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Posts Tagged ‘Cecil Woolf’

With the exception of Virginia and Leonard Woolf themselves, Caroline Zoob and her husband Jonathan are thevw garden only two people who have had access to the garden at Monk’s House year in and year out. But we can all get a glimpse of the year-round beauty of that special place through Virginia Woolf’s Garden: The Story of the Garden at Monk’s House

As Zoob puts it in her Introduction, the couple “opened the curtains each day to see the garden spread out below, still shaped according to Leonard’s inspiration” during their decade-long tenancy of Monk’s House, from 2000-2011.

And in his Foreward to the volume, Cecil Woolf, Leonard’s nephew, offers recollections that go back even farther. He writes about his visits, beginning in 1936, to “that charming house and garden” where he pushed open “the creaking wooden gate” to what he remembers as a “little Eden.” The book, he writes, “brings back memories of long-ago visits before and after the war.”

Story of a home and garden’s evolution

Zoob’s 192-page book is divided into seven chapters that tell the story of the home and the garden’s evolution since 1919, when the Woolfs discovered the home in Rodmell, Sussex and were immediately enamored of the garden. The hefty book gives us a tour of that garden and fills in the background as well. And at the end of each chapter, a different garden “room” is described in detail.

Featured throughout are full-color photographs by Caroline Arber, who was a frequent visitor to Monk’s House during the Zoob’s tenure at the home. The photos include wide views of garden elements such as The Flower Walk — the borders running from the lawn steps to the Orchard — and crisp close-ups of individual flowers, such as Leonard’s beloved roses. They show Monk’s House and its garden transformed by the seasons — with the bursting bulbs of spring, the vibrantly colorful blooms of summer and the snow-capped garden sculptures of winter.

Old alongside the new

Archival photos of the Woolfs and their friends at Monk’s House are juxtaposed alongside photos of Monk’s House in the present day. An old photo that I had never before seen pictures Virginia standing outside her first writing lodge, which was converted from a toolshed. Zoob found the photo at Sissinghurst, and although a cropped version was printed in Volume 3 of Woolf’s Letters, the untrimmed new version includes the loft ladder.

Leonard's desk, as pictured on Pages 122-123.

Leonard’s desk, as pictured on Pages 122-123.

Interior close-ups of such things as both Virginia’s and Leonard’s writing desks are a special treat. Others show intimate views of details not available to visitors to the house. One includes an oak step leading toward the kitchen that is visibly work with use. Another is a 1970 photo showing the kitchen before the National Trust remodeled it for tenants.

Charming garden layouts in textiles

Another charming element of the book are the garden layouts. At first glance, they all look like watercolor sketches — and some of them are — but upon closer inspection it is clear others are textile art — a combination of embroidery and appliqué with inserted text.

Treasure available Oct. 14

The Italian Garden, picture in fabric art at left and in a photograph at right.

The Italian Garden, pictured in fabric art at left and in a photograph at right.

The book, an indispensable treasure for any Woolf fan, Anglophile, or gardener, will be available in hardback from from Jacqui Small Publishing Oct. 14.

Zoob, an embroiderer and textile artist, is the author of The Hand-Stitched Home and Childhood Treasures.

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The Legacy Libraries Project has recreated the personal library of Leonard and Virginia Woolf online.

The project recreates personal libraries held by writers, philosophers, politicians, etc. who have passed away. If possible, it includes a full catalogue of their books, including all bibliographic details to allow for easy searches and a quick book comparison between the members’ accounts.

Colm Guerin recently completed the Woolfs’ library based on the records held by the Washington Statelegacy library University and the Harry Ransom Center. Both facilities obtained their collections after Leonard’s death with the purchase of books from Trekkie Parsons and Cecil Woolf.

Each entry includes the details of any inscription, signature, or dedication made to or from the Woolfs, including the details for Sir Leslie Stephen’s books, which were obtained by Virginia after his death. Guerin said that to the best of his knowledge, it is now the most complete resource for searching the Woolfs’ substantial collection.

