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Archive for November, 2011

This photo is identified on Bonhams website as the page of the Godrevy Lighthouse visitors book that contains Virginia's childhood autograph. However, it appears to be the later version that her father, Leslie Stephen, signed for the entire family on Sept. 17, 1894. Note that it does not include Hunt's signature.

Virginia Woolf did make it to the lighthouse. It was Sept. 12, 1892, and she was 10 years old. The Godrevy Lighthouse visitors book containing her childhood signature was sold today for £10,250 at Bonhams in London.

The value of the Trinity House Visitors Book for Godrevy Lighthouse, which contains 159 pages of signatures from 1859 to 1934, had been estimated at £3,000-5,000, but Woolf’s signature doubled its value. Bound in brown calf, the book contains blue pages with red rules with columns under “Date,” “Name” and “Residence.

The Pre-Raphaelite painter, William Holman Hunt, was with the Stephen family group that made the 1892 trip to Godrevy, and the book contains his signature as well. You can view that page here. Virginia’s signature reads “A.V. Stephen London.”

The photo at right shows the names of the Stephen family on their second visit, Sept. 17, 1894. On that occasion Leslie Stephen, Virginia’s father, signed the visitors book for all four family members, Virginia, Adrian, Thoby and himself. The book also records an earlier visit by Virginia’s father, on Aug. 24, 1887, together with Thoby, Gerald Duckworth and J. W. Hills.

The rubble stone lighthouse in St. Ives dates from 1859 and is an octagonal tower 86 feet high. It was designed by Scottish engineer James Walker.

Scroll down for more Woolf sightings from the past week.

  1. Virginia Woolf’s signature doubles sale of visitor bookBBC News
    The author Virginia Woolf visited Godrevy Lighthouse, near St Ives, when she was 10 years old in 1892. The structure and its landscape would go on to form the inspiration for the 1927 masterpiece, To The Lighthouse. The story is set in the Hebrides off 
  2. Vega Cape Town students praised at opening of new campusBizcommunity.com
    “Just as Virginia Woolf needed a room of her own in which to write her timeless novels, so to do creative thinkers need a space that is conducive to innovation.The Fringe, over the next few years, looks to completely transform the eastern part of the …
  3. Paw Paw native named Rhodes ScholarWWMT
    Spencer is studying history and literature and has won prizes for his work on Virginia Woolf. He intends on pursuing his masters degree in literature at Oxford, where he will start next October.
  4. Paw Paw resident named 2012 Rhodes ScholarKalamazoo Gazette – MLive.com
    At Harvard, Lenfield has won top distinction as a scholar of the humanities since his freshman year and has won prizes for his work on Flaubert and Virginia Woolf, according to the bio. He is an accomplished pianist and poet. 
  5. Artist spends three years painting same tree after deaths of parents and friendMirror.co.uk
    You find it crops up a lot in the paintings of Constable, in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and also in War and Peace, where it takes on a symbolic meaning. “I’m alright now, but I think by taking this one little area of England and feeding off it 
  6. Four Seniors Named Rhodes ScholarsHarvard Magazine
    Winning top distinction as a scholar of the humanities since his freshman year, Spencer has won prizes for his work on Flaubert and Virginia Woolf, and has been editor-in-chief of a student literary magazine, arts columnist for the Harvard Crimson and …
  7. Will Neuroscience Kill the Novel?Big Think (blog)
    Virginia Woolf once wrote that “human character changed on or around December, 1910.” It’s a deliberately cryptic remark, but she was referring broadly to the wave of cultural modernism that blasted the relatively tidy world of late nineteenth-century …
  8. Bios track literary giantsPoughkeepsie Journal
    Book jack of “Virginia Woolf” by Alexandra Harris. Four major novelists — Kurt Vonnegut, Virginia Woolf, Leo Tolstoy and Charles Dickens — are the stars of the story in new biographies. Here is a look. Charles Shields now takes on Kurt Vonnegut. …
  9. Will The Iron Lady make women want to dress like Margaret Thatcher?The Guardian
    A Strong Woman could mean anything from a political wife (Jackie Kennedy), to an actor (Marilyn Monroe), to a novelist (Virginia Woolf), to a family with dodgy political affiliations (the Mitfords), to a political tyrant (Eva Peron). …
  10. Authors on their workSan Jose Mercury News
    The theme linking its diverse images: They feature places important to Leibovitz, including theMassachusetts homes of Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Louisa May Alcott; Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond; the Virginia Woolf and Charles Darwin …
  11. Leonard Woolf – A Life after CeylonThe Island.lk (subscription)
    Leonard’s marriage to Virginia Stephen was a turning point. Virginia Woolf in 1912 was unknown as a literary figure. She was fragile and subject to attacks of depression and mental breakdown over the next thirty years, until she finally committed …
  12. A Naked Kate Moss, a Pouty Brigitte Bardot, and Virginia Woolf’s Mom Led ARTINFO
     of Moss and Bardot, the top lot of the sale was a somewhat different glamor shot: Cameron’s 1867 portrait of Julia Jackson, Cameron’s young niece and favorite subject, who would later in life come to be known as the mother of Virginia Woolf
  13. Julia Marget Cameron’s intimate of Virginia Woolf’s mother sells for £57650 at …Art Daily
    Jackson had four children with Stephens, including Vanessa (Bell) and Virginia (Woolf), who immortalised her mother as Mrs Ramsay in her 1927 novel To the Lighthouse. Cameron’s portraits are currently subject to special focus in the Victoria and …
  14. BOOK WISE — Prophecies and picklesThe Hindu
    Some years ago I saw the haunting film “The Hours,” based on Michael Cunningham’s novel of the same name, in turn based on Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs Dalloway.” When I found “Michael Cunningham’s The Hours” listed on a bookseller’s website, I clicked and…
  15. Maugham’s thoughtful corrective on the fultility of warThe Australian
    This brilliant black comedy from director Gus Van Sant may be the best thing Kidman has done – and is a better film than The Hours (Thursday, 6.30 pm, Starpics), in which she plays writer Virginia Woolf, wearing a large prosthetic nose for the part. …

