If you live in the UK, you have 20 more days to watch Alexandra Harris discuss Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway on the Sept. 16 broadcast of the BBC Four program, The Secret Life of Books.
If you live anywhere besides the UK, you are just out of luck, however. Sadly, as a U.S. resident, I couldn’t even watch the three brief video clips on the website. In one, Harris visits Monk’s House and is filmed inside Woolf’s writing Lodge. In another, she talks about Woolf’s creation of a new kind of novel. And in a third, she examines the first draft of Dalloway, then titled The Hours.
In the 30-minute program, produced in partnership with Open University, Harris shows how Woolf produced a newly imagined novel when she wrote MD. Citing original manuscripts, diaries and notebooks, Harris argues that Woolf’s writing process also allowed her to stay sane as she channeled her own mental illness into the character of Septimus Warren Smith.