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Happy 91st birthday to Cecil Woolf, author, publisher, conference attendee and speaker, Bloomsbury walker, party giver, plaque unveiler, and the oldest living relative of Virginia and Leonard Woolf.

We wish we could be with you to celebrate today. Instead, dear man, we toast you from near and far.

You can read more about him in last year’s birthday post.

Cecil Woolf cuts the cake designed by Cressida Bell for the 100th birthday party of the Hogarth Press last June in Reading, England.

Cecil Woolf, accompanied by his wife Jean Moorcroft Wilson, talks about being The Other Boy at the Hogarth Press at the 100th birthday party for the Hogarth Press in Reading, England last June.

Cecil Woolf published his story, The Other Boy at the Hogarth Press, last spring, unveiling it at the 27th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf.

Cecil Woolf and Jean Moorcroft Wilson at their post-conference party last June at their London townhouse.

Cecil Woolf stops at 46 Gordon Square, London, while giving Blogging Woolf a personalized tour of Bloomsbury in June 2016.

Taking a break with Cecil Woolf in the Tavistock Square garden after the 2016 Woolf conference.

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The topic of the International Virginia Woolf Society‘s guaranteed panel at the Modern Language Association Convention 2019 will be “Night and Day at 100.”

Panel organizers have issued a call for papers on Virginia Woolf’s novel in the centennial year of its publication that address the question: What is the twenty-first century legacy of Woolf’s “nineteenth-century” novel?

Please send 250-word abstracts to Mary Wilson at mwilson4@umassd.edu by March 12. Wilson, associate professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, is the author of The Labors of Modernism and Rhys Matters.

Woolf and wine on Valentine’s Day

Back in January, in response to Blogging Woolf’s tweet about a Virginia Woolf punch, Maggie Humm tweeted about Virginia Woolf and wine, saying she had a list of Woolf quotes referencing the fermented beverage.

The emeritus professor at the University of East London provided them at our request, apologizing for the lack of complete citations. Grateful for her contribution, we gladly forgive her.

The quotes, said Maggie, a Woolf scholar and author, were on a brief list she sent to the Tate for the launch of her 2006 book Snapshots of Bloomsbury, at the London Review of Books.

We share them with you here — and raise a glass to Virginia Woolf, with love on Valentine’s Day 2018.

Woolf quotes on wine

  • 1936 to Ethel Smyth the feminist composer: ‘Oh and the champagne! How I like it.
  • 1937 to Vita Sackville-West: ‘shant I be thankful to be in a courtyard in France, listening to a nightingale, drinking red wine, while you are curtseying & singing God Save the King’.
  • 1938 to Quentin Bell: ‘Wine would be a passport to my heart, its true’.
  • 1939 to Ethel Smyth: ‘How it liberates the soul to drink a bottle of good wine daily & sit in the sun’.
  • 1929 Cassis: ‘Nessa’s villa…a delicious life, with a great deal of wine, cheap cigars, conversation’.
  • 1931 to Ethel Smyth from Bergerac (Woolf likes Bergerac wine): `Just dined off eels, artichokes and wine – slightly tipsy’.
  • 1940 Diary: ‘All the young English drink spirits. I like wine. Air raids much less’.
  • 1931 Diary: ‘Wine at lunch flushes me & floats me’.
  • Room of One’s Own: ‘I blandly told them to drink wine and have a room of their own’.

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Bloomsburiana, the first issue of the Annual Bulletin of the Italian Virginia Woolf Society, is out.

I was lucky enough to meet Elisa Bolchi and Sara Sullam, two members of the new society, at the 27th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf last June in Reading, England. The following month, Elisa, who is the society’s president, sent Blogging Woolf a report on what the group and its members — 84 at the time — were doing.

Recently, Elisa was kind enough to share the bulletin with Blogging Woolf, so we are sharing it with you here.  It is an attractive publication with original cover art by Lucrezia Gentile, and it is definitely worth a long look.

The society has a Facebook page, as well as a website, which society founders are working on making bilingual.

Elisa Bolchi and Sara Sullam, two members of the new Italian Virginia Woolf Society who attended last June’s Woolf conference in Reading, England. Elisa is the society’s president.

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Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography, a major new exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in London, includes Virginia Woolf’s great-aunt, Julia Margaret Cameron.

The exhibit, March 1 – May 20, also features three other celebrated figures in art photography: Lewis Carroll, Oscar Rejlander  and Clementina Hawarden. These four artists would come to embody the very best in photography of the Victorian era, according to the NPG.

Julia Jackson, as photographed by Julia Margaret Cameron

As we reported back in 2011, Virginia Woolf’s Monk’s House photos are now online, thanks to Harvard University. You can view the entire 182 pages of the photo albums, page by page.

The digitized material now available online includes all the images in Virginia Woolf’s photo albums, numbered one through six, that Frederick R. Koch gave to Harvard’s Houghton Library in 1983. They include the 1,000 photos in Maggie Humm’s 2006 book Snapshots of Bloomsbury: the Private Lives of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell.

Snapshots of Bloomsbury

In the albums are snapshots taken by Woolf and her friends and family, including portraits and scenic landscapes of their homes and travels. Virginia and Vanessa were avid photographers, using a portable Kodak to shoot their pictures. They also developed their photos, printed them and mounted them in albums.

Details from the catalog item description

The majority of the photographs in the album are snapshots possibly taken by Virginia Woolf or by her friends and family. The rest of the photographs include portraits or scenic landscapes of their homes or from their travels. Subjects include Virginia Woolf, Leonard Woolf, Julian Bell, Quentin Bell, Vanessa Bell, George Duckworth, Stella Duckworth, T. S (Thomas Stearns) Eliot, Angelica Garnett, Duncan Grant, John Lehmann, Noel Olivier, William Plomer, V. (Victoria) Sackville-West, Adrian Stephen, Julia Duckworth Stephen and Sir Leslie Stephen. Some locations of the photographs were identified.

Some were taken at the home of Leonard and Virginia Woolf, Monk’s House (Rodmell, England) and at their publishing business, Hogarth Press. Other family homes included is the childhood home of Virginia Woolf, Talland House in St. Ives (Cornwall, England) as well as the home of her sister, Vanessa Bell, Charleston Farmhouse (West Firle, England). Other locations included Sissinghurst Garden (England) as well as other locations. Virginia and Leonard Woolf also took photographs during their vacation in England, France and Germany. Most of these images are of landscapes or buildings.

More on the albums

Read more about the albums on Open Culture and on the My Modern Met website.

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