosa’Monterey County Herald
    After a screening at last year’s Telluride Film Festival, it became clear that I hadn’t just loved Potter’s adaptation of “Orlando,” starring Tilda Swinton as Virginia Woolf’s gender-shifting character; or “Yes” (Joan Allen as a married scientist who 
  4. Annie Leibovitz: PilgrimageHuffington Post
    She went to nearly thirty places, including the homes of Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Elvis Presley, Thomas Jefferson, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Ansel Adams. She followed 
  5. Abbott cares for mums, but why so little support? – Brisbane TimesBrisbane Times
    He might, for all we know, have a Virginia Woolf voodoo doll that he jams full of pins when he’s bored. All these things may be true, but so is this: Abbott’s paid parental leave scheme is vastly superior to the Labor government’s legislated scheme 
  6. BETWEEN THE LINES: Wikipedia’s woman problemLivemint
    Virginia Woolf touched on the intricacy of this “problem” in her comment on Max Beerbohm in “The Modern Essay.” “We only know that the spirit of personality permeates every word he writes,” Woolf says of Beerbohm. “The triumph is the triumph of style.
  7. Joanna Kavenna is one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists. But will she Screen Shot 2013-05-23 at 4.04.05 PM, The Independent
    Virginia Woolf writes, “Are not reviews of current literature a perpetual illustration of the difficulty of judgement? ‘This great book,’ ‘this worthless book,’ the same book is called by both names.” All you can really do, Woolf continues, is write ..
  8. READING & WRITINGE Kantipur
    The promise of this manufactory was evident to Virginia Woolf. Throughout her fiction she attacked the problem of the world’s persistent demand upon our attention, which overcomes even the security and seclusion of a room of one’s own. Woolf asks us to ..
  9. An Apple a Day: Charting a Long Battle With AnorexiaDaily Beast
    Emma Woolf (Virginia Woolf’s great-niece) pens a memoir, now out stateside, about trying to recover from a Emma Woolfdecade-long eating disorder—and how finding love gave her hope. Share. facebook; twitter · google plus · email; print; 0. I’ve always been 
  10. Scott and Zelda, as seen through a complicated lensChicago Tribune
    Best of all, in Patti Roeder’s Edith, we get to see a woman who was far more modern and forward-thinking than her tightly corseted characters suggest. Though she may dismiss Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway” as “a 200-page excuse for not washing one’s …
  11. What’s in a Routine?
    Daily Beast
    About a third of the way through A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf describes the way Jane Austen wrote all of her novels. According to Woolf, Austen spent her days interrupted by visits and various obligations, and writing almost covertly—always 
  12. Book News: Microsoft Rumored To Be Interested In Buying Nook – for KUHF
    KUHF-FM
    Alex Jung considers Virginia Woolf, camp and the TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race in an essay for the Los Angeles Review of Books: “I have often thought that if I were ever a drag queen, and more specifically that if I were ever a drag queen who was a 
  13. A recording studio in the garden: How creativity comes in shedloads, The Independent
    George Bernard Shaw wrote Pygmalion from his garden shed in Hertfordshire, which was built on a turntable, which turned to face the sun; Roald Dahl wrote most of his children’s books in his Buckinghamshire “writing hut”; Virginia Woolf wrote in her ..
  14. All About The New Books!, Oman Daily Observer
    By Majed Al Sulaimany — • Be yourself, everyone else is taken! — Oscar Wilde • If you do not tell the truth about yourself; you cannot tell it about other people! — Virginia Woolf • Say what is true, although it may be bitter and displeasing to 
  15. Bloomsbury laid bare: The last member of the famous artistic set reveals allThe Independent
    It is more than 70 years since Virginia Woolf last put pen to paper. And 50 since her sister Vanessa Bell put away her paints. In 1941, Virginia filled her pockets with stones and walked out into the River Ouse, never to return. Vanessa died peacefully 
  16. There’s no such thing as the wrong sort of bookThe Independent
    “There is a great tradition of English, a canon of transcendent works, and Breaking Dawn is not one of them.” Neither was Middlemarch the minute it was published of course, though it became quite popular, Virginia Woolf praising it in The Common Reader 
  17. Inversion therapy: Dan Brown’s cure for writer’s block put to the testTelegraph.co.uk
    Comments. Writers block – the curse of so many great authors. Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Joseph Conrad, Andrew Motion and Hilary Mantel have all complained that occasionally they just don’t know where the next word is coming from.
  18. Reporter spends a day in Dan Brown’s boots – Calgary HeraldCalgary Herald
    Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Joseph Conrad, Andrew Motion and Hilary Mantel have all admitted to occasional writer’s block. Now the renowned best-seller Dan Brown has joined this literary hall of fame. It may be hard to tell from 
  19. Why ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ Still MattersThe AwlMrs. Dalloway
    Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway was published on this day in 1925. Set on a single day in London, in June of 1923, it tells the parallel stories of Clarissa Dalloway, who is throwing a party, and Septimus Warren Smith, a shell-shocked World War One veteran.
  20. Who Was Afraid of Viviane Forrester?Jewish Daily Forward
     Iconoclastic French-Jewish Novelist and Essayist. Woolf At The Door: Viviane Forrester’s last book was a biography of Virginia Woolf 
  21. Meditation on MortalityWall Street Journal
    There was a time when most educated people would have recognized Lincoln’s reference: “Gray’s Elegy,” wrote Leslie Stephen (the father of Virginia Woolf), “includes more familiar phrases than any poem of equal length in the language.” Its 32 stanzas 
  22. Defending depth in the time of 140 characters or less – Sydney Morning HeraldSydney Morning Herald
    In her essay Mr Bennett and Mrs Brown, Virginia Woolf offers a polemic against the Edwardian novelists and their reliance on the outer trappings of character, descriptions failing, she says, to provide a ”single person we know”. Woolf argued 
  23. Student entrepreneurs: what are you waiting for?Telegraph.co.uk
    Comments. It’s 9.00am and I’m in a seminar on Virginia Woolf’s Orlando; there’s a discussion about modern femininity taking place and I can’t quite remember my opinions on gender-neutral toilets. My brain feels hazy; four hours ago I was napping on the 
  24. Third Tuesday Book Club: Favorite reads and rules for successWashington Post
    “Mrs. Dalloway” by Virginia Woolf. “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. “The Magus” by John Fowles. “The Nine Tailors” by Dorothy L. Sayers. “Stones for Ibarra” by Harriet Doerr. Third Tuesday Book Club’s rules for book club success. 1. Pick a 
  25. Even Khaled Hosseini Can’t Tell Stories as Effectively as He Wants toThe Atlantic
    Herman Melville scribbled changes onto the final proofs of Moby-Dick until the printer’s deadlines could wait no longer; in her journals, Virginia Woolf announced at least four separate times that she’d finally completed The Waves. Writers often keep 