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Virginia Woolf participated in the Occupy movement at the University of California at Berkeley last week.

It’s true that her involvement appeared to be limited to a sign carried by Celeste Langan, associate professor of English at UC Berkeley. But I think her presence was more substantial than that.

The sign held by Langan, a teacher and a student of Thoreau, read:

We’re Afraid for Virginia Woolf

We should be afraid. Langan was yanked out of a crowd of protesters by her hair and arrested.

In his piece in Huff Post College, Michael Roth quoted Langan as saying she “was defending liberal education in Sproul Plaza.” She was “defending an idea of the university that is being dismantled by political and education leaders who support only the most narrow forms of instrumental training.” Her “idea of the university emphasizes the links between the practice of free thinking and the cultivation of freedom in the years after graduation.”

I can easily link this to Woolf’s ideas expressed in Three Guineas. She talks about the “adventurous college,” one that combines learning and learners instead of separating them, one in which “teachers should be drawn from the good livers as well as from the good thinkers” (49-50).

Was Woolf on UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza last Wednesday? Was she there on Nov. 15 for the Mario Savio Memorial Lecture? And will she participate in tomorrow’s all-out occupation of NYU and Hunter and Queen’s? I think so.

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Of the 50 Woolf sightings spotted in the last 11 days, nine mention Florence and the Machine’s new song inspired by Woolf, “What the Water Gave Me.” It’s on their Ceremonial album. Other sightings mention Woolf portraits, Woolf novels, Woolf quotes and more — including take-offs on her famous phrase, “a room of one’s own.”

