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One day walking round Tavistock Square I made up, as I sometimes make up my books, ‘To the Lighthouse’ – Virginia Woolf.

That quote is the inspiration for an illustrated pamphlet published last month and created by artist Louisa Amelia Albani. Titled A Moment in the Life of Virginia Woolf: A Lighthouse Shone in Tavistock Square, the booklet visually reimagines this ‘moment’ on a summer afternoon in London’s Tavistock Square in 1925.

To do so, it uses Woolf’s own words from her letters and diaries, along with excerpts from To the Lighthouse (1927).

I ordered a copy of Albani’s pamphlet last week. It hasn’t arrived from London yet, but I did get a thank you email for my order directly from Albani — an unexpected but lovely treat.

Art exhibit too

The artist also has an online art exhibition with the same title. The exhibit includes more than a dozen pieces based on Woolf. Many of them are already sold, so if you are interested in an original piece of art connected to Woolf, take a look now.

Below is a video of the project that the artist has posted on YouTube.

 

 

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Mitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury is a book about Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s pet marmoset that they adopted in 1934 and took with them when they visited Berlin in 1935. And it is now available on Amazon, with the e-book selling for $1.99 and the paperback $11.19.

At that price, I couldn’t resist adding the Kindle version to my Woolf collection, even though I already own the hardcover version published by Harper Flamingo in 1998.

Author Sigrid Nunez drew on memoirs, letters, diaries, biographies, and her imagination to write this mock biography that is said to pay homage to Woolf’s Flush.

Accolades from reviewers

According to reviewers, it “offers a striking look at the lives of writers and artists shadowed by war, death, and mental breakdown, and at the solace and amusement inspired by its tiny subject.”

This new edition includes an afterword by Peter Cameron and a never-before-published letter about Mitz by Nigel Nicolson.

It was also named one of NPR’s best books of 2019. Here’s what NPR had to say in its review:

Mitz captures the heartrending downside of love and connection — loss. But it also reminds us, beautifully, of the “great solace and distraction” of literature.

At this time in history, as in the late 1930s, we can all use some solace, as well as some distraction.

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Pace University Press announces the release of the 2020 Woolf Studies Annual.

Featuring articles, reviews of new books, and a guide to library special collections, Woolf Studies Annual is the premier academic journal on the life, work, and times of Virginia Woolf.

Here’s what you’ll find in the 26th volume:

  • Josh Phillips’s transcription of part of the holograph manuscript of The Years, which provides a new take on that novel’s relationship to Three Guineas, enabling further exploration of Woolf’s complex creative processes.
  • Catriona Livingstone’s reading of Woolf through the lens of science fiction, which provides a fresh and provocative look at some well-known texts
  • Sebastian Williams providing insightful observations into Woolf’s Bioethics in “Animals and Dependency in ‘The Widow and the Parrot.’”
  • Reviews by Elizabeth Outka, Celia Marshik, and more.

This volume is edited by Dr. Mark Hussey. For a complete Table of Contents or to place an order, visit press.pace.edu

ISBN: 978-1-935625-46-9 Price: $40

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The temperature was 34 degrees and a light dusting of snow covered the ground when my copy of London in Bloom by Georgianna Lane arrived in my Ohio mailbox several weeks ago.

With its cover photo depicting pale pink roses draping a doorway, arching over a window, and filling the basket of a matching pink bicycle parked out front, the book introduced a welcome breath of spring into my life that day. We need that even more now.

Turning from fear to beauty

The coronavirus has infected our globe, and many of us are sheltering at home, attempting to stave off the ugliness of anxiety. So there is no better time to open a book full of the floral beauty of London, Virginia Woolf’s favorite city.

London in Bloom is the third and final book in Lane’s Cities in Bloom series, published by Abrams. To capture the images that fill it, she spent many early morning hours photographing the floral beauty and architectural detail of England’s capitol before residents and tourists clogged the streets, sidewalks, and parks. I daresay she would find that task easier now.

On “Tea and Tattle”

I first heard of the book on episode 27 of Francesca Wade’s “Tea and Tattle” podcast. Wade describes it as “most beautiful guide to the city’s parks, gardens, florists and hotels and should be on any London-lover’s shelf!”

Much like Woolf, a lover of gardens who incorporated them into her life and into her work, the author shares her affection for London’s gardens in her Introduction to the book:

Perhaps not surprisingly, my most memorable London experiences have been inextricably interwoven with gardens… the open spaces of London have seeped into my consciousness, awakened my imagination, and become part of me” (7).

From parks and gardens to floral displays

London in Bloom is divided into four sections:

  • parks and gardens
  • floral boutiques
  • market flowers and
  • floral displays.

Each is introduced by a page or two of text that shares Lane’s thoughts and experiences, then filled with gorgeous photos of flowers and architectural details — brickwork, tile-work, doorways — that enhance them.

Whimsical touches are also introduced in the form of light cotton floral print dresses in a shop window, teacups and cake on a tea table, and London’s trademark red phone booth and double decker buses.

Beauty and practicality

Despite some touches of red, the theme throughout is pastel — from flowers to buildings to cover pages. But the book includes the practical, as well as the beautiful.

The back section gives us instructions on creating our own London-style bouquet, a field guide to London’s spring blooming trees and shrubs, and an introductory guide to springtime blooms throughout the city.

London in Bloom provides delectable refreshment for the eye and the soul in our troubled times, whether you are a lover of flowers, a fan of London, or just in need of a bit of balm.

 

 

 

 

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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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