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Archive for the ‘Orlando’ Category

Here’s a new take on Vita and Virginia. Vita Sackville West’s miniature book, written as an accessory for a famous doll house in 1922, is said to have been the inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel Orlando.

The story, encapsulated in a volume about the size of a matchbox with just 20 words per tiny page, is titled “A Note of Explanation.” It was one of 200 volumes produced for the library of Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, a replica of an Edwardian residence made as a gift for the consort of George V, according to The Telegraph.

Vita was among the greats

Some of the greatest authors of the day were commissioned to write works for the doll habitat, now on display at Windsor Castle. Besides Vita, they included Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The theme of Vita’s story will sound familiar to anyone who has read Woolf’s pseudo-biography. It tells the tale of an ageless figure who is present for major moments in history. However, in Vita’s version, the ageless figure is a sprite and the history the sprite lives through is fairytale history — from Cinderella’s ball to Sleeping Beauty’s kiss.

Woolf always acknowledged that Orlando had been inspired by Vita and her family, but apparently did not acknowledge that Vita had written a tiny book with a similar theme.

Get the book

A hardback cloth-bound publication of the book, sized 9.8 inches x 6.8 inches, went on sale Oct. 16 by the Royal Collection Trust, according to the BBC. It includes illustrations by Kate Baylay and an afterword by Sackville-West’s biographer, Matthew Dennison, The Guardian reported.

You can order it through the RCT shop. You can also find it on Amazon.

 

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Chanya Button will direct the upcoming film Vita and Virginia (image from TheFrisky.com).

Chanya Button, the director for the upcoming film Vita and Virginia, which will be about the relationship between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West, recently spoke with ScreenDaily.com about her upcoming film.

According to the article shooting for the film will start in March or April of 2017.

Button is now an up and coming director, but as a student she studied English Literature at Oxford University. She admits that she has had a long relationship with Woolf. From the article:

Virginia Woolf has been a passion for me for a long time,” Button said.

Button states that Woolf inspired her recent film Burn Burn Burn, an independent feature which will be available to stream on Netflix soon:

Woolf has influenced how I think about everything, there is even an essay she wrote, On Being Ill, that influenced Burn Burn Burn.”

According to the article, the film will cover about 15 years of the relationship between Woolf and Sackville-West, but we are now learning that it will focus specifically on events that occurred between 1925-1927. From Button:

“It’s about how their relationship inspired Orlando, It’s the study of a complex female relationship…

“It’s a fresh period drama…Also, you get a view into her creative genius, and some bonkers surreal visions.”

You can follow Chanya’s Twitter page where she has been documenting some of her research expeditions for the film including a trip she made to Vita’s home Knole House.

 

 

 

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Two attendees, including model Cara Delevigne, pose with copies of Orlando (image via Elle.com).

Burberry’s newest fall collection was inspired by Woolf’s novel Orlando, and the author’s presence was undeniable at the launch of the collection at London Fashion Week.

The luxury British fashion brand held a runway show last week which channeled the historical, fantastic, and androgynous aspects of Orlando, and, as Elle.com states, “pushed further into the future by showing a collection that was almost entirely unisex—and giving the entire cast the same makeup look, regardless of gender.”

Many famous fashion editors, models, and celebrities attended the launch of the collection at “Makers House,” which Fiona Sinclair Scott at CNN Style describes as, “an old bookshop in London’s Soho area” which was transformed into a space where people could “watch the show and explore an exhibition of artisans and craftspeople — including saddlers, embroiderers, scentmakers and bookbinders.”

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A few looks from Burberry’s Orlando inspired collection (image from the Los Angeles Times).

Writer Fiona Sinclair Scott, who attended the event and documented it on Instagram, wrote this about the show and about Christopher Bailey, the Chief Creative Officer and CEO of Burberry:

A copy of ‘Orlando’ by Virginia Woolf was left for each guest on the pale pink fabric-covered benches. Widely regarded as one of Woolf’s more popular and accessible reads, the novel’s protagonist is born into the body of a man but later transforms into a woman, living some 300 years into modern times. Neither time nor gender could stop Woolf’s story and it seems the same now applies to Bailey.

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A copy of Orlando was given to each guest (information and photo from Fiona Sinclair Scott at Instagram).

On Wednesday, September 21st, Burberry  hosted a live reading of Woolf’s Orlando which included such celebrities as British actor Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, Dame Eileen Atkins, and Dame Sian Phillips:

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Dame Sian Phillips reading from chapter one of Woolf’s Orlando at Burberry’s “Maker’s House” (image from Pin Drop at Twitter).