Florence And the Machine

  1. Matter of spaceDeccan Herald
    The incomparable Virginia Woolf had cut right to the heart of the truth when she proclaimed that writers –— she was speaking of mainly female and hence, disadvantaged writers — needed a place to call their own, to be able to mine their creativity and …
  2. Author’s signature included in saleThis is The West Country
    A St Ives lighthouse visitor book that features the childhood signature of Virginia Woolf is going under the hammer. The book, from Godrevy Lighthouse, has a guide price of £3000 to £5000 and contains 159 signatures from 1859 to 1934. 
  3. The Lives of A NovelistWall Street Journal
    Woolf’s suicide and her final words, like almost her every act and statement, have been the subject of much analysis and speculation. The most comprehensive account of her life, Hermione Lee’s “Virginia Woolf” (1997), is also the best. …
  4. Beware the caveman: Men are no longer happy to hide away in a shed, now they …Daily Mail
    By Jenny Bennett VirginIa Woolf wrote of every woman’s need for A Room Of One’s Own. But now it’s men who are brandishing the slogan and putting a door between themselves and the rest of the house. The chaps have long had their potting sheds …
  5. Artistic relations: how family portraiture changed through the agesThe Guardian
    Eworth’s fixity may be precisely what Vanessa Bell, in the couples and kinship section, was trying to avoid in her portrait of her sister Virginia Woolf, painted around 1913. The writer is found seated in an armchair, crotcheting, and her facial …
  6. Literature: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?Varsity Online
    Who once described herself as “the only true heir to Virginia Woolf”, and has been variously accused of arrogance, absurdity and genius. Her first, semi-autobiographical novel, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, published in 1985, won the Whitbread Award …
  7. Florence and the Machine’s Ceremonials DeliversHuffington Post
    Virginia Woolf filled her pockets with stones to drown herself. In a melancholy, velvety voice,Florence sings about mortality and the feminine connection to the earth. As the song goes on, the music only gets more and more intense, the song ending …
  8. Florence & The MachineOswegonian
    The first single “What the Water Gave Me” references a Frida Kahlo painting and the suicide of Virginia Woolf alongside the burden of Atlas, an ancient Greek titan. Early press reports quoted Welch saying her second album would be a musical treatise on …
  9. Review: Florence and The Machine’s CeremonialsThe Daily Tar Heel (blog)
    By Thompson Wall | The Daily Tar Heel Virginia Woolf, the infamous author and poet who drowned herself in a river by her home, is the inspiration of Florence and The Machine’s second album, Ceremonials. The album tells the story of a “sinful” woman …
  10. Florence + the ‘Ceremonials’New University Online
    After the struggle for peace narrated in “Shake It Out,” this track is a tale of acceptance of fate that manages to remain ambiguous, with clear references to Virginia Woolf’s suicide. There was always a risk that with the bigger sound this album …
  11. The Magnet Tribune: Hear Say: Coldplay Comes Back with Electricity and …my.hsj.org
    In the first single off the album, “What the Water Gave Me,” there is a heavy, haunting song that is inspired by English writer Virginia Woolf (to tell you what part of Woolf’s life inspired the song would ruin things so run off and Google it if you’re …
  12. Florence + the Machine’s ‘Ceremonials’ Shoots to No. 1 on the U.K. ChartsPopCrush
    Welch has said the tracks on the record have been inspired by everything from the death of Virginia Woolf to the effects of a hangover. “Literally, a song can be about seven different things,” she explained. “I do think of songs almost as collages of …
  13. Review: Florence Welch still an incredible artistDaily Eastern News
    In an interview, Welch said this track is a swan-song for late author Virginia Woolf and her death by drowning. Florence howls and she rampages with the voluptuous vocals she has become known for. And, similar to Woolf, listeners are pulled into the …
  14. Disc of the Week: For Florence, bigger isn’t always betterGlobe and Mail
    The lyrics hint at a watery suicide à la Virginia Woolf or Shakespeare’s Ophelia, as portrayed in John Everett Millais’s Pre-Raphaelite portrait. Water and air are Welch’s symbolic elements, just as earth and fire belong to another current singer with …
  15. Flo & co. go slicker on sophomore album, “Ceremonials”UNCW Seahawk
    Still, the song retains the trademark grandeur of the band; harp plucks, soaring choir, melodramatic lyrics referencing the Greek god Atlas and British author Virginia Woolf. Even more obviously indebted to American musical traditions is “Lover to …
  16. Cancer biography competes with four novels on Guardian First Book award shortlistThe Guardian
    … Book award winners including Jonathan Safran Foer, Zadie Smith and last year’s triumphant writer Alexandra Harris, who won for her non-fiction title Romantic Moderns: English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper. …
  17. Emeli Sandé: I’m not cool … I want to reach everyoneThe Sun
    Well-read, her favourite writers being Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf, she’s very vocal about the poor standard of lyrics today. She says: “I always wonder why pop can’t be more poetic. Why do we have to sacrifice lyrics to be catchy? …
  18. A historical building of one’s ownUVU Review
    Virginia Woolf has argued that all women really need is a modest income, a little bit of time and a room of one’s own to experience inspiration and freedom. She could not have been more correct. On a campus of 32000 students, I’ve got an identification …
  19. ‘Pilgrimage’: Annie Leibovitz Visits Darwin, Woolf, Emerson, and FreudThe Atlantic
    The quest took her to such fascinating locales and pockets of cultural history as Charles Darwin’s cottage in the English countryside, Virginia Woolf’s writing table, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s home, Ansel Adams’s darkroom, Emily Dickinson’s only surviving …
  20. In Her Latest Project, Annie Leibovitz Focuses On What MattersNPR (blog)
    Instead, her book Pilgrimage is a quiet collection of scenes and objects that matter to her: Emily Dickinson’s dress, the Niagara Falls in Ontario, Virginia Woolf’s bedroom. “I needed to save my soul,” photographer Annie Leibovitz recently told The New …
  21. PG Wodehouse’s disgrace can’t hide the greatness of his workThe Guardian (blog)
    Do we change our views about Virginia Woolf when we discover that she was a terrible snob who wrote some fairly nauseating things about the British working man? And, finally, does it disable PG Wodehouse’s claims to greatness that he had no grasp of …
  22. Ten questions for an author: Ethna McKiernanMinneapolis Star Tribune (blog)
    … conferred at a time when the only other Americans awarded this were JFK and Robert Frost; a framed picture of some first-issue stamps from the Irish post office; and a framed thingie of Virginia Woolf quotes that came from a calendar I loved in the…