Guerin plans to make additions to the account, including a tagging system, reviews of publications written by Leonard and Virginia, and additional uploads of dust jackets published by the Hogarth Press.

A permanent link to this resource is included in the right sidebar. It is titled “Woolf Library” and is located  under the heading “Woolf Resources.”

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Emma Woolf

Emma Woolf

This round of Woolf sightings includes the sightings (16-19) of a live Woolf, Emma Woolf, the daughter of Leonard and Virginia’s nephew, Cecil Woolf and author Jean Moorcroft Wilson.

Her book, The Ministry of Thin: How the Pursuit of Perfection Got Out of Control, was published June 3. She is also the author of An Apple A Day: A Memoir of Love and Recovery From Anorexia. Her eponymous column is published by The Times.

Emma wrote about her Great Aunt Virginia in a May 25 piece in The Mail in which she shares her father’s reminiscences about Virginia, along with quotes from letters, diaries and biographical material regarding her aunt’s illnesses and eating habits.

  1. Why Doesn’t Mrs. Dalloway Get a Day of Her Own?Slate Magazine
    This year, a handful of literary folk in London celebrated another modernist masterpiece, Virginia Woolf’s slender Mrs. Dalloway—which also takes place on a single day in June—by taking a walk around London. They walked “in the spirit of Bloomsday 
  2. 10 things we learned from the London 2014 menswear collections, The Guardian
    Meadham Kirchhoff’s collection, inspired in part by Virginia Woolf’s gender-blending novel Orlando, had twisted cute accessories – rubber carrier bags covered with brightly coloured felt animals – that will definitely have female fans too. Sharing a 
  3. Guess who’s coming to dinnerSouth China Morning Post
    In Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf devotes the entire book to describing a house party. In the 1967 classic Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, the taboo subject of interracial marriage is dealt with at one of Hollywood’s most memorable suppers. Dinner parties 
  4. Virginia Woolf: The Charleston Bulletin SupplementsThe GuardianCharleston Bulletin Supplements
    In late 1923, Virginia Woolf was writing Mrs Dalloway. She had got to the “mad scene” in Regent’s Park; it was intense and disturbing work. But there were all sorts of other things going on in her life, and here is one of them: she was collaborating 
  5. Virginia Woolf and Quentin Bell’s Charleston Bulletin supplements – in picturesThe Guardian
    When the 13-year-old Quentin Bell asked his aunt, Virginia Woolf, to contribute to a magazine he was putting together for his family it was the beginning of a collaboration which lasted for five years. Take a look at some of the highlights from the 
  6. Couture presentsher Senior NovelMorning Sentinel
    These presentations are the culmination of intensive research and writing on a major English-language novel and are required of all senior English majors in order to satisfy degree requirements. Couture passed her presentation on Virginia Woolf’s
  7. Still a long way to go to full equalityThis is Nottingham
    But, as novelist Virginia Woolf told female undergraduates at Oxford and Cambridge, having the vote was not enough. . To achieve equality, women needed both financial independence and “space”. This underlines the continuing tension hindering 
  8. Room of his own: Man caves thrive
    San Jose Mercury News
    Nearly a century ago, Virginia Woolf argued that a woman needed a room of her own. What would she say now that it’s men who are demanding more than a workbench in the corner of a cluttered garage? “Men are actively pursuing retreat spaces in their 
  9. Rare TS Eliot book under hammer
    Littlehampton Gazette
    The book was published by the Hogarth Press, a private press founded by Eliot’s friends Leonard andVirginia Woolf, with the type thought to be hand-set by Virginia. It is an edition of about 460 copies. It was donated to Oxfam by Colin Cohen who was 
  10. ‘I will not recommend this book to anyone, not even my enemies': The Internet 
    New York Daily News (blog)
    Using Amazon and Goodreads as its sources, “Love Reading, Hate Books” aggregates one-star reviews of everyone from Virginia Woolf (“I really didn’t care if they made it to the lighthouse or not”) to Beowulf (“Did the ideas of holes in the plot never 
  11. Karen Russell: All fiction is autobiographical, Salon
    Those are the kinds of authors that Karen Russell admires (she cites Flannery O’Connor and Virginia Woolf among them), and it’s the kind of writer she happens to be. Russell has been hailed for her “original voice” ever since she published her first 
  12. Beat Generation brought to life in new showKent News
    Their last production was Because Of The Moon, a play about Virginia Woolf. The play focuses on the Beat Generation writers of the 1950s, including Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, whose lifestyles and work was based on drugs, sex 
