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Posts Tagged ‘Leonard 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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A CNBC story reports on a collection of Virginia Woolf’s letters and other items that is for sale en bloc for $4 million. The letters are beingCNBC letter sold by Glenn Horowitz Bookseller in Manhattan.

They include letters from Woolf to her nephew Julian Bell, as well as letters from Leonard Woolf, Vanessa Bell and Vita Sackville-West.

The most poignant, said Horowitz during the CNBC interview, is one written by Vita Sackville-West, describing Woolf’s suicide and the days leading up to the discovery of her body. “It’s really one of the most touching collections of letters I’ve had the privilege of handling,” Horowitz said.

The private collection was built over a period of 40 years by William B. Beekman, who started collecting Woolf items as a Harvard undergraduate before Quentin Bell’s 1972 biography brought her renewed interest from the academy, according to Horowitz’s site. Included in the collection are items that span Woolf’ life, such as photographs, letters, inscribed books and dust jackets.

Although the CNBC story put the value of the collection at $4 million, the Horowitz website prices it at $4.5 million. The collection was put on the market and exhibited in East Hampton last July.

In 2011, Horowitz published a digital catalog of Bloomsbury materials to its website. Virginia Woolf, The Hogarth Press, and The Bloomsbury Group contains more than 150 first editions, association copies, letters and more.

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This season, Monk’s House is holding a number of events and workshops and a series of summer lectures for the first time.

Virginia Woolf's writing Lodge at Monk's House

Virginia Woolf’s writing Lodge at Monk’s House

Bookings for all events can be made by telephoning 01273 474760 or visiting the shop in Rodmell.

Dog Days

Dates: 5 dates between 16 June 2013 and 20 October 2013
Price: Free event (normal admission charges apply)

There’s no need to leave the dog at home today, this is a unique  opportunity for your four-legged friends to enjoy the gardens at Monk’s House. Whether Bassett or bulldog, they will have a fantastic time exploring the grounds.

Botanical Flower Painting

Dates: 19 June 2013 10 a.m.
Price: Adult 60 (inc. lunch and private access to Monk’s House)

Weather permitting, the course will start with sketching in Monk’s House Garden, followed by guidance on different painting techniques. Booking essential

Garden Tour

Dates: 5 dates between 20 June 2013 and 17 October 2013
Price: Free event (normal admission charges apply)

Leonard Woolf was a keen gardener, whilst Virginia took much inspiration from the garden for her works. Join a guided tour to find out more about the trees, plants, flowers and history of this beautiful Bloomsbury garden.

“Leonard and Virginia, as I Remember Them” by Cecil Woolf

Dates: 21 June 2013 7:30 p.m.
Price: Adult 10 (includes a glass of wine)

Among many other works, Cecil Woolf publishes the Bloomsbury monographs, which celebrate the life, work and times of the members of the Bloomsbury Group. He was fourteen when his Aunt Virginia died, and had paid a number of visits to the Woolfs at Rodmell and in London. In this talk he will reveal fascinating insights into his time spent at Monk’s House, and his childhood recollections of Leonard and Virginia. Booking Essential.

An Introduction to Virginia Woolf by Sarah M. Hall

Dates: 5 July 2013 7:30 p.m
Price: Adult 10 (includes a glass of wine)

Learn more about Rodmell’s most famous resident, with writer and editor Sarah M. Hall. Sarah is a prominent member of the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain, a regular contributor to the Virginia Woolf Bulletin, and author of Before Leonard: The Early Suitors of Virginia Woolf and The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury. Booking Essential.

To the River by Olivia Laing

Dates: 19 July 2013 7:30 p.m.
Price: Adult 10 (includes a glass of wine)

Shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize and the Dolman Travel Book of the Year, To the River is the story of the Ouse, the Sussex river in which Virginia Woolf drowned in 1941. Booking Essential.

Monk’s House Garden by Caroline Zoob

Dates: 2 August 2013 7:30 p.m.
Price: Adult 10 (includes a glass of wine)

Caroline Zoob, celebrated textile designer and embroiderer, and her husband Jonathan, were the last tenants at Monk’s House, where they spent 10 years caring for the beautiful garden. 2013 will see the publication of  Caroline’s book about the remarkable garden that Leonard Woolf created, and in this talk she will reveal fascinating insights into how it has changed  over the past 94 years. Booking Essential.

Kick-start your Writing with New Writing South

Dates: 7 August 2013 10 a.m.
Price: Adult 70 (inc. lunch and private access to Monk’s House)

Then Kick-start your writing, led by professional writer, Evlynn Sharp, is the perfect antidote. Taking inspiration from Monk’s House and its rich literary history, the day offers a wide range of creative ideas, getting you to put pen to paper. Booking Essential.

Garden Embroidery with Vintage Textiles

Dates: 4 September 2013 11 a.m.
Price: Adult 50 (inc. lunch and private access to Monk’s House)

Spend a day with celebrated textile designer and embroiderer Caroline Zoob, making a framed picture using vintage textiles and embroidery, inspired by the beautiful garden at Monk’s House. Booking Essential.