  23. Pacifists and feministsThe Oxford Times
    Virginia Woolf, for one, detached herself from the war. She recorded seeing “the faces of our rulers in the light of the shellfire. So ugly they looked — German, English, French — so stupid.” She was a frequent visitor to Garsington Manor, …
  24. Off the wall look at changing livesThe Star
    Amongst the works on display will be William Hogarth’s A House of Cards from 1730; Sir Robert and Lady Buxton and their daughter Ann by Henry Walton; Stanley Spencer’s The Lovers from 1934; and Vanessa Bell’s portrait of her sister Virginia Woolf dated …
  25. Photos from famous author biographiesUSA Today
    Look through photographs from four new literary biographies: Charles Dickens: A Life by Claire Tomalin, And So It Goes, Kurt Vonnegut: A Life by Charles J. Shields, Tolstoy: A Russian Life by Rosamund Bartlett and Virginia Woolf by Alexandra Harris. …
  26. St. Kate’s Newswire :: St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN :: News and EventsCollege of St. Catherine
    “It’s always hard to come up with your favorites,” says Lupori, who often is asked that question. Still, she is quick to name three authors — Jane Austen, William Shakespeare and Virginia Woolf — whose work has pushed her intellectually throughout ..
  27. On Fiction by Virginia Woolf – review,The Guardian
    By John Dugdale by Virginia Woolf This collection of four essays, all but one from the 20s, improves markedly as it goes along. The first, “Hours in a Library” (implictly an ample private one), dates from 1916 and could be the work of a Downton Abbey …
  28. Other Israel Film Festival: ‘Torn’ and ’77 Steps’Jewish Telegraphic Agency
    “As a woman, you have your own space to create, to live, to make love, to hate, to be what you want to be,” she said, invoking Virginia Woolf. “For now it’s my apartment in Tel Aviv and I’m happy for that.” Click to login and write a letter to the …
  29. The Greatest GossipThe Atlantic
    He is probably the last in a line of haute vulgarizers that runs from Dr. Johnson to Sainte-Beuve, Virginia Woolf, VS Pritchett, and Wilson. A generation of high-minded general readers (remember them?) looked to Updike essays to teach them about …
  30. The Morgan Is Showing Rare Books, Manuscripts, Music & AmericanaAntiques and the Arts Online
    Austen also appears in Virginia Woolf’s notebook from 1931 that includes a heavily revised draft of “A Letter to a Young Poet,” first published in the Yale Review in 1932. Two classic American melodies, “New Yankee Doodle,” 1798, and “The One Horse …
  31. Chick lit vies for top book awardsIrish Independent
    It was Virginia Woolf who decided that what every woman writer needed was a room of her own. These days it would be a bathroom floor, glass of Chardonnay in hand, screaming, ‘OMG! I’m turning 30’. The 1996 arrival of Bridget Jones’s Diary launched a…
  32. V review: Downton AbbeyThe Guardian
    Lady Cora deciding she’s a lesbian and having an affair with Virginia Woolf. Lady Edith rushing off to Germany to befriend Hitler in jail. Lady Sybil joining the IRA. Lady Mary deciding that she’s actually Anastasia, the daughter of Tsar Nicholas. …
  33. Drunken anticsDiamondback Online
    It’s not like Virginia Woolf, where you’re rereading the same sentence for 10 minutes, and you’re like, ‘What the f—’s going on?’ You can’t do that for a screenplay, or a newspaper or a website.” Co-writer Jesse Herrmann joked that Elijah the Prophet …
  34. Let’s work on connecting future dreams with realityThe Coloradoan
    It’s not that I’m saying that I didn’t gain anything from those four years of papers on Virginia Woolfand midterms on modern American poetry and so much procrastination and widening of eyes. Workshop after discussion after roundtable forced me to …
  35. MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE ReviewTwitch
    Dark like Virginia Woolf, or a Nick Cave album. Elizabeth Olsen gives one of the year’s breakout performances as the young girl of the title. After living a radical life apart from society on a farm with a group of self-sustaining misfits, …
  36. “The Journals of Spalding Gray,” edited by Nell CaseyWashington Post
    And, most ominously, he speculated on why Virginia Woolf killed herself: “she could only write about living . . . but was not living it. She was outside of it all the time.” Gray committed suicide in January 2004 at age 63. He had been talking about it …
  37. Everything Happens Today’ from Jesse Browner wraps around a meal: New in …Plain Dealer (blog)
    As in Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway,” the meal preparation gives Browner a way into his protagonist’s head, as Wes makes connections between Buddhists and butchers. Occasionally this results in overlong Proustian passages, but when Wes contends with…
  38. Ten Books on Delhi You Should ReadWall Street Journal (blog)
    It took the intervention of fellow novelist Virginia Woolf to get this novel published: Its British publishers originally deemed the novel too subversive. The events in the novel begin in the summer of 1911, the period when Old Delhi was still known as …
  39. Alchemy of silenceThe Asian Age
    One author who understood silences was the great English novelist Virginia Woolf. Silence, for Woolf, was not just part of a woman’s statement of being; it was integral to her writing style. Silence provided the rhythms between language and space, …
  40. A secular enchantmentLe Monde Diplomatique
    Levine’s awe when watching the flight of a red-tailed hawk over an apartment building in New York (or the reader’s awe when contemplating the bœuf en daube served by Mrs Ramsay in Virginia Woolf’sTo the Lighthouse) are moments that fulfil, …
  41. Parting words of ‘wisdom’Inquirer.net
    Virginia Woolf, author Our answer: Yes, this material world is cruel and miserable, because it isn’t our real home. Don’t give up and don’t lose hope, because we have a wonderful home to return to. We are eternal souls temporarily held in deteriorating …
  42. NEW DVD RELEASESGoErie.com
    The 2002 film, which co-stars Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep, is a brilliant adaptation of Michael Cunningham’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, and seamlessly delivers a complex plot about three generations of women influenced by writer Virginia Woolf.
  43. The unheralded genius of the genius’s sisterWashington Examiner
    Virginia Woolf, in her famous polemic “A Room of One’s Own,” imagined the fate of a fictional sister of William Shakespeare. Judith Shakespeare might have been as talented as her now-legendary brother. But without the opportunities open to him …
  44. Passionate story of love and life in KidderminsterKidderminster Shuttle
    The play, adapted from the correspondence between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville -West by the celebrated actress Eileen Atkins, charts the extraordinary relationship between them, using their words in which they speak of every day life, friends, …