  13. Odd Type WritersHuffington Post
    As a young writer Virginia Woolf preferred to stand while she wrote. Her desk was three and a half feet tall. Quentin Bell, Woolf’s nephew, concluded that the habit was spurred by sibling rivalry. Woolf’s sister Vanessa was an artist who painted at an 
  14. A tale of ordinary madnessThe Independent
    My early heroines had been Sylvia Plath and her Bell Jar, Virginia Woolf before The Hours, andWinona Ryder in Girl, Interrupted. Their breakdowns were a rite of passage for the posh, liberal and bohemian. These were my poster-girls (and they were 
  15. Soldier’s HomeWall Street Journal
    Post-traumatic stress disorder, what was once known as shell shock or battle fatigue, has been memorably depicted in fiction—from Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway” to William Wharton’s “Birdy” to Philip Caputo’s “Indian Country.” Yet because these 
  16. Room to writeWorld Magazine
    Virginia Woolf insisted that in order for a woman to write she needed money and a room of her own. So upon graduating from college, I set out to make a room of my own to write in. I chose an available space in the top of the family shed that had 
  17. What We’re ReadingNew York Times (blog)ministry of thin
    The Guardian: Virginia Woolf’s great-niece, a recovered anorexic, suggests that her aunt also had from the disease. This adds yet another layer of poignancy and complexity to a woman who once wrote, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one 
  18. Book News: Amazon’s Bubbles, Semicolon RapNew Yorker (blog)
    Virginia Woolf’s great-niece says that she believes her great-aunt suffered from anorexia. In the Los Angeles Review of Books, Leo Braudy on the new documentary “Plimpton! Starring George Plimptonas Himself” and Plimpton’s “tantalizing blend of 
  19. Virginia Woolf was anorexic, claims great nieceThe Guardian
    Virginia Woolf‘s great niece has suggested that her great aunt suffered from anorexia nervosa. Emma Woolf, who has written a memoir of her own recovery from the eating disorder, says she experienced a “painful moment of recognition” when she saw a 
  20. Did great-aunt Virginia Woolf have anorexia? Her great niece, a former Daily Mail
    However, it was during Virginia’s third breakdown in 1913, aged 31, less than a year after her marriage to the writer and publisher Leonard Woolf, that signs of anorexia become apparent: ‘The most difficult and distressing problem was to get Virginia 
  21. iHeart Locket Digitally Protects Your Girls’ DiaryTechlicious (blog)iheart-locket-300px
    From Virginia Woolf to DJ Tanner, keeping a diary has long been a rite of passage for girls. Now, a company named DanoToys is trying to bring the diary into the 21st century with the iHeart Locket, a Bluetooth-powered necklace that unlocks a journaling 
  22. Parallels and paradoxes in Israeli artist’s one-woman group showHaaretz
    In this part it is possible to see some of her most beautiful and important works, among them “The Circle by Virginia” (1975-1976), which refers to Virginia Woolf and appears in two versions (two-dimensional and three-dimensional), and the work 
  23. Review: Kate Tempest at Lyric 2013ForgeToday
    Tempest Kate Tempest is an act who truly encompasses what Lyric is all about; alternative and thoroughly modern. Tempest cites her key influences as including Virginia Woolf, William Blake and Wu-Tang Clan. A cacophony of literary references mixed with 
  24. Eat That, GalanosDrift | Perspective(s) in surfing
    Using Ernest Hemingway’s reflective line as a title and the words of Virginia Woolf and local surf pro Alan Stokes in voice over ‘EAT THAT, GALANOS’ peeks at man’s nocturnal relationship with the ocean and as surfing as an inconsequential by-product of 
  25. The Trials Of Radclyffe Hall by Diana Souhami – reviewThe GuardianThe-Trials-of-Radclyffe-Hall
    Hall’s novel The Well of Loneliness – a gloomy account of the struggles of a “congenital invert” that even sympathetic writers such as Virginia Woolf struggled to defend artistically – was put on trial under the Obscene Publications Act in 1928 
  26. Krista: Making a case for the classicsCincinnati.com
    Contemporary romance writer Debbie Macomber may fill two shelves while literary giant Virginia Woolfis, alas, still searching for some room of her own. Now, no one loves Dostoyevsky more than a library, and if you request a classic, it will be sent to 
  27. The Woman Upstairs, By Claire MessudThe Independent
    Nora finds inspiration in sharing a studio with her and begins working on a series of miniature rooms of iconic women artists on the edge – Emily Dickinson visited by “the angelic muse, her beloved death”,Virginia Woolf at Rodmell writing her suicide 
  28. Pierrot LunairHuffington Post
    Wayne’s Pierrot Lunaire assumes that the New York School that it constantly refers to is the center of everyone’s world: a world in which Susan Sontag and Virginia Woolf interact with Mae West, Patty Duke and Diana Vreeland through the lens of a newly 

