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Posts Tagged ‘Life in Squares’

Predictably, the latest collection of Woolf sightings includes many related to the BBC Two three-part drama Life in Squares, along with Charleston, where much of the filming was done. But scroll down for references to Woolf in pop culture — including Downton Abbey — literature and war and peace.

  • Sussex and Charleston are getting a big boost from Life in SquaresLife-in-Squares-_3215726b
  • Was Life in Squares more than a reminder that the Bloomsbury Group liked sex? Many think it was.
  • Life in Squares episode 3 review: The dream fades.
  • Reaction to episode one of Life in Squares.
  • Life in Squares: How the Radical Bloomsbury Group Fares on Screen by Frances Spalding
  • Life in Squares review: ‘absurd, beautiful characters in a ridiculously golden world’ by Lucy Mangen
  • Life in Squares among top 30 shows on the telly.
  • Life in Squares will be available on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK on Aug. 17. It can be shipped to the U.S., but it can only be played on a Code 2 DVD player, a Code A Blu-ray player or a code-free player. Visit Amazon UK for details.
  • The Hotel Russell’s mistake in closing the Virginia Woolf Burger Bar.
  • Charleston Farmhouse campaigns for funds.Charleston
  • Charleston, the Bloomsbury Group’s living legacy: A piece in The Daily Mail
  • Bloomsbury Group: Charleston Farmhouse and Berwick Church, an Aug. 14, 2015, blog post.
  • Vanessa Bell steps out of the shadows.
  • Fashion tips from the Bloomsbury Group, including a link to Cressida Bell.
  • A Virginia Woolf primer.
  • Season six of Downton Abbey mentions Lady Edith’s meeting with Virginia Woolf.
  • In Spain, a walk of one’s own, courtesy of the BBC.
  • Clarice Lispector earned comparisons to Virginia Woolf.
  • Virginia Woolf on the wall — in color — at New Cafe at Elliott Bay Books.
  • New collection, Pleasures of the Table: A Literary Anthology, includes Virginia Woolf and is illustrated with vivid historic images from the collection of the British Library.
  • Tavistock Square: A Decade After Terror, A Reminder Of Peace” by Susan Pollack

    A screenshot of the YouTube video trailer for Camden Connections that shows the Virginia Woolf portrait

    A screenshot of the YouTube video trailer for Creative Connections: Camden Radical Characters that shows the Virginia Woolf portrait

  • Schoolchildren choose Woolf for “Creative Connections: Camden Radical Characters,” a NPG exhibit that fetes the famous faces who have lived, worked in, or studied in the north London area.
  • Review of Pat Barker’s Noonday mentions Woolf: “If Life Class and Toby’s Room were benevolently haunted by Vera Brittain and Virginia Woolf, the ghosts of Elizabeth Bowen, Rose Macaulay and Graham Greene walk the bombsites of Noonday.”
  • Review says second section of Among the Ten Thousand Things, by Julia Pierpont pays homage to Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, “as time passes and characters are killed off, their lives synopsised.”
  • An article about scholar and performance artist Coco Fusco, whose 2006 work A Room of One’s Own: Women and Power in the New America, uses Virginia Woolf as a springboard to talk about female interrogators in U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Ruth Scurr on Virginia Woolf: A review of Viviane Forrester’s Virginia Woolf: A Portrait. From the Aug. 14, 2015, issue of the Times Literary Supplement.
  • Prettiot’s “Suicide Hotline” song invokes Woolf.

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Those of us on this side of the pond, without access to BBC programming, are wishing to the lighthouseand waiting—patiently or impatiently—for the as-yet unannounced release of “Life in Squares” to PBS.

While we wait, why not put the time to good use (and help it pass more quickly) by dipping into an enticing list from the outstanding Powell’s bookstore in Portland, Oregon: “25 women to read before you die.”

“Reading Virginia Woolf is like stepping out onto a veranda, where the entire world unfurls before you in dazzling detail.” So begins an inviting introduction to Woolf and specifically to a recommendation of To the Lighthouse.