    Vita Sackville-West

  45. Of course artists often go mad – it’s part of the jobTelegraph.co.uk (blog)
    Virginia Woolf, Robert Lowell, Ernest Hemingway are three who swung between euphoria and gloom. There are degrees in these matters. Woolf and Lowell were genuinely – certifiably – mad at various points in their life, Hemingway only at the end, …
  46. An Inside Look at Book Publishing & Literary Marketing in a Digital WorldPR.com (press release)
    Can you picture Virginia Woolf logging in to her Twitter account to see how many followers she currently has or to calculate her number of Facebook “likes?” Miss Woolf oftentimes wrote manuscripts in beautiful cursive on parchment paper, and then went…
  47. Mad about the girl: Tate Liverpool’s Alice in Wonderland showThe Guardian
    Alice captivated Virginia Woolf and Walt Disney, inspired Robert Smithson, Sigmar Polke and a host of better and worse visual artists. Characters from the Alice books, or rather their putative ancestors, can be found, according to Alberto Manguel …
  48. Culture flash: St Paul’s CathedralThe Guardian
    “It swells like a great grey bubble,” wrote Virginia Woolf admiringly in a 1930s essay. For Charlotte Brontë, its dome was “a solemn, orbed mass, dark-blue and dim … While I looked, my inner self moved.” Magnificent as it is, St Paul’s architectural …
  49. A Portrait of Charles Dickens as a Young Experimental NovelistHuffington Post
    His novels emphasized vision: Virginia Woolf noted that “His people are branded upon our eyeballs before we hear them speak, by what he sees them doing, and it seems as if it were the sight that sets his thoughts in action. …
  50. Virginia Woolf’s Real First Name Revealed!, Patch.com
    According to the website: “Christine was inspired by the author Virginia Woolf, whose first name was Adeline, and her belief that women need their own space to feel supported and productive.” All I know is, when I was a brand new mom, I craved a place 

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Take a look at this “Homage to Virginia Woolf” posted on Etsy. Items listed range from a doll dressed to look more like Jane Austen than Woolf to a vinyl wall quote.

Some items, such as the “Virginia Woolf Quote” leather journal and the “Famous Last Words” necklace, are already sold, but the site is still worth a look.

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Each October, Equality Forum celebrates LGBT History Month by spotlighting 31 icons who have made notable contributions to society. This year, Virginia Woolf was among them.

You can view a video about her iconic status and find links to other Woolf information and resources here and print out a fact sheet about Woolf here.

Here are more links to items about Woolf as LGBT icon:

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I just finished the best novel I’ve read in ages, my undisputed favorite of the year: Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. A beautifully written portrait of Manhattan in the 1930s—jazz, prohibition, and much more from the perspective of Katey Kontent (KonTENT not KONtent), the best narrator since Gatsby’s Nick Carroway and Brideshead’s Charles Ryder. Probably smarter and more observant than either of them—the book is her story while at the same time being her observations of the people and the world around her.

My favorite line is when she’s at a fancy restaurant and has a salad of iceberg lettuce, blue cheese & bacon. She says, “If I were a country, I would have made it my flag.”

And Woolf’ is here too — provocatively. When Katey’s friend Evey is recovering from an injury, she asks Katey to read to her:

–There were eight books stacked on the cocktail table in descending order of size. I picked up the book on top [and] started at the beginning.

–‘Yes, of course, if it’s fine tomorrow,” said Mrs. Ramsey.’ [She reads a little more.]

–Oh stop, Eve said. It’s dreadful. What is it?”

–Virginia Woolf.

–Ugh. Tinker brought home all these novels by women as if that’s what I needed to get me back on my feet. Isn’t there anything else?

–Hemingway?

–Thank God.

Amor Towles

A second reference, much later, juxtaposes Woolf and Hemingway again. I was fascinated and initiated an email exchange with Amor Towles, asking him why Woolf and why in conjunction with Hemingway twice? Towles replied as follows, with spoiler alerts removed:

“I’m fans of both. I chose them in the scene when Katey reads to Eve because they were both talents of the times but their narrative styles were so different. The implication is that Tinker has placed these books in the living room because they are Contemporary icons (like the Deco furniture); not because Tinker is a serious reader. And [as a result of her accident] Eve has shot definitively away from a Woolfian mindset towards Hemingway’s blunter world view.”

The title of the book comes from the 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation that George Washington compiled as a teenager. Here’s an example: “Make no show of taking great delight in your victuals. Feed not with greediness. Eat your bread with a knife. Lean not on the table, neither find fault with what you eat.”

Read more about Towles’ first novel:

 

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Was Woolf a certified foodie? I think not. Did she say, “It’s all good. Just go with it”? Not bloody likely. But those are two of the Woolf sightings among the 55 below.

This portrait of Julia Jackson, Woolf's mother, is up for sale.