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Cecil Woolf Publishers’ new monographs usually come out in June to coincide with the Annual International Conference on 2012 monographsVirginia Woolf, but publication of the 2012 monographs was delayed. Now, the long-awaited list of new volumes in his two series, the Bloomsbury Heritage and The War Poets, is here.

Bloomsbury Heritage Series

  • Virginia Woolf and the Spanish Civil War: Texts, Contexts & Women’s Narratives by Lolly Ockerstrom
  • Walking in the Footsteps of Michel de Montaigne by Judith Allen
  • Virginia Woolf as a ‘Cubist Writer’ by Sarah Latham Phillips
  • How Should One Read a Marriage?: Private Writings, Public Readings, and Leonard and Virginia Woolf by Drew Patrick Shannon
  • The Best of Blogging Woolf, Five Years On by Paula Maggio
  • Virginia Woolf’s Likes and Dislikes, Collected and Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Paula Maggio

The War Poets Series

  • Isaac Rosenberg, War Poet as Painter by Jean Moorcroft Wilson
  • T.E. Hulme: ‘One of the War Poets’ by David Worthington
  • Apollinaire: Poet of War and Peace by Jacqueline Peltier
  • Alan Seeger: the American Rupert Brooke? by Phil Carradice
  • Soldier Songs of the Second World War, selected and edited with an Introduction and Notes by Roger Press

See a complete list of the monographs in both of these series.

All of the books published by Cecil Woolf Publishers are available directly from:

Cecil Woolf Publishing, 1 Mornington Place, London NW1 7RP, England, Tel: 020 7387 2394 (or +44 (0)20 7387 2394 from outside the UK). Prices range from £4.50 to £9.95. For more information, contact cecilwoolf@gmail.com.

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Cecil Woolf and Jean Moorcroft Wilson

Jean Moorcroft Wilson and Cecil Woolf are featured in an article about World War I poet Edward Thomas posted today on the Islington Tribune website.

Wilson, who is writing a biography of Thomas, spoke about him at an event at the Imperial War Museum on the eve of Remembrance Day. She is the author of biographies of World War I poets Isaac Rosenberg (2005) and Siegfried Sassoon (2009).

Churchill biographer Martin Wilson also spoke at the event, describing the conditions on the Western Front during the Great War.