You can watch the entire 2016 Burberry show on YouTube (see below), or you can view the collection at uk.burberry.com.

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The luxury British fashion brand Burberry will soon launch a new collection inspired by Virginia Woolf’s novel, Orlando: A Biography. The ad campaign for the collection was shot by famed fashion photographer, Mario Testino, at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

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A photo from Burberry’s newest collection (photo by Mario Testino for Burberry from Burberryplc.com).

According to a press release at Burberryplc.com, the collection will launch on Sept. 19 during London Fashion Week 2016. The collection and the ad campaign will feature pieces and styles which give a nod to Woolf’s novel by “contrasting masculine and feminine styles across different periods in history.”

The campaign will celebrate the new collection as well as highlight the craftsmen who create Burberry products.

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An preview of the upcoming Burberry campaign (photo by Mario Testino for Burberry from Vogue.co.uk).

In the a press release at Burberryplc.com, the Chief Creative and Chief Executive Office of Burberry, Christopher Bailey, said this about the exhibition at London Fashion Week and about Woolf:

Just as Virginia Woolf’s Orlando is both a love-letter to the past and a work of profound modernity, this week-long exhibition aims to nod both to the design heritage that is so integral to Burberry’s identity, and to some of Britain’s most exciting creators, and the innovation and inspiration behind their work.

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The Burberry Woolf tote (from 2009).

This is not the first time Burberry has been inspired by Woolf. In 2009 Paula Maggio wrote about a Burberry collection and ad campaign which was influenced by Woolf. At the time, Burberry even offered a tote bag named after the author, which was available in several prints and styles.

Check out Vogue News for more information on Burberry’s Woolf inspired collection and about the upcoming London Fashion Week event.

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A recent article from English Studies is now available free on the Taylor and Francis untitledwebsite to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Virginia Woolf’s death.

The article, by Martin Ferguson Smith, is titled Virginia Woolf and “the Hermaphrodite”: A Feminist Fan of Orlando and Critic of Roger Fry, and will be free for any reader until 31 July 2016. The article can be found at http://bit.ly/Woolf_Smith.

Here’s the abstract for the article, which is available for download as a PDF.

After Virginia Woolf’s biography of Roger Fry was published in 1940, she received a letter from Mary Louisa Gordon strongly critical of her portrayal of Roger’s wife, the artist Helen Coombe, and even more critical of Roger’s character and conduct. Mary and Helen had been friends before the latter married in 1896 and went on to develop severe mental health problems. In 1936 the Woolfs had published Mary’s historical novel, Chase of the Wild Goose, about the Ladies of Llangollen. The article is in four sections. Section 1 is introductory. Section 2 is about Mary. It discusses Chase of the Wild Goose, its relationship to Orlando, and Virginia’s comments on it and its author, whom, in letters to Ethel Smyth, she calls “the Hermaphrodite”. It goes on to describe Mary’s life and career as medical doctor, suffragist, first female Inspector of Prisons in England and Wales, and scathing critic of the prison system. Section 3 presents Mary’s letter to Virginia, with significant corrections of the text published by Beth Rigel Daugherty. Section 4 focuses on Helen, and on Mary’s assessments of her and Roger.

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Four Orlando prizes of $1,000 each and publication in The Los Angeles Review are awarded twice yearly for a poem, a short story, a short short story, and an essay by women writers.

Deadline is July 31. Get the details on the A Room of Her Own Foundation website. Submit online.

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Michael Whitworth, who has produced the podcast introduction to Orlando discussed below, is a university lecturer in Twentieth-Century Literature at Oxford, and tutorial fellow at Merton College. His current projects include an edition of Virginia Woolf’s Night and Day for the Cambridge Edition and a critical guide to Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway.

Michael Whitworth

Podcast: An Introduction to Orlando (1928), by Virginia Woolf

I’ve uploaded an MP3 of an introductory lecture on Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. I was invited to give the lecture by the producer of a theatrical adaptation of it at Keble College; as the audience was reckoned to consist mostly of school pupils (presumably sixth-form), the lecture tries not to assume much familiarity with Woolf or the novel.  I begin with biographical background about Virginia and Vita, go on to narrate their relationship, and mention Logan Pearsall Smith as background to Nick Greene / Sir Nicholas Greene;  I then talk about genre (biography and fantasy), discover I’ve left far too little time to talk about sexuality, and conclude by addressing Angela Carter’s accusation that it’s ‘an orgy of snobbery’, caught up in the ideological myth of the English country house.

I hadn’t had an opportunity to see the play — and sadly, due to other…

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