  1. Oaks hot travel deals for foodies!e-Travel Blackboard (press release)
    Renowned writer and devoted ‘foodie’, Virginia Woolf once quoted, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well”. With this in mind, Oaks Hotels & Resorts offer passionate foodies a choice of 3 indulgent packages. 
  2. Novel challenge for 50kSunLive (blog)
    Virginia Woolf reckoned it was ‘the critic in the corner’ who stopped you from producing. What you put down on the page had to be good enough to justify the time and energy spent on it. Literary writing teaches us to write consciously and …
  3. Bow to god of ‘tolerance’ or elseTown Hall
    After seeing a quasi-shrine that had been erected at her school, honoring Harvey Milk, Neil Patrick Harris, and Virginia Woolf for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History month, Knox expressed disapproval of “homosexuality based on her …
  4. The Media’s Sexualization of Female Athletes: A Bad Call for the Modern GameStudent Pulse
    Modernist feminist Virginia Woolf contends that women should earn just “enough to be independent of any other human being and to buy that modicum of health, leisure, knowledge and so on that is needed for the full development of body and mind” (80). …
  5. Bonhams to sell Julia Margaret Cameron’s intimate image of Virginia Woolf’s Art Daily
    Jackson had four children with Stephen, including Vanessa (Bell) and Virginia (Woolf), who immortalised her mother as Mrs Ramsay in her 1927 novel To the Lighthouse. Another sale highlight is The Merce Cunningham Dance Company Photography Portfolio 
  6. WOLFETTE – Trophy Girl – Released 5th December 2011Altsounds.com
    Part English rose, part fiery Thai, and a distant relative of Virginia Woolf, Wolfette is set to release her new track Trophy Girl: A euphoric, uplifting song of freedom. Wolfette breaks out of her cage, escaping from a controlling relationship. …
  7. Florence’s Dark Side of FameNewsweek
    “What the Water Gave Me” is plainly inspired by Virginia Woolf’s suicide. On another track she sings rhapsodically about “the arms of the ocean, so sweet and so cold.” She tells me she’s always been sort of fascinated by water, and clips drowning 
  8. Florence and the Machine’s Hackney Empire gig was ‘dramatic and thrilling’Metro
    With references Frida Kahlo and Virginia Woolf thrown in for good measure, the song was like a much darker version of a Bat For Lashes song full of drama, foreboding and passion. Florence channeled her inner gospel chanteuse in the bluesy Lover To …
  9. ‘Difficult’ second album? We just went with the FloDaily Mail

    Florence And the Machine

    Joan Of Arc crops up on Only If For A Night, while What The Water Gave Me ruminates on the suicide of author Virginia Woolf. If it all sounds a little depressing, it isn’t. The music is too vibrant for gloom to set in. Even when she misses the point, ..