Botanical Vegetable Painting

Dates: 18 September 2013 10 a.m.
Price: Adult 60 (inc. lunch and private access to Monk’s House)

Weather permitting; the course will start with sketching in Monk’s House allotment, followed by instruction on different painting techniques, including wet on wet, dry brush, layering, and mixing colour. Inspired by Leonard Woolf’s vegetable garden, you will practise the painting skills on your chosen subject. Booking Essential

Volunteer at Monk’s House

Monk’s House is always looking for new volunteers. Anyone who would like to while away an afternoon in Virginia Woolf’s Sussex home or among the beautiful gardens may contact the house by phone at 01273 474760 or by e-mail at monkshouse@nationaltrust.org.uk.

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This video tour of Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s Monk’s House in Rodmell, Sussex was produced by the BBC and is hosted by Paul Martin.

If you haven’t walked in her steps through England — or even if you have — this is a great way to get an up-close look at the Woolfs’ longtime home.

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Outsiders Together

Outsiders Together: Virginia and Leonard Woolf by Natania Rosenfeld, available from Princeton UP

The first meeting of the Leonard Woolf Society is set for May 24, 2013, at Room G37, Senate House, Malet St., WC1, London. The time and theme will be announced later, according to organizers.

Day Symposium on Leonard Woolf’s The Village in the Jungle was held Saturday, March 9, at Hertford College, Oxford. It was hosted by the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing at Wolfson College to mark the centenary of the publication of Leonard Woolf’s path-breaking first novel, set in then Ceylon, The Village in the Jungle (1913).

Read more about the symposium.

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Personal details of Virginia Woolf’s final years are available to the public for the first time after the University of Sussex acquired this engagement diary and seven more at a Sotheby’s auction.

Personal details of Virginia Woolf’s final years are available to the public for the first time after the University of Sussex acquired this engagement diary and seven more at a Sotheby’s auction.

The University of Sussex has purchased Virginia Woolf’s small pocket engagement diaries that she used to detail her personal life from 1930 to 1941. The last entry is for March 28, 1941, which is written in pencil by  Leonard Woolf, and simply states “Died.”

The University of Sussex has purchased Virginia Woolf’s small pocket engagement diaries that she used to detail her personal life from 1930 to 1941. The last entry is for March 28, 1941, which is written in pencil by  Leonard Woolf, and simply states “Died.”

The diaries briefly record Woolf’s meetings with contemporaries, including E. M. Forster and T. S. Eliot, along with visits to her artist sister Vanessa Bell. They also indicate when she would be staying at her home Monk’s House in Rodmell, East Sussex.

Some of the diaries include pencil lines through several dates and appointments, accompanied by the word “Bed,”indicating periods when she was experiencing health problems.

The University’s Special Collections has an extensive collection of materials related to Woolf. It bought the diaries to complement the Monks House Papers, which were donated to the University’s Special Collections in 1972 and contain Woolf’s correspondence from other writers, family, friends, admirers and publishers. They also include her reading notebooks, drafts of essays and typescripts of some of her works, proofed and corrected in her own hand.

The Monks House Papers fall into three groups: letters, manuscripts and press-cuttings. There is documentation of Woolf’s career from her earliest journalism to what was possibly her final short fiction, ‘The Watering Place’, a two-page manuscript which draws on a diary entry of 1941 written shortly before her suicide.

Fiona Courage, special collections manager, said: “The collection very much represents Woolf’s ‘everyday’ life in the same way that the pocket engagement diaries do. As with the engagement diaries, our collections relate to Woolf as an individual rather than her public persona of novelist, reviewer and essayist.

“The activities recorded in these engagement diaries  may not have found their way into her more detailed daily diaries, but  are significant in terms of her daily life, her social circle and her physical and mental state. The diaries also complement a set of appointment diaries belonging to Leonard Woolf, and held within his papers at the University.”

She added that these diaries have never been made publically available for research.“By acquiring them we can now make them accessible to scholars, enthusiasts and the general public.”

The University was able to raise the £60,000 necessary to buy the diaries with support from the V&A/MLA Purchase Grant Fund*, the Friends of the National Libraries and a number of individual donors.

Besides the Monk’s House Papers and the small engagement diaries, the University of Sussex Special Collections holds the following related materials:

  • Leonard Woolf Papers
  • Charleston Papers
  • Birrell Papers
  • Nicolson Papers
  • A.O. Bell Papers
  • Quentin Bell Papers
  • Emery Collection
  • Maria Jackson Letters
  • Mrs Woolf and the Servants: research papers

Additional biographical and literary manuscripts of Virginia Woolf that were at Monk’s House are now in the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library in New York. The Berg Collection holds the largest collection of Woolf manuscripts in the world.

Read more:

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Princeton. It’s not just your grandfather’s school any more. Now it’s the name of a California band with a debut album called Bloomsbury.

The album is a four-song disc  “based on the lives of four members of the influential Bloomsbury intellectual collective of the early 20th century.”

Songs feature four well-known Bloomsbury figures — Virginia Woolf, Leonard Woolf, John Maynard Keynes and Lytton Strachey.

Song titles are: “The Waves,” “Leonard Woolf,” “Eminent Victorians,” and “Ms. Bentwich.”

Of the four, “The Waves” is the most popular one downloaded from iTunes. There, each song costs 99 cents. The whole disc can also be streamed from their Myspace page.

Read a December 2008 update about the group’s album here. Then read more about Princeton’s Bloomsbury here and in Spin.

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