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Archive for February 17th, 2020

Mireille Duchêne, a Virginia Woolf scholar from France, last year published a new work on Woolf in both French and English that includes the modernist writer’s unpublished notebook for the years 1907-1909.

The French edition

Virginia Woolf, Carnet inédit (1907-1909) (Editions Universitaires de Dijon (EUD), Université de Bourgogne). Text Established, Edited, Translated in French and with an Introduction by Mireille Duchêne.

The English edition

Virginia Woolf, An Unpublished Notebook (1907-1909). Text Established, Edited and with an Introduction by Mireille Duchêne (Editions Universitaires de Dijon (EUD), Université de Bourgogne).

Woolf’s journal and her education

Woolf’s unpublished journal is made up of hastily written notes on the Greek and Latin classics which she had read avidly since adolescence.

While it was long thought that Woolf had no formal college education, that has been proved false. We now know that from the age of 15 to 19, Woolf took classes in continental and English history, beginning and advanced Greek, intermediate Latin and German grammar at the King’s College Ladies’ Department. She also had private tutors in German, Greek and Latin. While at King’s, Woolf reached examination level standards in some of the subjects she studied and took Greek from George Charles Winter Warr, one of the foremost Greek scholars of his day.

About the book

From the publisher comes this description:

Between 1907 and 1909 Virginia Woolf, who was not yet a world-famous writer, kept a notebook which is here published for the first time. It belongs to the Monk’s House Papers (Greek and Latin Studies). These extremely precious pages written by a 25-year-old woman illustrate the novelist’s lifelong familiarity with classical humanities. They shed new light on Virginia Woolf’s biography and on a period of her existence which the Journal largely ignores. Under the guise of simple notes jotted down on paper, it offers an intellectual portrait of someone who, like the narrator in A Room of One’s Own, has not found her place in the academic world. Written at the time when the Bloomsbury group was developing, this text makes it possible to explore the links which Virginia Woolf, overshadowed by her dead father and brother, wove between classical humanities and contemporary literary experiments.

About the translator and editor

Mireille Duchêne teaches classical and modern literature at the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon. Her research focuses on childhood and education. She has published several papers on Virginia Stephen.

The reproduction of this notebook, including Woolf’s crossings-out and alterations, takes up a scant half of this slim volume. The remaining pages are split between Duchêne’s introduction and her short essays … Coming at a time when there surely cannot be many “new” things left to publish by Woolf, An Unpublished Notebook therefore takes its rightful place on the collector’s shelf.- Times Literary Supplement review, July 12, 2019

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