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Posts Tagged ‘Anna Snaith’

Our brilliant three and a half days of listening and discussing Virginia Woolf and the World of Books had a noisy ending this afternoon. We heard birdsong and RAF fighters overhead as Anna Snaith of King’s College London presented the final plenary: Virginia Woolf’s “Gigantic Ear.”

Anna Snaith

The combination of natural and mechanical sound came from a 1942 BBC broadcast of birdsong interrupted by 197 RAF planes that Snaith shared. The online recording helped her make the point that Woolf uses sound to great effect in Between the Acts (1941).

Afterward, many Woolf scholars and common readers moved on from the 27th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf — some headed for their homes around the world, others continued their travels.

Chawton House Library

But the group of us who had signed up to go to Chawton boarded the bus to make the one-hour trip to this village in Hampshire.

Once there, we were able to visit Chawton House Library, located in a home once owned by Jane Austen’s brother Andrew and one that Jane visited regularly.

The main collection of the Chawton House Library, which can be explored using an online catalogue, focuses on women’s literature in English during the period 1600-1830, including rare early editions and some unique books.

Jane Austen’s House and Museum

We were also able to visit Jane’s own much smaller home down the road from Chawton House, the only house where Jane lived and wrote that is open to the public as a museum.

Jane Austen’s House Museum uses 41 objects throughout the house she lived in from 1809-1817 to tell the story of this classic British writer.

Our bus at the Chawton car park.

This way to Chawton House. That way to Jane Austen’s House.

Headed down the path to the Chawton House Library

Our group starts the tour of the Chawton House Library in the Great Hall.

A view of the grounds from a Chawton House window.

Just a few of the books on display at Chawton House.

Our first sighting of Jane Austen’s House and Museum.

A look at the garden at the Jane Austen House and Museum.

This is the tiny table where Jane Austen did her writing. Only the tabletop is original.

The rather small bed Jane Austen shared with her sister Cassandra.

This light-filled window in the bedroom Jane Austen shared with her sister Cassandra looks out over the herb garden and the outbuilding where the baking was done.

A group of Woolfians poses in the garden at Jane Austen’s House: Vara Neverow,  AnnMarie Bantzinger, Gill Lowe, and Stuart Clarke.

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Virginia Woolf never had any formal college education. Or so the story goes. A recent discovery in the King’s College archives, however, tells a different tale than the one told by biographers and Woolf herself.

The discovery shows course descriptions, exam pass lists and registrations for Vanessa and Virginia Stephen at King’s College Ladies’ Department, 13 Kensington Square, between 1897 and 1901.

In 1871 King’s College London began lectures and classes to meet women’s needs for higher education. In 1885, this became a department at the college known as the Ladies’ Department. In 1900 students began preparing for internal degrees. As a result,  the Ladies’ Department became known as the Women’s Department in 1902, after Woolf stopped attending classes.

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. One of them was Clara Pater, sister of critic and essayist Walter Pater.

Her sister, artist Vanessa Stephen, studied Latin, art and architecture between 1899 and 1901, records show.

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. She also came into contact with some of the leading reformers of education for women, according to Christine Kenyon Jones and Anna Snaith, who discovered Woolf’s King’s College records.

Anna Snaith

You can read about their discovery in the Kings College Report, Number 17 (2009). The report of their findings is titled “A Castle of One’s Own.” It appears on pages 28 to 33 in that issue.

The discovery is also explained in an article by Kenyon Jones and Snaith published in volume 16 of the Woolf Studies Annual, which is just out. Many images from the King’s College archive are included in the piece, which is titled ‘Tilting at Universities’: Virginia Woolf at King’s College London.’”

The latest volume of the Woolf Studies Annual also includes articles by:

  • Bette London on the culture of memorialization and A Room of One’s Own
  • Janice L. Stewart on Woolf, Freud and Leslie Stephen
  • James F. Wurtz on To the Lighthouse and Empire
  • Monica J. Miller on Woolf’s servant characters
  • M-C Newbould on Woolf’s un-Victorian Sterne
  • Nicky Platt on Pointz Hall’s debt to Freud

The volume is available from Pace University Press. According to Mark Hussey, Pace UP is also offering reissues of the following:

  • Helen M. Wussow’s transcription of ‘The Hours’
  • The British Museum Manuscript of Mrs. Dalloway
  • Edward L. Bishop’s transcription of Jacob’s Room, The Holograph Draft.
  • Women in the Milieu of Leonard & Virginia Woolf: Peace, Politics, and Education ed. Wayne Chapman and Janet Manson.

For more about books related to Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group, visit the Books page on Blogging Woolf.

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Registration for Woolf and the City, the 19th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf that will be held in New York City June 4 to 7, is now open, and conference organizers have planned some exciting events.

Some of the highlights, as posted so far, include:

Early bird registration has been extended to April 20, and online registration is open until May 8. Click here to register and get answers to frequently asked questions.

And if you are looking for three graduate credits, consider taking the summer class taught by Anne Fernald during the week of the conference. It’s called “Woolf: Modern Women and the City.”

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