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Posts Tagged ‘Virginia Woolf’

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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Photography was forbidden at the Hogarth Press at 100 exhibit and archives tour that was part of the 27th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf. Nevertheless, Nell Toemen of the Netherlands persisted, as did Clara Farmer from Chatto Wyndham. And that means I have two photos to share.

The first, from Nell, is a photo of the Hogarth Press archives stacks at Special Collections at the University of Reading, which includes a collection of documents related to the Hogarth Press founded by Leonard and Virginia Woolf in 1917. When I was on the tour, we were not permitted to take photos, but when Nell asked at a later tour, she was given the go-ahead. Afterward, she graciously shared her photo with Blogging Woolf.

Stacks showing a portion of the Hogarth Press archives at University of Reading Special Collections. Photo: Nell Toemen

The second photo is a screenshot from Clara Farmer’s Chattobooks Instagram account, which shows Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s worn travel satchels. Virginia’s has an Air France tag attached. As some have commented, it’s difficult — and interesting — to think of Virginia on an airplane.

Screenshot of Clara Farmer’s photo posted on Instagram of Leonard and Virginia’s leather travel satchels.

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Our brilliant three and a half days of listening and discussing Virginia Woolf and the World of Books had a noisy ending this afternoon. We heard birdsong and RAF fighters overhead as Anna Snaith of King’s College London presented the final plenary: Virginia Woolf’s “Gigantic Ear.”

Anna Snaith

The combination of natural and mechanical sound came from a 1942 BBC broadcast of birdsong interrupted by 197 RAF planes that Snaith shared. The online recording helped her make the point that Woolf uses sound to great effect in Between the Acts (1941).

Afterward, many Woolf scholars and common readers moved on from the 27th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf — some headed for their homes around the world, others continued their travels.

Chawton House Library

But the group of us who had signed up to go to Chawton boarded the bus to make the one-hour trip to this village in Hampshire.

Once there, we were able to visit Chawton House Library, located in a home once owned by Jane Austen’s brother Andrew and one that Jane visited regularly.

The main collection of the Chawton House Library, which can be explored using an online catalogue, focuses on women’s literature in English during the period 1600-1830, including rare early editions and some unique books.

Jane Austen’s House and Museum

We were also able to visit Jane’s own much smaller home down the road from Chawton House, the only house where Jane lived and wrote that is open to the public as a museum.

Jane Austen’s House Museum uses 41 objects throughout the house she lived in from 1809-1817 to tell the story of this classic British writer.

Our bus at the Chawton car park.

This way to Chawton House. That way to Jane Austen’s House.

Headed down the path to the Chawton House Library

Our group starts the tour of the Chawton House Library in the Great Hall.

A view of the grounds from a Chawton House window.

Just a few of the books on display at Chawton House.

Our first sighting of Jane Austen’s House and Museum.

A look at the garden at the Jane Austen House and Museum.

This is the tiny table where Jane Austen did her writing. Only the tabletop is original.

The rather small bed Jane Austen shared with her sister Cassandra.

This light-filled window in the bedroom Jane Austen shared with her sister Cassandra looks out over the herb garden and the outbuilding where the baking was done.

A group of Woolfians poses in the garden at Jane Austen’s House: Vara Neverow,  AnnMarie Bantzinger, Gill Lowe, and Stuart Clarke.

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The Hogarth Press is 100 years old this year, and the 27th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf marked the centennial with a birthday party that turned out to be a family affair.

Cressida Bell, granddaughter of Vanessa Bell, designed the cake, which was loaded with chocolate chunks and fruit. Cecil Woolf, nephew of Leonard and Virginia Woolf, shared his memories of working at the Hogarth Press starting in 1931, as well as the history of the business.

The Woolfs’ printing business began with their purchase of a small hand printing press in March of 1917. The couple spotted the press in a printer shop’s window, Cecil said, and purchased it for 19£, five shillings and five pence. It came with a 16-page instruction book, type, cases, and other equipment.

Book and art treats, too

Conference participants who attended the party at the Reading, England Museum of English Rural Life were treated to more than cake and Cecil’s charming talk. They were also able to purchase specially printed keepsake editions of  Virginia’s 1924 article “The Patron and the Crocus.” Included in the slim volume is a facsimile reproduction of a reader’s report from the Hogarth Press archives at the University of Reading.

