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  • St. Martins in the Field, Trafalgar Square.
    Monday, 17th Sept. 2018. 1 p.m. – Free Lunchtime concert.
    One of the five works to be sung by mezzo-soprano Marta Simmonds, accompanied by Lana Bode (piano), is Dominic Argento’s “The Diary of Virginia Woolf”. Read more.
  • St Ives September Festival 2018
    PORTHMEOR STUDIOS, Back Road West, Borlase Smart Room
    Thursday 20 September at 3.30 – 4.30 p.m.
    Sarah Latham Phillips MA
    Introducing the Bloomsbury Group; at the heart of which were the two sisters, Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell. Avant-garde, controversial and influential: the Bloomsbury Group. Painters, art critics, writers and economists: Roger Fry, Duncan Grant, Clive Bell, Lytton Strachey, Leonard Woolf, E. M. Forster, John Maynard Keynes, Adrian Stephen and David Garnett.
    Tickets £5.50 Read more.
  • Celebration of “Orlando: A Biography” at Charleston, September–December (mainly 11–14 October) 2018
    Read more.

     

  • Bookings have just opened for Literature Cambridge’s 2019 summer courses:

    Virginia Woolf’s Gardens, 14-19 July 2019.

    Fictions of Home: Jane Austen to the Present, 21-26 July 2019.

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Virginia Woolf scholar Maggie Humm brought Woolf into the mix at the June 21 celebration of #WoolwichWomenRise!

Humm carried a placard paying homage to Kathleen Rance, Mayoress of Woolwich in 1937 ‘who would not as much as darn a sock to help a war,’ according to Woolf in Three Guineas (1938). It was the first time Woolf has been paraded through Woolwich as part of the Greenwich Festival’ Rise.

Maggie Humm (right) carrying a placard honoring Rance. It includes Woolf’s quote on the rear. With her is the current Mayor of Greenwich, which now incorporates Woolwich, holding a placard to the first woman Mayor of Woolwich (1930-1931).

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Gower Street Waterstones

About 25 Virginia Woolf fans gathered at Gower Street Waterstones this afternoon to talk about ”Woolf, Walking & Writing” in advance of the official #DallowayDay this Wednesday.

The walk

The bookstore and the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain sponsored the event, which began with an hour-long tour of Bloomsbury guided by Jean Moorcroft Wilson, author of Virginia Woolf’s London.

Jean began the walk with the suggestion that we think about it as a shopping expedition, one Woolf would have taken in her day. She then led us around the Bloomsbury squares where Woolf and other Bloomsbury Group members lived, putting each in context by adding quotes from Woolf’s diaries and references to her 1925 novel Mrs. Dalloway.

The talks

Back at the shop, the event included a panel discussion about writing with two writers — Francesca Wade and Farah Ahamed. Wade is writing a book about interwar women and Mecklenburgh Square and Ahamed writes fiction and essays.

The event concluded with wine and a presentation about Woolf’s photographs by Maggie Humm, author of Snapshots of Bloomsbury.

Here are some photos from the day.

The Woolf crowd gathers at Waterstones for the tour led by Jean Moorcroft Wilson.

Jean Moorcroft Wilson on the doorstep of 46 Gordon Square, Woolf’s first Bloomsbury home.

Our next stop was the Tavistock Hotel, where this blue plaque honoring Virginia and Leonard Woolf was installed this spring. The hotel is located on the site of their former home at 52 Tavistock Square, which was destroyed in World War II.

At Waterstones, ready for the #DallowayDay talks

A display of books by and about Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group available at the shop.

Panel discussion on Woolf and writing with M.L. Banting, Farah Ahamed and Francesca Wade.

Maggie Humm talks about Woolf’s photography and how it relates to her writing.

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  • Bloomsbury Spirit is the first exhibition in Sweden of the art and home decor of the Bloomsbury Group, including a recreation of Charleston. It takes place at Artipelag, set on Värmdö in the Stockholm Archipelago, just 20 minutes from the city centre of Stockholm. Dates: Through Sept. 30. Get tickets.
  • Virginia Woolf: an exhibition inspired by her writings is at Pallant House Gallery​ and features 80 female artists from 1854 to the present. Dates: May 26-Sept. 16. Organized by Tate St. Ives​ with Pallant & The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge​. Pallant House Gallery is located at 9 North Pallant, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1TJ.

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Literature Cambridge has scheduled interesting summer courses that have connections to Virginia Woolf and include fascinating excursions connected to her as well.

Woolf and Politics

Dates: 1-6 July 2018
Explores Woolf’s interest in the important issues of her day: women’s rights, education, the Spanish Civil War, the power of the newspapers, as well as her playful look at gender politics in Orlando.

Each day there is a lecture followed by a seminar or Cambridge supervision (tutorial). Some meals will be taken together as a group and the group will visit places around Cambridge of interest to Woolfians.

Excursions

  • King’s College: Woolf knew King’s well and had close friends there, including Dadie Rylands and E. M. Forster. She was appreciated for her wonderful conversation at college lunches. We will visit rooms with Woolf connections which are not usually open to the public. Guided by the lecturer and King’s Fellow Peter Jones, the group will also visit the marvellous chapel, built 1446-1547.
  • Fitzwilliam Museum: A rare opportunity to see the manuscript of A Room of One’s Own, one of Woolf’s most influential books. This is the only Woolf manuscript held in Cambridge. There will be a talk about the history of the manuscript, a chance to look closely at some pages, followed by a slap-up tea at Fitzbillies.
  • Wren Library, Trinity College: A visit to the Wren Library to see some of its remarkable manuscripts – Milton’s ‘Lycidas’; letters from Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, and others; many first editions of classic works; and the manuscript of Winnie the Pooh. There will be a display about the Pethick-Lawrences, activists in the women’s suffrage movement. The group will also learn about women at Trinity and about the history of the library, once mockingly cursed by Woolf in A Room of One’s Own, now much used by women scholars and students.