Woolf joins an eclectic array of companions, authors of both fiction and nonfiction, ranging from Mary Shelley and George Eliot to contemporary greats Toni Morrison and Margaret Atwood, thought-provoking essayists Joan Didion and Rebecca Solnit, cartoonist Alison Bechdel and others.

We would all make some swaps—I’d make room for Mary McCarthy, Alice Munro, Penelope Lively—but there’s something for everyone here, both tried and true favorites and some new discoveries. I’ve been wanting to read Clarice Lispector for years—perhaps this is the sign I’ve been waiting for.

I’d rather be watching Life in Squares, but what can you do?

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Most of the reactions below come via Twitter, where “Life in Squares” was a trending topic after the first episode aired last night with an audience of between 1.85 and 1.9 million UK viewers.

In the aftermath, one must-read review is by Frances Spalding, acclaimed biographer of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. Her piece on The Conversation website is titled “Life in Squares: how the radical Bloomsbury Group fares on screen.”

Here’s a quote from it:

Her despairing cry may be echoed by some viewers of the BBC’s three-part series Life in Squares, for the Bloomsbury Group attracts many detractors as well as legions of devotees. — Frances Spalding

Be sure to click on the comments below to read Maggie Humm’s assessment of Spalding’s review, along with her own insights.

Family reaction

Before the official premiere, Emma Woolf, great-niece of Leonard and Virginia Woolf, penned her reaction for The Daily Mail: “How TV’s got my aunt Virginia Woolf so wrong.”

And Vanessa Bell’s granddaughter, Cressida Bell, posted this on Facebook the morning after:

Cressida Bell

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Life in Squares, a three-part BBC Two drama about the Bloomsbury Group, is getting media attention.

The series tells a version of the Bloomsbury Group’s story over a period of 40 years — from the time of Queen Victoria to World War II.

Here is the description of the first episode, which will air Monday, July 27, at 9 p.m., according to the BBC Two website:

Painter Vanessa Stephen and her writer sister Virginia embark on a life of unexpected, post-Victorian freedom in bohemian Bloomsbury. But when they are introduced to flamboyant male admirers, their idyll is rocked and the sisters’ relationship is threatened.

Here are some links to recent stories about the drama, along with the official trailer:

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Life-in-Squares-_3215726bLife in Squares, the BBC Two show that tells the story of the tangled relationships of the Bloomsbury Group from 1901 to 1945, will be on the air this year, shown as three 60-minute episodes.

The program was announced by the BBC last summer.

Filming also began last summer at Charleston Farmhouse, known as Bloomsbury in the country, for scenes set in the 1930s and 1940s. In the rooms where filming took place, much of the original collection was removed, and the art department improvised to make the place more bohemian than it may have been in real life. Domestic clutter that is part of the staging includes posed photographs of the actors based on old family photographs. Filming in London took place last fall.

Two actors play the role of each character in the show, which complicated the casting process. One bit of casting seems pitch-perfect: James Norton, the crime-solving vicar on Grantchester, will play Duncan Grant. Lydia Leonard  of Ambassadors will play a young Virginia Wolf and Phoebe Fox of Switch will star as a young Vanessa Bell.

Discussions with Vanessa’s granddaughter Virginia Nicholson were key in making the show a reality.

Life in Squares gets under the skin of the Bloomsbury group to lay bare the very human and emotional story of a group of people determined to find their own path in life,” said Lucy Bedford, executive producer.

“At heart, Life in Squares is about family: about the families we try to escape, the ones we end up creating and the different kinds of damage love can do,” she added.

 

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BBC Two announced the production of a three-part television drama set over a 40-year period about the Bloomsbury group called, Life In Squares, which will focus on the relationships between Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.

The Bloomsbury Group From the BBC:
Life In Squares tells the story of the Bloomsbury group over 40 years, from the death of Queen Victoria to the Second World War, as they attempted to forge a life free from the constraints of the past. Their pursuit of freedom and beauty was always passionate, often impossible and ultimately devastating, yet their legacy is still felt today.”

The series was written by Amanda Coe and will be directed by Simon Kaijser. Production starts this summer.

Other performances of Woolf in the works:

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