Archive for the ‘quotes’ Category

Back in January, in response to Blogging Woolf’s tweet about a Virginia Woolf punch, Maggie Humm tweeted about Virginia Woolf and wine, saying she had a list of Woolf quotes referencing the fermented beverage.

The emeritus professor at the University of East London provided them at our request, apologizing for the lack of complete citations. Grateful for her contribution, we gladly forgive her.

The quotes, said Maggie, a Woolf scholar and author, were on a brief list she sent to the Tate for the launch of her 2006 book Snapshots of Bloomsbury, at the London Review of Books.

We share them with you here — and raise a glass to Virginia Woolf, with love on Valentine’s Day 2018.

Woolf quotes on wine

  • 1936 to Ethel Smyth the feminist composer: ‘Oh and the champagne! How I like it.
  • 1937 to Vita Sackville-West: ‘shant I be thankful to be in a courtyard in France, listening to a nightingale, drinking red wine, while you are curtseying & singing God Save the King’.
  • 1938 to Quentin Bell: ‘Wine would be a passport to my heart, its true’.
  • 1939 to Ethel Smyth: ‘How it liberates the soul to drink a bottle of good wine daily & sit in the sun’.
  • 1929 Cassis: ‘Nessa’s villa…a delicious life, with a great deal of wine, cheap cigars, conversation’.
  • 1931 to Ethel Smyth from Bergerac (Woolf likes Bergerac wine): `Just dined off eels, artichokes and wine – slightly tipsy’.
  • 1940 Diary: ‘All the young English drink spirits. I like wine. Air raids much less’.
  • 1931 Diary: ‘Wine at lunch flushes me & floats me’.
  • Room of One’s Own: ‘I blandly told them to drink wine and have a room of their own’.


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Woolf in BloomVirginia Woolf scholar Elisa Kay Sparks has launched a new blog that links a daily quote from Woolf with a photographic image of flora.

She launched the blog, Woolf in Bloom: A Daily Almanac, on March 22. In a message to the VWoolf Listserv, Sparks said she has made a one-year commitment to the blog. She said the the blog is a response to the desire of Woolf scholars for a daily Woolf quote app that would provide a passage from Woolf to meditate on every day.

The photographs of flora that she posts with the quotes come from her daily walks, as well as from images she has collected from trips to visit gardens and Woolf sites in the UK.

“I’ll be commemorating important dates in Woolf’s life as well as attempting to highlight flowers according to the British blooming season and to Woolf’s mentions of them in diaries and letters,” Sparks said.

She said she would attempt to post to the blog on a daily basis and that most — but not all — posts would include a Woolf quote and a flora image.

Today’s quote, which is linked with a soft peach tulip:

They had reached the site of the old Exhibition. They looked at the tulips. Stiff and curled, the little rods of waxy smoothness rose from the earth, nourished yet contained, suffused with scarlet and coral pink. Each had its shadow; each grew trimly in the diamond-shaped wedge as the gardener had planned it.  –Jacob’s Room (176)

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Today is the first day of spring as well as the day that the solar eclipse will be visible in the UK and Scandinavia. Here’s what Virginia Woolf had to say about both.

Virginia Woolf on spring:

I enjoy the spring more than the autumn now. One does, I think, as one gets older. — Jacob’s Room

Virginia Woolf on the solar eclipse in 1927, which she traveled to Yorkshire to view:

very very quickly, all the colours faded; it became darker and darker as at the beginning of a violent storm; the light sank and sank; suddenly the light went out. There was no colour. The earth was dead.

The partial eclipse in the UK today will see 85 percent of the sun blocked out in southern England and 98 percent in the Hebrides.

Only one or two eclipses per century are visible from anywhere in the UK. The last solar eclipse in the UK was in 1999. The next one will occur in August 2026.

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Today is March 8, International Women’s Day,  and three collections of inspiring quotes from mirror-on-facenotable women ranging from Coco Chanel to Gloria Steinem include a quote from Virginia Woolf — the same quote. Here it is:

Women have served all these centuries as looking glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of a man at twice its natural size.

Woolf on the day

The fact that International Women’s Day, was first celebrated in 1911, during Woolf’s time, led me to wonder: What did she think of the day? I did a quick scan of her published diaries, but could not find specific mention of it.

In her diary entry of March 8, 1918, one of only four entries I could locate for the actual date, Woolf was preoccupied with World War I, and she notes that she and Leonard had to take refuge underneath their kitchen table after guns and air raid whistles went off late the previous night (D1, 123-4).

There were two entries on March 8 in the 1930s. A two-line entry on March 8, 1932, mentions the fatigue that makes it impossible for her to finish edits of her 1928 article on Dorothy Osborne’s letters that will be included in The Common Reader: Second Series (D4, 80). On March 8, 1937, she was working on her feminist anti-war polemic Three Guineas (1938), but her diary entry for that date includes her observations about the people she spotted while on a walk and her dislike of private areas that forced her to walk along the road, beset by motor traffic, on a cold, damp day (D5, 66).

And Woolf’s diary entry for March 8, 1941, mentions that they are just back from Brighton, where Leonard Woolf has given a speech to the Workers’ Education Association, or WEA, on “Common Sense in History.” Virginia describes the place as being “Like a foreign town: the first spring day. Women sitting on seats. A pretty hat in a teashop–how fashion revives the eye!” (D5, 357).

International Women’s Day has a strong British connection. It uses the color purple as a nod to the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) of Great Britain’s adoption of the color scheme of purple, white and green to symbolize the plight of the Suffragettes.

More on the day

For 14 more inspiring quotes, read International Women’s Day 2015: Top 15 inspirational quotes on women empowerment. For 36 more, go here. Then get another batch.

This year’s theme for the day is “Make It Happen.” Share your empowering quotes, news or stories on social media using the hashtag #IWD2015 or MakeItHappen.


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Lytton [Strachey] is still alive this morning. We thought he could not live through the night. It was a moonlit night. Nessa [her sister] rang up at 10 to say that he has taken milk and tea after an injection. He had taken nothing for 24 hours and was only half-conscious. This may be the turn or it may be nothing. Now again all one’s sense of him flies out and expands and I begin to think of things I shall say to him, so strange is the desire for life. – Virginia Woolf”s Diary, 25 December 1931

For quotes from more authors regarding their Christmas week blues, read this Dec. 22, 2014, article in The Independent.

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Two weeks ago, I wrote what I wished to write, a piece offering the challenge to “Speak out for adjunct equity because your silence will not protect you.” Today it appears on The Feminist Wire. Thank you for the inspiration, Virginia Woolf. And thank you, Audre Lord, for the challenge.

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A Facebook friend of mine is very good at spotting Virginia Woolf online. And when she does, she posts the links to my wall. Here are a couple of amusing Woolf sightings she posted just this week:

As a bonus, my friend Lisa also posted this quote a few weeks ago:

Woolf quote

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