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 I finally read Pat Barker’s Toby’s Room. My library’s reservation system is fantastic but does require some patience! Paula first Toby's Roommentioned it here last summer, noting the allusions—in more than the title—to Woolf’s Jacob’s Room, as did Hermione Lee, who reviewed it for The Guardian.

I read Barker’s Life Class around that time before I knew it was the prequel to Toby’s Room, and I posted on the “near sightings,” the Bloomsbury references when the protagonist, Slade art student Elinor Brooke, has tea at Ottoline Morrell’s.

Elinor’s brother Toby, like Jacob before him, dies serving in World War I, and like Jacob is revealed mostly through family and friends. Toby’s Room is still Elinor’s story, in which she seeks to unearth the mysterious details of his death. Woolf appears in entries from Elinor’s diary. She records her impressions from a weekend at Charleston Farmhouse, presumably at the invitation of Vanessa Bell:

“VB was in the drawing room when I arrived, with her sister, Mrs. Woolf. I’ve met her more than once, though I don’t think she remembered me and gave me a lukewarm welcome. Doesn’t like young women, I suspect. I thought the talk would be well above my head, but they were quite relaxed and gossipy and we chatted on easily enough. Or they did. I was too nervous to say much. It was like listening to an old married couple. They’ve got that habit of completing each other’s sentences…”

The other guests are “the conscientiously objecting young men” working at the farm, none of whom, she realizes, are going to be interested in her. There’s talk of the war at dinner, and Woolf talks about “how women are outside the political process and therefore the war’s got nothing to do with them.”

Elinor is struck by Woolf’s observation but finds it less convincing when she later tries to echo the sentiment herself. Barker has no such problem making her case. In both novels, she challenges readers to explore the role of art and artists in time of war, heightening the drama with real, fictional and hybrid characters as she did in her Regeneration trilogy.

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The Word Bookstore, an independent secondhand bookstore in Montreal, has acquired the collection of the late S. P. Rosenbaum, according to a message from Emily Kopley to the VWoolf Listserv.

English: The Word Bookstore at 469 Milton Stre...

English: The Word Bookstore at 469 Milton Street in Montreal, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rosenbaum, who in Woolf circles was best known for his work on the literary history of the Bloomsbury Group, died in Nova Scotia at the age of 83 last year.

Kopley said the material acquired by the Word Bookstore includes many first editions, association copies and early Woolf scholarship.

Word Bookstore owner Adrian King-Edwards can be contacted by phone at 514-845-5640 and by email at wordbook@securenet.net.

