Two surprises from abroad awaited me in my mailbox yesterday: a letter from France and a book from England. The letter drewpost my attention first. I took the time to savor it. Then I turned to the book, Godrevy: Views to a Lighthouse.

The cover photo, a moody view of Godrevy Lighthouse — Virginia Woolf’s lighthouse — on an overcast day, made me want to see more. So for now I flipped past the essay on the history of the lighthouse and its place in literature and art, which is written by Jessica Mann and Charles Thomas, and went straight for the photos.

A quote from T.S. Eliot introduces Michael Marten’s photos — and there are 47 pages of them. Most of the photos are laid out in threes over a two-page spread, with each spread setting a scene and evoking a mood. Stormy, sunny, secretive, open-hearted, light, dark — these are just a few of the moods Martin’s photos of the rocks, the beach, and the sky surrounding Godrevy Lighthouse communicate.

He took the photos over a five-year period — and perhaps that adds to their authenticity, since while viewing them, I had the feeling that I was experiencing what it would be like to live within view of the lighthouse Woolf saw from Talland House each summer until she was 12.

Godrevy: Views to a Lighthouse

Godrevy: Views to a Lighthouse

The everyday moments of the lighthouse and its environs that Marten captured also made me wonder what Woolf would have thought when she saw what he saw. I imagined her taking special notice of the greenish-aqua water in one shot or the seagull dashed against the rocks in another or the light shining in a dark blue night sky in another. Paging through this book, I found it easy to imagine the young Virginia and her siblings wandering along the beach, climbing among the rocks, and exploring the cracks and caverns that Marten pictures.

Woolf fans will find this book a treasure, particularly in light of the recent threat to the view of Godrevy from Talland House in St. Ives, Cornwall.

You can flip through a mini version of the book and order it on Michael Marten’s website. But that is just a weak substitute for seeing the book in person.

It is published by Kehrer Verlag, is priced at £30, and was reviewed in depth by the Western Morning News.

Rummage through the attic at Charleston with The Charleston Attic blog, a record of the work of graduate student interns as they catalogue, research and interpret the Angelica Garnett Gift Collection from the home’s attic. 

Recent posts of interest include:

Predictably, the latest collection of Woolf sightings includes many related to the BBC Two three-part drama Life in Squares, along with Charleston, where much of the filming was done. But scroll down for references to Woolf in pop culture — including Downton Abbey — literature and war and peace.

  • Sussex and Charleston are getting a big boost from Life in SquaresLife-in-Squares-_3215726b
  • Was Life in Squares more than a reminder that the Bloomsbury Group liked sex? Many think it was.
  • Life in Squares episode 3 review: The dream fades.
  • Reaction to episode one of Life in Squares.
  • Life in Squares: How the Radical Bloomsbury Group Fares on Screen by Frances Spalding
  • Life in Squares review: ‘absurd, beautiful characters in a ridiculously golden world’ by Lucy Mangen
  • Life in Squares among top 30 shows on the telly.
  • Life in Squares will be available on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK on Aug. 17. It can be shipped to the U.S., but it can only be played on a Code 2 DVD player, a Code A Blu-ray player or a code-free player. Visit Amazon UK for details.
  • The Hotel Russell’s mistake in closing the Virginia Woolf Burger Bar.
  • Charleston Farmhouse campaigns for funds.Charleston
  • Charleston, the Bloomsbury Group’s living legacy: A piece in The Daily Mail
  • Bloomsbury Group: Charleston Farmhouse and Berwick Church, an Aug. 14, 2015, blog post.
  • Vanessa Bell steps out of the shadows.
  • Fashion tips from the Bloomsbury Group, including a link to Cressida Bell.
  • A Virginia Woolf primer.
  • Season six of Downton Abbey mentions Lady Edith’s meeting with Virginia Woolf.
  • In Spain, a walk of one’s own, courtesy of the BBC.
  • Clarice Lispector earned comparisons to Virginia Woolf.
  • Virginia Woolf on the wall — in color — at New Cafe at Elliott Bay Books.
  • New collection, Pleasures of the Table: A Literary Anthology, includes Virginia Woolf and is illustrated with vivid historic images from the collection of the British Library.
  • Tavistock Square: A Decade After Terror, A Reminder Of Peace” by Susan Pollack

