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Posts Tagged ‘Mrs. Dalloway’

Collecting books was the topic of the “Book Collectors and the Book Trade” panel at the 27th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf Conference in Reading, England, in June. So it’s no wonder my mind clicked into gear when I received an email full of Woolf treats from fellow Woolf hunter, book collector, and seller Jon S. Richardson.

June conference panelists included Leslie Arthur of the William Reese Company in Connecticut on “Bibliographers, Booksellers, and Collectors of the Hogarth Press,” Catherine Hollis of U.C. Berkeley on “The Common Reader and the Book Collector,” and Stephen Barkway of the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain on “Hogarth Press Books,” the story of his personal collection.

Attached to Richardson’s email was the September 2017 list of volumes he has for sale, which include some by or about Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West, other Bloomsbury writers, and the extended Stephen clan.

What’s on the list

There are 70 items offered on the current list. Here are just a few:

  • Woolf, Virginia. MRS. DALLOWAY, New York, Harcourt, [1931], 296 pp., 6th impression of the first American edition in deep orange cloth with spine label, VG+ with a pristine spine label, Kirkpatrick A9b, this copy with the exceedingly rare Bell jacket in yellow/black/ cream design, being the 1931 issue of the jacket (with a blurb on To The Lighthouse on rear inner flap), jacket is VG+ with trivial loss to spine ends and two tiny areas of abrasion on spine, price of $2.50 on flap, but no sunning, front inner flap has blurb on Mrs. Dalloway with N.Y. Times review quotation, prior owners’ signatures on flysheet, a most handsome copy of this Bell artwork which is identical to the first edition. $785
  • Quentin Bell & Virginia Nicholson. CHARLESTON-A BLOOMSBURY HOUSE AND GARDEN, New York, Holt, 1997, first American edition, oblong quarto, fine with near fine dust jacket,152 pp., profusely illustrated in color, a room-by-room excursion through this home so central to Bloomsbury outside London. $55
  • Sackville-West, V. CHALLENGE, New York, George H. Doran, [1923], the third impression in RED CLOTH, lettered in black on spine and on upper board, see notes to Cross A9b, VG, 297 pp., dedicated to Violet Trefusis in the Romany dialect they shared, a scarce appearance of this book suppressed in England by Lady Sackville who feared the disclosure of VS-W’s relationship with Violet Trefusis, number of copies unknown. $95
  • [Bell, Grant, Woolf & Bloomsbury] A complete run of THE CHARLESTON NEWSLETTER, Issues Nos. 1-24 (1982-89) + index (all published); published by the Charleston Trust, Richmond, Surrey, edited by Hugh Lee, wrappers, VG, s contained in two volume custom green bindings supplied by Charleston at the time – these bindings are unusual in using a string technique which allows removal but also allows volumes to open nearly flat for ease of copying; an amazing work of scholarship starting with the formation of the Trust to save Charleston, many contributions by Quentin Bell and other Bloomsbury people then alive, many issues have color plates of Bloomsbury art by Bell & Grant especially Charleston and other rooms decorated by them; great sequence of articles on Bloomsbury bookplates with copies, the breadth of the topics is vast, ultimately succeeded by The Charleston Magazine in 1990; scarce in the complete set and an essential Bloomsbury reference source as much of this material (from original Bloomsbury members then still alive) exists only here. $485

Background on the Woolf hunters

According to “Woolf Hunters,” a 2010 article in the Harvard Magazine, Richardson founders Jon and harbor books screenshotMargaret Richardson have made hunting down the works of Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group their mission since opening York Harbor Books in Maine more than 20 years ago.

To receive your own list, contact Jon S. Richardson Rare Books at yorkharborbooks@aol.com.

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What: Reading Mrs. Dalloway
When: Saturday 16 September, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Stapleford Granary, Cambridge
Cost: £90/£75 students. Light lunch and tea and coffee provided.
Link: http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk/dalloway

What:Gay UK: Love, Law and Liberty”, free exhibition at the British Library
Includes manuscript of Orlando and diary of Ottoline Morrell with three photos
When: June 2 through Sept. 19
Where: British Library, London
Cost: Free

What: Ali Smith and Gillian Beer: Reading and Conversation
A rare chance to hear these brilliant writers in conversation.
When: Sunday 12 November, 2-4 p.m. With a cup of tea. Stapleford
Where: Granary, Cambridge CB22 5BP
Price: £15
Link: http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk/ali-smith/

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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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The British Library’s Discovering Literature: 20th-century website offers a number of resources to Virginia Woolf’s work. They include:

You can also find these links to other Woolf collection materials in the right sidebar of this page on the site:

  • Letter from Virginia Woolf to Frances Cornford about A Room of One’s Own, 1929
  • “Monday or Tuesday” by Virginia Woolf
  • Three Guineas by Virginia Woolf
  • Vanessa Bell dust jacket for The Years
  • “Kew Gardens” by Virginia Woolf, 1919
  • “Kew Gardens” by Virginia Woolf, 1927
  • ‘Hyde Park Gate News’, a magazine by Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell
  • ‘The Messiah’ by Quentin Bell and Virginia Woolf
  • ‘The Dunciad’ by Quentin Bell and Virginia Woolf
  • ‘Eminent Charlestonians’, with illustrations by Quentin Bell and text by Virginia Woolf

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Musician Mike Posner

The chart-topping musician and songwriter, Mike Posner, famous for the singles “Cooler Then Me” and “I Took a Pill in Ibiza”, references Virginia Woolf in a new song, “Be As You Are” from his recently released album, At Night, Alone.

The song lyrics mention Woolf immediately:

Virginia Woolf and poetry
No one seemed to notice me
Being young was getting so old
Cheap beer and cigarettes
Life was like a movie set
And I seemed to be given no role

Posner composed annotations for this song over at Genuis.com, and he writes in detail about how Virginia Woolf’s work influenced his “life as a reader” and as a song writer:

So I read Mrs. Dalloway in high school, and this was probably the best class that I ever took, including all the classes I took at Duke. The teacher’s name was Mrs. Mundy, Susan Mundy, and her class changed my life. She taught me how to read. Like, I knew how to read before but I didn’t know how to read a novel – where if someone was saying that “the sun set and it was dark,” they weren’t just saying “the sun set and it was dark.” They were saying a million other things. And she taught us how to read that way. I am sure if you like Virginia Woolf then you know how to read that way. But that totally changed my life as both a writer and a reader.

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A still shot from Posner’s music video for “Be As You Are”.

Posner also writes about how he identifies with the character Septimus Smith from Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, and how he connects with and is inspired by this character’s depression:

So I have a kinship and a sort of affinity to anyone that felt sad and depressed, because I felt that way very much in my teenage years, especially in the winter time. And that is where this lyric about “poetry” comes from. Just the name Virginia Woolf reminds me of all those sort of depressed, nostalgic feelings. Now I will occasionally feel a hint of that depression and it is weird to say it but I actually sort of like it a little bit because there is a familiarity there. And all of my music to this day is either a reaction against that soil of sadness or it is nostalgic, against that soil of sadness.

You can read Mike Posner’s full annotations of his song lyrics for “Be As You Are” here, and you can listen to the song below.

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