The shop invites booklovers to visit its Facebook page for updates on new arrivals.

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Where the bombs fell in London

sample of dataStudents find the most interesting things online.

A grad student of Elisa Kay Sparks of Clemson University found a new website, The Bomb Sight project, that shows where German bombs fell in London from Oct. 7, 1940, through June 6, 1941, the period of time known as the Blitz.  Visitors to the site can zoom in and out to see individual city blocks, including the Bloomsbury and Tavistock Square area.

Previously available only for viewing in the Reading Room at The National Archives, Bomb Sight is making the maps available to citizen researchers, academics and students. They will be able to explore where the bombs fell and to discover memories and photographs from the period.

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Cover of "Life Class: A Novel"

Pat Barker’s new novel, Toby’s Room, hasn’t been released in the States yet, but I’m looking forward to it eagerly, with its allusions to Jacob’s Room. Instead, I found the 2008 Life Class at the library and snapped it up. Only later did I recall having heard that Toby’s Room is a sequel to Life Class; my reading it first is purely serendipitous.

Barker is in her most familiar territory, World War I, in this story about Paul and Elinor, who meet as painting students at the Slade. When the war starts, Paul leaves his studies to serve as an ambulance driver in France. Toby is Elinor’s brother, a medical student, and he too enlists. Elinor and Paul correspond regularly, and she writes to him about an exciting encounter:

“I’ve been to tea with Lady Ottoline Morrell! I never thought I’d live to see the day. I met her at the Camden Street Gallery and she looked at me very intently for a long time and then she said in that vague way of hers, wafting a jeweled hand about above her head, You must come to tea sometime. Do come to tea….” Elinor is prepared to dismiss this as idle chatter until she receives a written invitation, which she accepts. She describes the encounter to Paul: “She’s not easy to talk to, though she is interested in everything you say. You feel she’s listening, not just waiting for the chance to make some clever remark her self like most of that Bloomsbury crowd….”

A group at Garsington Manor, country home of L...

A group at Garsington Manor, country home of Lady Ottoline Morrell, near Oxford. Left to right: Lady Ottoline Morrell, Mrs. Aldous Huxley, Lytton Strachey, Duncan Grant, and Vanessa Bell. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The acquaintanceship continues. Elinor isn’t totally comfortable; she feels that Lady Ott wants something from her—”She seems to be drawing your soul out of your body … a kind of cannibalism”—but she’s swept up in the milieu. She writes to Paul about a party at which Ott holds up a purple feather boa and hands it to “a tall etiolated man with a straggly beard who wrapped it around his neck and immediately started to dance a minuet….” What do you think—Lytton? Later, Elinor is “seized by a man who looked like a highly intelligent teddy bear and spoke with dry, devouring passion about how the war must stop, now, at once, this instant, keeping his gaze fixed on my bosom the while…” Clive?

Woolf isn’t mentioned, but you sense her in the shadows, perhaps in deep conversation with someone or other on a velvet covered settee. And apparently Elinor will meet her in Toby’s Room.

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Time is running out to see “A Room of Their Own: The Bloomsbury Artists in American Collections” exhibit. The largest collection of Bloomsbury art to have been shown in the states for almost a decade, the exhibit will be in the U.S.  through Sept. 26.

Here are the details:

What: A Room of Their Own: The Bloomsbury Artists in American Collections
Where: Palmer Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa.
What: An exhibition of paintings, watercolors, drawings and books from the Hogarth Press and decorative works and designs from the Bloomsbury Group

Special events are planned as part of this exhibition. They include:

  • Bloomsbury guided tours of the exhibition
  • gallery talks by co-curator Christopher Reed and others
  • furniture-painting workshop a la Bloomsbury for adults
  • T-shirt and box painting and collage workshops for children
  • discussion of A Room of One’s Own
  • a film series, including “Carrington,” “The Hours,” “Maurice” and “A Passage to India.”

Read Benjamin Harvey’s review. Get the exhibit catalogue, the cover of which is pictured above.

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An archive of Bloomsbury group letters from two collections is being opened to public viewing at Cambridge University for the first time, according to a Guardian report.

Both collections belonged to the novelist Rosamond Lehmann and the diarist and writer Frances Partridge, who became friends at Cambridge. The archive, acquired by King’s College, Cambridge, includes more than 1,000 pages of letters and 30 photo albums.

Of particular note are those letters by and pertaining to Virginia Woolf and her death. Included among them is an April 3, 1941, letter from Clive Bell to Partridge, written while Woolf was missing yet had not been declared dead.

See photographs from Partridge’s Bloomsbury collection. Read more in the Daily Mail and the New Zealand Herald.

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