Posts Tagged ‘#DallowayDay’

It’s official. Dalloway Day is the third Wednesday in June on both sides of the pond.

After years of discussion and advocacy for a day that gives Virginia Woolf’s Clarissa Dalloway equal weight with James Joyce’s Leopold Bloom, both the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain and the International Virginia Woolf Society have designated the third Wednesday in June as #DallowayDay.

Finally, we have an officially recognized day for celebrating Clarissa Dalloway’s walk across London in Woolf’s 1925 novel Mrs. Dalloway to “buy the flowers herself.”

This year it’s June 20

This year the third Wednesday falls on June 20, and events are already being planned on the official date and those surrounding it. Here are those we know about so far.

  • The Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain is getting together with Waterstones, as it did last year, to arrange a walk, discussion and talk on Saturday, June 16. It will be announced on the new VWSGB website and Facebook page, and by Waterstones as well.
  • Many members of the International Virginia Woolf Society will be together and on their way to Knole House and Sissinghurst Gardens for the pre-conference outing on June 20, the day before the 28th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf begins. I imagine we will celebrate the day in some way and I welcome your ideas.
  • Places and Paces: Walking with Mrs. Dalloway, June 20, 4-5 p.m., at the British Library. Sponsored by the library and its Royal Society of Literature. Hermione Lee will discuss the novel’s walks and follow its paths into dreams, memories, and moments of revelation. Ticket prices range from £5 to £8 and can be booked online.
  • Dalloway Day with Sarah Churchwell, Alan Hollinghurst, Hermione Lee and Elaine Showalter, June 20, 7-8:30 p.m. at the British Library. Sponsored by the library and its Royal Society of Literature. The event will include a discussion on the significance of the novel and its effect on literary culture with Woolf’s biographer Lee; novelist Hollinghurst; literary critic Showalter, author of the seminal A Literature of their Own, and Churchwell, chair of public understanding in the humanities at the School of Advanced Study. Ticket prices range from £10 to £15 and can be booked online.
  • Monk’s House is holding an event on June 20, and the details will appear on the Monk’s House page of the National Trust website once they are settled.
  • The Italian Virginia Woolf Society is organizing an event dedicated to Woolf in June called “Una giornata tutta per lei” (A Day of Hers Own) on June 9 at the Casa Internazionale delle Donne, the International House of Women, the society’s home base.

Tell us about your #DallowayDay event

We urge you to add your own events in the comments section below or by sending an email to bloggingwoolf@yahoo.com, whether they are on the official date or another date. And please use the hashtag #DallowayDay in your social media posts so we can track them.

Watch out for The New Yorker

After June 20, keep your eyes out for The New Yorker magazine. A writer and editor for that publication has been in touch with Woolf societies and Blogging Woolf to discuss our plans for Dalloway Day. It turns out he is interested in traveling to England in time for Dalloway Day celebrations so he can cover it for the magazine.

His piece, if the idea is given the go-ahead, would appear in both the print and online editions, with photo coverage online. If so, this would make 2018 a banner year for dear Virginia — a Google Doodle and an official day of Clarissa’s own, covered in The New Yorker!


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Whether we celebrate it June 20 or June 13, may we all think of Clarissa and Virginia in London today, as we arrange some flowers of our own, read some Woolf, and take a walk. 

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Earlier this week, Blogging Woolf shared Elaine Showalter’s recommendation that June 13 is Dalloway Day, the day in June when Clarissa walked out to the buy the flowers herself in preparation for her party.

Read more about Mrs. Dalloway’s party paper dolls.

June 20 as Dalloway Day

Now an alternate date — and justification for it — has been shared as a comment on our original post and via the VWoolf Listserv. It comes from Murray Beja.

I might as well cite here some of my evidence for the date of June 20, which seems to me pretty clear cut. As I express it in my edition of Mrs. Dalloway, we explicitly learn that the day of the novel is a Wednesday, and that it is 1923; ?moreover, Clarissa wonders if the ?crush? of traffic is due to Ascot . . . which in 1923 ran from Tuesday, 19 June, to Friday, 22 June . . . . Gold Cup Day, on which the most coveted trophy is contested, falls on the Thursday. The results of cricket matches noted by both Septimus and Peter are those they would have seen in a newspaper for 20 June 1923 . . . .? (I go on to cite the London Times.) See Morris Beja, ed., Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (Shakespeare Head Press Edition of Virginia Woolf). Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1996.

Dalloway Day celebration is June 17 in London

The Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain, in collaboration with Waterstones, (oh, why not Hatchard’s?) is holding a Dallowday celebration on Saturday, June 17.

 Virginia Woolf Life and London: Bloomsbury and Beyond by Jean Moorcroft Wilson

The event starts at 2:30 p.m. with a guided walk led by Jean Moorcroft Wilson, author of Virginia Woolf’s Life and London: A Guide to Bloomsbury and Beyond. The walk will visit sites relevant to Clarissa Dalloway and Virginia Woolf. It will be followed by a 4 p.m. discussion of Mrs. Dalloway (1925), led by Maggie Humm.

An early evening party with a 1920s theme will top off the day, beginning at 6 p.m. Organizers are hoping that partygoers will turn up in appropriate party wear.

The walk and talk are sold out but party tickets are still available at a cost of £10.


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Was today, June 13, the day that Clarissa Dalloway headed out to buy the flowers herself? Elaine Showalter makes a case for that in The Guardian — and for the idea that Londoners and the rest of us should happily celebrate such a day in honor of Virginia Woolf.

Looking at the 1923 calendar, the critic Harvena Richter noted that 13 June is the most likely date. In his edition of Mrs Dalloway for the Oxford World’s Classics, David Bradshaw, finding a discrepancy in Woolf’s reference to a cricket game on that day, argued that the date of the party is an imaginary rather than a real Wednesday. Academics can argue over this fine point for ever. – Elaine Showalter, “Bring out the cardies and cocktails – it’s time we celebrated Dallowday,” The Guardian, 13 June 2017




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