  10. Florence and the Machine mine the sweet sounds of homeGlobe and Mail
    During our conversation, Welch manages to work in references to both Virginia Woolfand Frida Kahlo, revealing a bookish side that’s no surprise given her cool-meets-clever genetic history – she’s the daughter of an academic mother (a professor of …
  11. Florence And The Machine – CeremonialsThe Yorker
    ‘What the Water Gave Me’ doesn’t just hint at the death of Virginia Woolf, it explains her chosen method. “Let the only sound be the overflow / pockets full of stones”, Welch half sings, half chants in her haunting chorus; Woolf did indeed fill her …
  12. Shaped by reading materialNew Zealand Herald
    Film and art may continue to be the most common cultural influences on fashion, but it is the impact of literature that has always intrigued me. The idea of a genuine interpretation of a writer’s portrayal rather …
  13. Woman joked of overdosing, trial toldStuff.co.nz Peter Borrie, this morning told the court of the rapid deterioration in his patient, as well as her “tongue in cheek” comments regarding her desire to overdose on tablets left to her by her late husband, or drown like author Virginia Woolf
  14. Holiday Inn gives serenity in the big cityNorthampton Chronicle & Echo
    The Holiday Inn is situated in a picturesque area with streets full of large terraced houses lived in by famous literary figures such as Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw and Arthur Rimbaud. Once inside the hotel we were greeted by friendly and …
  15. The Woman of Wax” travels to IranIran Book News Agency
    Her role in the Spanish literature of late 20th century is comparable to the role of Virginia Woolf to her contemporary world. The key to Gaite’s success is her tone and point of view. Carmen never speaks from the seat of scholarly power, never infuses …
  16. How Do We Repair the Souls of Those Returning from Iraq?Huffington Post (blog)
    In Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf portrayed the suicidal anguish of Septimus Smith as if she were a veteran herself. Tyler notes: She was just a writer. That tells me, if nothing else, that the information was there. The capacity to know existed. …
  17. James Wolcott on the Life of a CriticSlate Magazine (blog)
    For some reason, the elegant retort “If doing criticism didn’t cost Henry James,Virginia Woolf, DH Lawrence, and John Updike any candlepower, what makes you think you’re too good for it, buster?” never seems to stick. Journalistic critics such as…
  18. Carnegie International curators to offer updatePittsburgh Post Gazette
    The exhibit theme comes from two literary works about women’s creativity: Virginia Woolf’s essay “A Room of One’s Own,” in which the author argues the necessity of a private room and financial independence, and Alice Walker’s “In Search of Our Mothers’ …
  19. Why child-free still trumps child-friendlyIndependent Online
    And even though I do the grocery shopping, walk the dogs, have un-massaged feet and know where the doodat is, I like my husband just as he is – even if he thinksVirginia Woolf is a character from True Blood. More than that, I like us just the way we …
  20. Local wins Rhodes ScholarshipThe Ashburton Guardian
    He is interested in women writers, including Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf and Janet Frame. “Women’s writing has historically been writing out of the experience of being oppressed and how to navigate and use the language of the oppressor, the dominant …
  21. ‘The Raven’ to creep into theatersWestern Courier (subscription)
    “The Hours,” based on Virginia Woolf’s life and famous novel “Mrs. Dalloway,” was nominated for numerous Academy Awards. On the other hand, “Becoming Jane” (based on Jane Austen) and “Sylvia” (based on Sylvia Plath), fell short and were both soon …
  22. From Stage to ScreenCU Columbia Spectator
    An initial clue, of course, lies in production companies’ endless quest to line their pockets: when Jack Warner bought the film rights to Virginia Woolf, it was the toast of Broadway, an especially lucrative seat-filler he hoped could pack countrywide 
  23. Mary Hamer wins Virginia Prize for FictionThe Bookseller
    Kipling and Trix entwines the life of the famous writer with that of his sister Trix. The Virginia Prize for Fiction was created in 2009 to mark 20 years of publishing at Aurora Metro, and is a biennial award for women, named in honour of Virginia Woolf.
  24. CHARLES DICKENS: A LIFE BY CLAIRE TOMALIN (Viking £30)Daily Mail
    People have always found it easy to sneer at Charles Dickens – for example, Sir Leslie Stephen (Virginia Woolf’s father) opined: ‘If literary fame could safely be measured by popularity among the half-educated, Dickens must claim the highest position …
  25. PLAY REVIEW: Next Stage, Cary Anne Spear present strong ‘Year’Centre Daily Times
    Her style is quite reminiscent of the later works of Virginia Woolf in that she moves effortlessly back and forth through time as her story unfolds. Didion not only tells us about whom she loses, but what she loses: this “what” is her beloved ..
  26. Faust (1926)A.V. Club
    If I want to see Virginia Woolf’s, I can simply go to YouTube. But while Dec. 28, 1895, when the Lumiere brothers held the first public exhibition of their films, marked a turning point in how we look at the world, it didn’t erase the past, ..
  27. How the British came to love PicassoSpectator.co.uk (blog)
    Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell’s correspondence recalls how the painter and curator Clive Bell took Picasso shopping in Savile Row to dress the dishevelled continental as an English gentleman; Picasso was said to favour the English bowler hat above ..
  28. Elizabeth I on screenMovies.ie
    The film, based on a novel by Virginia Woolf, tells the story of an immortal named Orlando who starts life as an Elizabethan nobleman. Queen Elizabeth commands Orlando never to fade and never to grow old, and over 300 years he transforms from man to …
  29. Republicans have turned into right royal snobsThe Australian
    So Self is only echoing Leonard Woolf, husband of Virginia and member of the achingly arty Bloomsbury Group, who complained in 1937 that “an intense propaganda campaign” had managed to “establish in the people a superstitious loyalty towards the royal …
  30. Morphoses in “The Bacchae” suffers from anemiaThe Star-Ledger – NJ.com
    As Virginia Woolf understood, these passions acquire their shrillness from a life lived in the open air. Yet Woolf also noted in her essay “On Not Knowing Greek” that among the tragedians Euripides is the oblique, psychological one—the one who can be …
  31. This column will change your life: inspirational quotesThe Guardian
    Fear does keep us small; living at your fullest takes guts. None of this needs a fake Mandela attribution to be worth absorbing. So you like a new-age writer’s insights? So what? As Virginia Woolf famously put it: “It’s all good. Just go with it. …
  32. Jeanette Winterson: all about my motherThe Guardian
    … write about “experience” – the compass of what they know – while men write wide and bold, the big canvas, the experiment with form: Jane Austen’s famous two inches of ivory; the domestic, interior worlds of Emily Dickinson and Virginia Woolf. …
  33. Who’s Afraid of 7 Billion? The Anti-Human Left, That’s WhoOpenMarket.org
    So even though it’s Halloween, I’m not afraid of 7 billion (though Virginia Woolf terrifies me). I say, to whoever that lucky number 7 is, welcome to Planet Earth. Maybe one day you will invent something that improves all our lives, and if so, …
  34. Toast When We Coast & Drink When We Stink: Week 8Dawg Sports
    Where You Can Get Your Hands On It: It doesn’t matter what kind of booze you buy… just buy a lot of it. Nothing else matters. As always, I look forward to reading your post-game celebration/Virginia Woolf-esque coping plans in the comments section. …
  35. The ‘sexy’ curse: Why are women so rubbish at Halloween?MyDaily UK
    I hope a few will break the mould and channel sexy Virginia Woolf, a sexy smelly old gym sock and sexy inexplicable melancholy. I realise this all sounds a bit Mary Whitehouse but it’s not that I am prudish about women wanting to look sexy; …
  36. Virginia Woolf, By Alexandra HarrisThe Independent
    Another biography of Virginia Woolf might seem about as necessary as the prosthetic nose that Nicole Kidman donned to play the writer. What’s left to add? This volume doesn’t arrive with a fanfare of new revelations, nor does it have a particular …