Women Writers: Emily Bronte to Elizabeth Bowen

Dates: 8-13 July 2018.
Will study: Bronte, Wuthering Heights; Eliot, The Mill on the Floss; Woolf, To the Lighthouse; Mansfield, The Garden Party; Bowen, To the North

Excursions 

  • Girton College: Girton College, established in 1869, was the first residential university college for women. Clare Walker Gore will talk about George Eliot’s support for women’s education, and Alison Hennegan will discuss the remarkable history of Girton. The group will visit the room in which Virginia Woolf gave a talk that became A Room of One’s Own (1929).
  • Wren Library, Trinity College: As above; a rare treat.
  • Orchard Tea Room, Grantchester: The group will take tea and scones in this famous old tea room, enjoyed in the early 20th century by Woolf, Bertrand Russell, Rupert Brooke, John Maynard Keynes, E. M. Forster, Wittgenstein, and many others.

Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge

Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge

Literature Cambridge lecture at Girton College in July 2017

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Wednesday 9 January [1924]

At this very moment, or fifteen minutes ago to be precise, I bought the ten years lease of 52 Tavistock Sqre London W.C. 1—I like writing Tavistock. Subject of course to the lease, & to Providence, & to the unforeseen vagaries on the part of old Mrs Simons, the house is ours: & the basement, & the billard room, with the rock garden on top, & the view of the square in front & the desolated buildings behind, & Southampton Row, & the whole of London – London thou art a jewel of jewels, & jasper of jocunditie – music, talk, friendship, city views, books, publishing, something central & inexplicable, all this is now within my reach. – Virginia Woolf, Diary 2, 282-3.

The Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain held a one-day conference in London last Saturday that doubled as a general meeting for the organization, as well as a celebration of its 20th anniversary. It was coupled with the unveiling of a blue plaque in honor of Virginia and Leonard Woolf.

“Virginia Woolf and her Relatives” was the theme of the conference, and Marion Dell, Philip Carter and Maggie Humm presented papers.

After the conference, the group walked to Tavistock Square for the unveiling of a blue plaque on the exterior wall of the Tavistock Hotel to mark number 52, where Virginia and Leonard Woolf lived from 1924 to 1939. The house was destroyed in World War Two and later replaced with the hotel.

It was at 52 Tavistock Square that Woolf wrote many of her books, including Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, A Room of One’s Own, Orlando, The Waves, The Years, and Three Guineas. Her diary entries talk about her walks around the square as she thought about the novel she was working on. And her nephew, Cecil Woolf, recalls Leonard and Virginia sitting at a table in the garden and sharing a bottle of wine.

Dame Eileen Atkins, honorary president of the VWSGB, unveiled the plaque, which was funded by the society and the Tavistock Hotel. Afterwards, society members attended a reception at which Atkins read extracts from Woolf’s diaries and letters that reflected upon her life in Tavistock Square and her love of London.

Cecil sent Blogging Woolf these photos that commemorate the day.

Cecil Woolf and Jean Moorcroft Wilson at the plaque unveiling.

Dame Eileen Atkins and Maggie Humm outside the Tavistock Hotel at the plaque unveiling.

The blue plaque on the side of the Tavistock Hotel commemorating Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s tenure at 52 Tavistock Square.

 

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The details are in for DallowayDay 2018: Woolf, Walking & Writing on Saturday 16 June at the Gower Street Waterstones, four days earlier than the official #DallowayDay of June 20.

Jean Moorcroft Wilson

‘I love walking in London,’ said Mrs. Dalloway. ‘Really it’s better than walking in the country.’

From the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain comes this news:

In one of the greatest novels of the 20th century, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, set in June 1923, Clarissa Dalloway loves walking as much as did her creator. So this year’s #DallowayDay takes as its theme ‘Woolf, Walking & Writing’.

Gower Street Waterstones and the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain invite you to celebrate #DallowayDay with us in London’s Bloomsbury on Saturday 16 June.We start with an hour’s walk (2–3 p.m.) around Bloomsbury guided by Jean Moorcroft Wilson, author of Virginia Woolf’s London, to places familiar to Virginia Woolf and her friends (please note numbers for the walk are restricted to 25).

The walk ends at Waterstones Gower Street, where we’ll have a panel discussion (3.30–4.30 p.m.) on Woolf, Walking & Writing with authors and special guests.

At 5.30 p.m. we’ll have time for a celebratory glass of wine, then at 6 p.m. Maggie Humm, author of Snapshots of Bloomsbury, will talk about Woolf and photography, illustrated with photographs taken by Woolf and her Bloomsbury friends, starting with images matching up with key moments in Mrs Dalloway.

  • All-event tickets (walk, panel and talk), £24; VWSGB members & students, £18
  • Woolf, Walking & Writing panel, 3.30–4.30 p.m., £8; VWSGB & students, £6
  • Woolf & Photography, by Maggie Humm, 5.30–7.30 p.m. includes glass of wine, £8. VWSGB & students, £6

Bookings are available online http://bit.ly/2FVk5V8 or by phone 020 7636 1577. Please note that online bookings incur an additional fee.

Please note that Wednesday, June 20, has been designated the official #DallowayDay on both sides of the pond this year. Get more details on other #DallowayDay events on the Events page.

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