    A screenshot of the YouTube video trailer for Camden Connections that shows the Virginia Woolf portrait

    A screenshot of the YouTube video trailer for Creative Connections: Camden Radical Characters that shows the Virginia Woolf portrait

  • Schoolchildren choose Woolf for “Creative Connections: Camden Radical Characters,” a NPG exhibit that fetes the famous faces who have lived, worked in, or studied in the north London area.
  • Review of Pat Barker’s Noonday mentions Woolf: “If Life Class and Toby’s Room were benevolently haunted by Vera Brittain and Virginia Woolf, the ghosts of Elizabeth Bowen, Rose Macaulay and Graham Greene walk the bombsites of Noonday.”
  • Review says second section of Among the Ten Thousand Things, by Julia Pierpont pays homage to Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, “as time passes and characters are killed off, their lives synopsised.”
  • An article about scholar and performance artist Coco Fusco, whose 2006 work A Room of One’s Own: Women and Power in the New America, uses Virginia Woolf as a springboard to talk about female interrogators in U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Ruth Scurr on Virginia Woolf: A review of Viviane Forrester’s Virginia Woolf: A Portrait. From the Aug. 14, 2015, issue of the Times Literary Supplement.
  • Prettiot’s “Suicide Hotline” song invokes Woolf.

Blogger Kathleen Dixon Donnelly has developed a personal walking tour, “‘Such Friends’: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group,” which has just been published by VoiceMap as a GPS audio walking tour.

You can download it from iTunesGoogle Play and their own site, www.VoiceMap.me for just $1.99 at this link.

As Donnelly said in a recent email: “If you are planning to be in London, you can download the app onto your mobile phone. The tour starts at the entrance to Gordon Square, and once you are there, the GPS will take over. You will hear me guide you through Bloomsbury and the early lives of Virginia Woolf and her ‘such friends.’ You can see how they compare to the current BBC Two three-part drama series, Life in Squares.

“But even if you are nowhere near London, you can still download the tour from the VoiceMap site, along with any of the other interesting tours they have there. You will be able to both read it and hear it on your computer. Of course, if you come to London, I’d be happy to personally lead you on the tour as well!”

Donnelly is planning to work with VoiceMap on similar tours of where the Americans ‘hung out’ in Paris, and where William Butler Yeats, Lady Augusta Gregory, and their ‘such friends’ got together in Dublin when they were starting the Abbey Theatre.

Here’s a new post on the Bloomsbury Group from Such Friends. All this month, blogger Kathleen Dixon Donnelly will post regular items about the group, and each is based on a specific Bloomsbury location.

In 46 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury, London, in fall of 1914… | SuchFriends Blog.

Charleston has launched a crowd funding campaign to raise funds for the conservation of painted surfaces in the house, “the world’s only Bloosmbury interior.”

According to the campaign site,

Help Charleston continue to inspire future generations . . . Without your help, the walls will crack, the paint will peel and the surfaces will crumble. Donate now and get a great reward, including tote bags, silk scarves, framed fragments of Charleston’s wallpaper and the chance to see the completed restoration work at an exclusive unveiling event. Help restore Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant’s iconic painted surfaces for future generations to enjoy.

The fundraising goal is £25,000. As of today, it is 82 percent funded, with 176 funders, some of whom you will recognize.

You can join them to preserve this Bloomsbury treasure that Burberry credits that is as the inspiration behind its autumn/winter 2014 collection, the Bloomsbury Girls, and that is also the setting for much of the filming of this summer’s BBC Two show, “Life in Squares,” about the Bloomsbury Group.

All this month on the Such Friends blog, Kathleen Dixon Donnelly will be posting about what the Bloomsbury Group was doing from 1907-1915. Here is the link to her first post:

In 46 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury, London, in March of 1907… | SuchFriends Blog.


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