Wilson serves as editor for many monographs in the Bloomsbury Heritage Series and the War Poets Series published by her husband, Cecil Woolf of Cecil Woolf Publishers, which is based in London.

She also wrote the text that every Woolfian consults when planning a trip to England in the hopes of following in Virginia Woolf’s footsteps. It’s titled Virginia Woolf, Life and London: A Biography of Place.

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I love getting post from abroad. Everything about it is charming: the feel of the envelope, the look of the stamps, even the fact that “U.S.A.” is included in the address.

I never rip it right open. I usually hold the letter in my hands for a minute, thinking about the long distance it has come, the water it has crossed, the person on the other end who has taken the time to sit down and put pen to paper.

Sometimes I have to wait for the right moment before I can open it. I never want to read a letter from abroad when I am agitated or in a hurry or distracted by some mundane matter.

But when the moment is right, I settle down on my favorite sofa, the one where the late afternoon sun slants across my shoulder. In that calm and quiet spot, I carefully slit open the envelope. I sip the words slowly, letting them swish around in my mind. I savor their flavor and their meaning. I note their nuances and subtleties. I picture the person who wrote it and the place where he wrote.

A letter, an old-fashioned handwritten letter from abroad, is something I can tuck in my book and read again later. It is something I can take with me wherever I go. It is something I can save forever, tied up with others like it, bound together and stored in a drawer.

So where is the Virginia Woolf connection in all of this? Well, we all know she wrote and received lots of letters — volumes in fact. Five of them sit on my bookshelf.

But two other things have made me think about letters. The first was a note I received from Cecil Woolf, nephew of Leonard and Virginia, who wrote to say that he and his wife Jean Moorcroft Wilson had spent 12 days in South Africa, where they spoke at the University of Capetown. Cecil’s talk was titled “As I Remember Them: Virginia and Leonard Woolf.” His missive was dated Jan. 26, and I thought about the significance of that date as well.

Cecil Woolf

The second thing that made me think about letters was the much-discussed news that Angelica Garnett has published a new volume of short stories, The Unspoken Truth: A Quartet of Bloomsbury Stories. These stories are not letters. But Garnett has been quoted as saying that the stories are autobiographical, not invented, for the most part.

Those things led me to ponder the similarities between real life and fiction and the differences between real life stories and the lives we share via letters. Both are edited, either formally or informally. Both alter the realities of our daily lives. Both stay true to those realities.

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9780712305938Last night I spoke about walking in Virginia Woolf’s footsteps when I traveled to England several years ago. The occasion was a meeting of the Medina County Branch of AAUW.

As I talked about the sights and sounds of London, Sussex, Kent and Cornwall that connect to Virginia’s life and work, several thoughts struck me.

Since AAUW is an organization that promotes equity for women in girls in both the workplace and in educational settings, I felt compelled to remark on Virginia’s lack of opportunity for formal education.

And since I spoke about meeting Cecil Woolf and Dr. Ruth Gruber at Woolf conferences — two people who had known or met Virginia — I got to thinking about how special it is to have seen and heard her in person.

Those experiences are impossible for us today. But a two-disc CD set from the British Library allows us to experience Virginia and other members of the Bloomsbury group in another way.

The Spoken Word: The Bloomsbury Group” came out this month. Producers searched  the BBC archives to present 24 recordings of the group’s major figures talking in their own words. Many of them are rare and previously unreleased.

According to the London Review Bookshop‘s Web site, “Highlights include Virginia Woolf talking about the importance of language, Leonard Woolf’s who’s who of the Bloomsburys, Duncan Grant discussing the infamous ‘Dreadnought’ hoax and Elizabeth Bowen describing legendary Bloomsbury parties.” You can get the full list here.

Woolf’s voice, along with those of other great writers of the 20th century, can also be heard on a three-disc set of CDs produced by the British Library called “The Spoken Word: British Writers.” Read more.

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