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Posts Tagged ‘Kew Gardens’

In June, Rohan Maitzen, senior editor at Open Letters Monthly, approached Blogging Woolf. She was seekingnadelwoolf someone to review a new biography of Virginia Woolf.

Zoe Wolstenholme, who joined Blogging Woolf as a contributing writer just this year, readily agreed to review the work by biographer and critic Ira Nadel. Titled Virginia Woolf, it is part of Reaktion Books’ “Critical Lives” series and is included in the University of Chicago Press catalog.

Wolstenholme’s review, “The bowl that one fills and fills,” was published online Oct. 1.

Open Letters Monthly is a monthly arts and literature review with a readership of more than 30,000. The online publication is linked to regularly by Arts & Letters Daily and 3 Quarks Daily, among other sites.

this is truly a Critical Life; the biography focuses on Woolf’s writing and its relationship with both her own and others’ critical thought – Zoe Wolstenholme, “The bowl that one fills and fills,” Open Letters Monthly, Oct. 1, 2016.

Other new tomes

Also included in the current University of Chicago Press Literature and Criticism Catalog are:literature_15_uchicagopress

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Read here on the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew’s Library Art and Archives blog about the evolution of Virginia Woolf’s iconic short story Kew Gardens from its first edition with Vanessa Bell woodcut prints through the 1927 publication hand illustrated by Bell and on to RBG Kew’s new edition published in 2015 with contemporary illustrations by Livi Mills.

1927 cover

1927 edition of Kew Gardens held in RBG, Kew’s LAA collection

 

 

 

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Zoe Wolstenholme

Zoe Wolstenholme

Blogging Woolf’s first regular blogger from the other side of the pond is now on board. Just out of her Charleston internship, Zoe Wolstenholme will contribute posts that add an emphasis on the visual arts of the Bloomsbury group — and will link them to the natural world, with an emphasis on gardens.

From North Yorkshire in England, Zoe studied English Literature at the University of Exeter, writing her dissertation on The Room of One’s Own: Interiority in Virginia Woolf’s short fiction and Post-Impressionist Art. Here she examined the relationship between Woolf’s writing and the painting styles of French and British Post-Impressionist artists exploring the room as a metaphor for the mind. Zoe went on to study for an MA in Art Museum and Gallery Studies before being awarded a curatorial traineeship with The Charleston Trust in 2015.

Charleston House, dubbed “Bloomsbury in Sussex,” was the home of artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, found for them by Bell’s sister Virginia Woolf while she was walking across the South Downs from her own country house at the time, Asheham. Today The Charleston Trust cares for and preserves Charleston House and its collection of art works both collected and executed by Bell and Grant.

Charleston House

Charleston House

At Charleston, Zoe worked on The Angelica Garnett Gift, a donation of 8,000 works of art by Bell, Grant and other members of the Bloomsbury group. Here she photographed, catalogued and researched these unseen works publishing these findings on The Charleston Attic. As part of this traineeship Zoe also wrote an extended research paper on the Angelica Garnet Gift titled Dressing Modern Identity, which examined the overlooked importance of dress to Bell and Grant’s personal and artistic lives. This article will be published in the next edition of Clothing Cultureswhich is available to read online.

The Charleston Attic

“The Process of Abstraction” by Zoe Wolstenholme on The Charleston Attic

Zoe is now working at The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London. Here she hopes to pursue her interest in art and the environment, which was the topic of her MA dissertation Art Spaces for Ecological Well-being. This piece examined how art has the potential to influence our relationship with the natural world. By working with the botanical art and other collections at Kew, Zoe hopes to be a part of inspiring people to care for the natural world.

Through writing for Blogging Woolf Zoe also hopes to continue her research into Woolf’s work and her circle, the Bloomsbury group.

Look for Zoe’s first post — “What Woolf wore”–  tomorrow.

The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art © Walters & Cohen

The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art © Walters & Cohen

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We all know that Woolf’s works are notably challenging to read and teach because of her unconventional themes and plots, innovative structures, non-traditional narrative forms, historical and literary allusions, and avant-garde techniques.

approaches to woolfjpgAs a community college teacher of literature, one technique I have found to combat the challenges of teaching Woolf is to review, at the start of each semester, some of the pedagogical guides that help teachers of Woolf bring our students closer to the author, such as Approaches to Teaching Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway (2009, edited by Eileen Barrett and Ruth O. Saxton).

But at the start of this fall semester I found myself in a new position in my department and my new office brought new duties, new expectations and new stresses. In my past visions, sitting in my office on my first day as a full-time instructor would feel warm, shiny and successful. I would be hopeful. I would be energetic. I would bring Woolf into every class.

Instead, on the first day of school I sat in the academic room of my own and stared at the photo of Woolf that I taped to my wall and then at the calendar filled with meetings, conferences and due dates. I didn’t feel shiny and hopeful; I felt overwhelmed and exhausted. I didn’t need a new teaching technique this semester. I needed a new inspirational technique.

kew gardensI chose to not review pedagogical guides on Woolf. Instead, I turned to my past students’ responses to “Kew Gardens”. My students’ positive reactions to Woolf reminded me of why we work so hard to bring her words to readers, to challenge our students with unconventional literature and to stimulate students’ imaginations; of why we sometimes dedicate a whole class to discussing beauty; of why we go home felling like failures when some don’t seem to “get it.”

Reading the reactions my community college students in Las Vegas had upon their first encounter with Woolf revived my passion for teaching this challenging author:

I think Woolf is a beautiful writer. Her work is filled with passion, love, beauty and the depth seems to draw in hungry intelligent minds. I appreciate any writer who challenges her readers to think outside of the mundane society around them and see the beauty in their surroundings. -Erica

Virginia Woolf’s writing is so unconventional and brave. It is admirable that she had the courage to break out of formal conventions. All the while, she managed to capture the assortment of everyday interactions in one short story. -Ian

I quite like Kew Gardens! The unconventional plot and intimate look into each character’s conversations not only makes for an interesting read, but made me ponder as to what one might hear if they were to listen in on any one of my personal conversations at any given time. Additionally, while reading Kew Garden’s I couldn’t help but imagine that the brief glimpses of narration must be something like what God hears as he checks in on our lives. –Sara

Where does your passion for Woolf come from?

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Scout Books publishes what it calls Pocket Books, and one features Virginia Woolf. The tome includes “Kewscoutbooks_forevermodern_06-600x600 Gardens,” along with other short stories and features illustrations by Jennifer Parks. Fitting enough.

Doesn’t one always think of the past, in a garden with men and women lying under the trees? – Kew Gardens by Virginia Woolf

Another unique Woolf edition is the Folio Society’s Mrs. Dalloway, illustrated by Lizzy Stewart. Sady, though, it is out of print.

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On Pol Culture, Robert Stanley Martin reviews “Kew Gardens,” a Virginia Woolf short story published in the volume Monday or Tuesday: Eight Stories.

In his review, Martin says Woolf’s story, originally published privately in 1919, “may be the greatest of her short stories.” Read his review.

You can read his other posts discussing Woolf’s writings at the links below:

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