Party-goers were also able to print their own woodcut of the Roger Fry design “The London Garden.”

The publication of “Cecil Woolf: The Other Boy at the Hogarth Press, Virginia and Leonard Woolf as I Remember Them” by Cecil Woolf Publishers also marks the centennial, as does a new Hogarth Chatto & Windus version of the first book published by the Hogarth Press, the Woolfs’ Two Stories.

Cecil Woolf, accompanied by his wife Jean Moorcroft Wilson, talks about being “A Boy at the Hogarth Press” at its 100th birthday party

The Hogarth Press 100th birthday cake, designed by Cressida Bell.

Clara Farmer, publishing director of Hogarth Chatto & Windus, and Cecil Woolf slice the cake.

The Hogarth Press centenary keepsake of “The Patron and the Crocus” offers two different colored letterpress covers.

Martin Andrews of Typography and Graphic Communication at the University of Reading patiently helped guests print their own woodcut copies of Roger Fry’s design, “The London Garden.”

Woodcuts hanging to dry at the Hogarth Press 100th birthday party.

Party guests enjoying Cecil Woolf’s reminiscences.

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After decades of publishing other people’s books, Cecil Woolf has written a monograph of his own. “Cecil Woolf: The Other Boy at the Hogarth Press, Virginia and Leonard Woolf as I Remember Them” is being launched at the 27th Annual International Conference on Virgina Woolf in Reading, England this week.

To order this monograph and others in the Bloomsbury Heritage and War Poets series, visit Cecil Woolf Publishers.

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Sometimes things last longer than one would like. Other times, they fly by and seem much too short. My tour of the archives at the University of Reading Special Collections, part of the 27th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf: Virginia Woolf and the World of Books, fell into the latter category.

Hogarth Press archives

The tour of the archives focused on the collection of documents related to the Hogarth Press founded by Leonard and Virginia Woolf in 1917. We weren’t permitted to take photos, so I’ll describe what I saw.

The Hogarth Press documents nearly filled two stacks.  Most of the 18 shelves contained boxes of documents — from letters to notebooks detailing the book income of the authors they published. Nearly three of the long shelves were filled with large leather-bound ledger books from the press. I wanted to linger and explore by hand but we had to move on.

Hogarth Press Centennial

Our next stop was an exhibition housed at the same location, which is also the Museum of English Rural Life. The Hogarth Press at 100 marks the importance of Leonard and Virginia Woolf’s venture into independent publishing and book selling. It will be on display through Aug. 31.

The exhibition features contemporary artwork responding to a conference call for printed works. It includes original artwork, woodblocks, archival objects and documents from the archives of the Hogarth Press, held in the University of Reading’s Special Collections.

Virginia and Leonard’s travel cases

On the bottom shelf in one glass display case were two special items: nearly matching leather satchels, worn and creased with cracks, that belonged to the Woolfs. Virginia and Leonard carried them during their travels. And attached to Virginia’s was a faded blue tag leftover from a trip to France.

Because of copyright issues, we were not permitted to take photos, so I am longing for a website or a print catalogue that will share the items and art displayed.

Walking to the Museum of Rural English Life, which houses the Hogarth Press archive, as well as the Hogarth Press at 100 exhibition.

Museum of English Rural Life

Virginia Woolf and the Hogarth Press at 100

Whoops! I snapped this photo at the beginning of the exhibition before I saw the sign instructing us not to take photos.

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When I arrived in Reading, England by train for the 27th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf at the University of Reading yesterday, I was too tired to notice The Three Guineas pub right across from the train station. But others did and they clued me in.

So when I went out to explore a bit last evening, that’s where I landed, thanks to conference keynoter Ted Bishop and Elizabeth Willson Gordon, who graciously invited me to tag along with them. Bishop, of the University of Alberta, Canada, will talk about Virginia Woolf’s inks, and Willson Gordon, of The King’s University of Edmonton, Canada, is part of a roundtable on the Modernist Archives Publishing Project. Her colleagues on the project are Claire Battershill, Simon Fraser University; Alice Staveley, Stanford University; Helen Southworth, University of Oregon; Michael Widner, Stanford University; Nicola Wilson, University of Reading.

As it turns out, the Reading pub’s name is not connected to Virginia but to a railway prize. Oh, well. I enjoyed the food, my London Pride brew, the cozy setting on a chill, rainy night, and the company anyway.

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