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.