    A screen shot of Patti Smith's photo of Virginia Woolf's bed

  37. Patti Smith: “Camera Solo” Photo Exhibit Gently InspiresNeon Tommy
    Music was interspersed between carefully selected poems and prose by Rimbaud,Virginia Woolf and William Blake whom are also paid homage in the exhibit. Smith photographed Woolf’s cane in one photo and a stone from the river where she died in another. …
  38. A Pilgrim’s ProgressNew York Times
    She took her camera to Virginia Woolf’s house, photographing the surface of her writing table, and into her garden, capturing the wide, roiling water of the River Ouse, in which Woolf drowned herself. She photographed Dr. Freud’s sumptuously carpeted …
  39. To Be Anon…About – News & Issues
    In 1929, Virginia Woolf would speculate in A Room of One’s Own: “I would venture to guess thatAnon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.” In the case of Sense and Sensibility at least, Woolf was decidedly right on target.
  40. David Huddle: The life on the insideBurlingtonFreePress.com
    I guess Virginia Woolf was one of the first great practitioners of the interior life. Carver, his people are quite often down-and-out working-class people. Most of the ones he writes about most movingly have drinking problems. …
  41. Fiery Feminist Virginia Woolf – LGBT History MonthCare2.com (blog)
    Day 30′s LGBT History Month icon, Virginia Woolf, had a very different life and career from Day 7′s icon, Rita Mae Brown. But both have influenced feminism and literature. By the time Virginia Woolf burst onto the London literary …
  42. Feminism: the Indian contextThe Hindu
    When one thinks of feminism, the names that come to one’s mind readily are Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, Adrienne Rich, and Elaine Showalter, since the growth of feminism is usually attributed to western influence. True, these spokeswomen set …
  43. Theater review: ‘Twelfth Night’ at A Noise WithinLos Angeles Times
    As Virginia Woolf famously argued, creative beings need a room of their own. ANW now has a 33000-square-foot complex, complete with a comfortable 283-seat theater and enough room to house its expansive administrative and educational operation, ..
  44. Friends of Dorothy: How Gay Was My Oz?Huffington Post (blog)
    Well, I do subscribe to EM Forster’s dictum, “Only connect,” but I also live by a lesser known suggestion of Virginia Woolf’s: “Only suggest.” So I know what I believe, but in prose I only suggested a little bit about the tendresse — even once when …
  45. Joely Richardson on Anonymous, Playing Elizabeth and the Trouble With GreenscreenMovieline
    Next? I don’t know. I did, in a docudrama, play Virginia Woolf; I’d like another crack at her down the line, just because she’s such a fascinating woman. — just in terms of her mind. But… That’s all that’s coming to me right now!
  46. Regent’s Park’s Superprime Property, Spear’s WMS
    Virginia Woolf wrote in her diaries that ‘there is no doubt that the greatest happiness in the world is walking through Regent’s Park on a green, but wet — green but red pink and blue evening’. In an essay entitled London, 1940, Elizabeth Bowen wrote …
  47. AUDITIONS: Would you like to be in a film with Naomi Watts? Here’s how!Naples Daily News (blog)
    I guess I left the post in “draft” mode when I literally ran out the door headed to Sanibel to see “Virginia Woolf.” I only noticed today. I seriously apologize. Anyway. You still have two days to email for an appointment to the casting session for a …
  48. She Who Dares: The Astonishing Work Of Tilda SwintonHuffington Post
    His/her lifelong quest is to discover the purest, most powerful love; that search spans centuries and continents in this adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s famous novel. Swinton’s breakthrough turn as the androgynous Orlando is reason enough to see this …
  49. VIDEO: Equality Forum seeking nominations for 2012 LGBT History Month iconsSan Diego Gay & Lesbian News
    This year’s icons included people like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell activist Dan Choi; composer AaronCopland; pop star Lady Gaga; and author Virginia Woolf. Equality Forum spotlights one icon per day each October on its LGBT History Month web site. …
  50. Last Man StandingA.V. Club (blog)
    Meanwhile, Mandi works on her college application essays, trying to focus long enough to crank out something about how much she loves Virginia Woolf. Except it was Kristin who wrote that, obviously, as she realizes that having Boyd didn’t mean her …
  51. Seven fashion book ideas for ChristmasScotsman
    … to the abstract sculptures of Donald Judd in the 1960s, who called his work: “the simple expression of complex thought,” to Japanese culture and the concept of Zen, via philosophical absolutism, architecture, even the literature of Virginia Woolf. ..
  52. Alan Hollinghurst’s ‘The Stranger’s Child’ is a masterpiece about gay life and …Plain Dealer
    It’s Oscar Wilde and AE Housman, EM Forster and Virginia Woolf and the entireBloomsbury set (name checked extensively in the book), a history — as Cecil’s is — of invisibility, secrecy and scandal, bowdlerization, censure and frenetic posthumous …
  53. WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE: URBAN LEGENDHaute Living
    Mrs. Weston’s love for art began at an early age while reading about the Bloomsbury Group, a series of young writers and artists in England between the wars such asVirginia Woolf and EM Forster. The first painting she acquired was by Augustine Brown, …
  54. Despite Reflexive Humor, Eugenides’s Tired ‘Plot’ DisappointsHarvard Crimson
    “Is it Virginia Woolf? Is it Sontag?” When Madeleine responds that her real father is her father, her boyfriend responds: “Then you have to kill him.” When she in turn asks him who his father is, he says: “Godard.” One can’t help but wonder, though, …
  55. Individual access no substitute for community in scrum of ideasThe Australian
    The generation of the Apostles who later formed the core of the Bloomsbury group – Maynard Keynes, Lytton Strachey, Leonard Woolf (who married Virginia) – kept coming to the Orchard long after they had left Cambridge. Rupert Brooke, heart-throb of the …

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