Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Leonard Woolf’

Happy birthday to Cecil Woolf, nephew of Leonard and Virginia Woolf and the dearest of friends, who is 90 today — and still runs Cecil Woolf Publishers, a small London publishing house in the tradition of the Woolfs’ Hogarth Press.

Cecil Woolf at 46 Gordon Square, London, where Virginia lived from 1905-1907

Cecil Woolf at 46 Gordon Square, London, where Virginia lived from 1905-1907.

As the oldest living relative of Virginia and Leonard, Cecil attends annual Woolf conferences as often as he can, where he displays his most recent volumes in the Bloomsbury Heritage series. He is often featured as a speaker at those events. And the reminiscences about his famous aunt and uncle and the time he spent with them are treasured by conference-goers.

At the last Woolf conference, Cecil gave me a personal tour of Bloomsbury. At the Woolf conference in New York City in 2009, he was interviewed by The Rumpus.

Cecil is also often called upon to assist at ceremonies honoring his Uncle Leonard. In 2014, he planted a Gingko biloba tree in Tavistock Square garden to commemorate the centennial of the arrival of his uncle Leonard in Colombo, Ceylon. In 2014, he spoke at the unveiling of a Blue Plaque commemorating his uncle’s 1912 marriage proposal to Virginia at Frome Station.

I only wish I could be in London to celebrate this milestone birthday with Cecil and his wife, Jean Moorcroft Wilson, and the rest of their family. Cecil tells me the official family celebration will take place  Saturday, Feb. 25.

Jean Moorcroft Wilson and Cecil Woolf on stage at the 2016 Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf at Leeds Trinity University.

Jean Moorcroft Wilson and Cecil Woolf on stage at the 2016 Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf at Leeds Trinity University.

Jean Moorcroft Wilson and Cecil Woolf with their display of Bloomsbury Heritage monographs at the 2016 Woolf conference

Scholar and author Jean Moorcroft Wilson and Cecil Woolf with their display of Bloomsbury Heritage monographs at the 2016 Woolf conference.

Read Full Post »

If you haven’t joined the site Academia.edu, you may want to sign up. A number of papers on VirginiaLeonard Woolf bio cover Woolf and the Bloomsbury group are uploaded there and can be downloaded free of charge. Some of them were shared at recent Woolf conferences. You can also search the site for additional resources.

Recently uploaded papers include:

Read more.

Read Full Post »

I wish I’d remembered to post this information earlier, but there are still a few days remaining to visitHogarth Plaque the Virginia Woolf and the Hogarth Press exhibit in Richmond. Up since Oct. 29, the exhibit ends Dec. 10.

You’ll find it at the Riverside Gallery, Old Town Hall, Whittaker Avenue, Richmond, TW9 1TP.

Held in conjunction with the Richmond Literature Festival, the exhibit celebrates a century since Virginia and Leonard Woolf began publishing in Richmond under the auspices of their small publishing house started in 1917, the Hogarth Press.

The press gave Leonard and Virginia the opportunity to self-publish and provided an important opportunity for writers and artists to showcase their work uncensored and in small print runs.

Read Full Post »

Produced by BBC TV, this 1970 documentary, Virginia Woolf: A Night’s Darkness, A Day’s Sail, was unavailable for years but is now posted on YouTube.

It is a gem, including footage of Talland House, the Stephen family’s summer home, and Godrevy Lighthouse. It also includes interviews with Leonard Woolf (from 1967), Angelica Garnett, Quentin Bell, George Rylands, Elizabeth Bowen, Duncan Grant, Benedict Nicolson, Lord David Cecil, Dame Janet Vaughn, Raymond Mortimer, and Louie Mayer (the Woolfs’ cook at Monk’s House). They talk about Woolf’s character traits, as well as her genius, her writing habits and her love of London. And they discuss the Bloomsbury Group.

Portions of Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and A Room of One’s Own (1929) are also read on camera. And you’ll see the actual Hogarth press.

She always asked everybody, ‘What did you have for breakfast.’ – Angelica Garnett

 

Read Full Post »

Village in the Jungle

A 1926 edition of Leonard’s novel

Sri Lankan Film Director Lester James Peries (LJP) recently sat down for an interview with The Sunday Times Sri Lanka in which he discussed how Leonard Woolf’s anti-imperialist 1913 novel based on Woolf’s experiences as a colonial civil servant in Ceylon, Village in the Jungle, inspired his 1980 film Baddegama.
Peries calls Leonard Woolf’s novel a “masterpiece.” From the interview:

Justifying the efforts he made to bring the novel closer to Lankan viewers, he said ‘Village in the Jungle’ is a masterpiece, authored by a literary giant of the twentieth century – the only fiction written by a colonial ruler on Lankans.

The novel projected the lives of peasants in a village surrounded by the jungles of Hambantota. The author, who was the Government Agent of the Hambantota District and thus himself an agent of imperialism, revealed the insensitivities and injustices of the colonial masters. Woolf was also one of the first who saw the cracks in the British Empire.

LJP was attracted not just by the narrative and literary excellence alone. He saw its sociological and political relevance which pushed him to search for a Sinhala translation.

Leonards-in-Ceylon-300x231

Leonard Woolf in Ceylon (front center)

Peries also celebrates the lasting influence of Woolf’s novel:

Baddegama

Film Cover for Baddegama (1980)

LJP points out that the novel written in 1913 has survived for over hundred years and inspired not only film-makers but authors like Christopher Ondaatje who in the hundredth year of Woolf’s arrival in Ceylon in 1904 retraced his footsteps to the real village “Malagasnugawala” which is likely to have been Woolf’s “Baddegama.”

In 1960 Leonard and his partner Trekkie Parsons visited Ceylon and although Leonard was nervous about how he would be perceived by Sri Lankans due to, as the article describes, his role “as a former agent of imperialism,” he was warmly welcomed:

[Leonard] had feared he would be vilified as a former agent of imperialism but found himself commended for the part he played which contributed to the then British government rethinking their role which helped Ceylon to gain Independence. Woolf, as LJP points out, had done a great service to Sri Lanka.

In 1980, Baddegama was invited to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival in the prestigious Directors’ Fortnight.

You can watch a short clip of the film Baddegama (with English subtitles).

Read Full Post »

An email from Cecil Woolf this morning reminded me that today would be his uncle Leonard’s 135th birthday.

I posted the reminder on Facebook and sent out a tweet about it.

Others (@manuelardingo @diconodioggi @SomeOfHerParts) picked it up and added to the conversation, resulting in a string of tweets about the day — and how one marks it.

This one included a photo of Virginia’s Nov. 25, 1928 diary entry:

 

Read Full Post »

The University of St. Andrews has acquired an archive of dozens of letters from Virginia Woolf’s friends and family collected by biographer Brownlee Kirkpatrick.

The collection includes two previously unseen photographs of Woolf.

The material will be made accessible to academics and the general public in a Special Collections Reading Room at the University of St Andrews. The Special Collections staff and the staff in the school of English have been working together to develop a Virginia Woolf and Hogarth Press research collection.

“This archive will put St Andrews even more firmly on the map as a world-ranking centre for the study of literary modernism in general and Virginia Woolf as one of its great proponents in particular,” Woolf scholar Susan Sellers told the Herald Scotland. She is also the author of the award-winning novel Vanessa and Virginia.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: