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I’d heard the rumor — that a Virginia Woolf “collage” could be spotted in the ladies room of London’s Tavistock Hotel. But I did not expect what I actually found.

Tavistock Hotel in Bloomsbury, London

I went in search of the hotel’s unusual homage to Woolf after the 28th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf in June at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England.

The clerk at the Tavistock’s front desk directed me to the lobby level ladies room, where I expected to see a lone framed Woolf collage on the wall near the door or the sinks.

Loo decor

I found something entirely different. The wall behind each toilet in each ladies room stall was decorated with a long framed graphic featuring Woolf and her works. Each was cut to feature a different element of her work.

Luckily, the ladies room was unoccupied when I entered, so I was able to take a photograph of each stall. However, some of my photos are a bit tipsy, due to the fact that I had to prop each stall door open with my foot while hurriedly snapping individual pictures.

I made sure to include the commode and toilet tissue roll in the photo when I could manage it, as evidence that this Woolf sighting actually took place in a loo. 

 

The hotel’s Woolf & Whistle serves light meals and beverages.

Traditional afternoon tea is also offered at the Tavistock Hotel’s Woolf & Whistle.

 

About the Tavistock

Blue plaque honoring Virginia and Leonard Woolf installed to the left of the front entrance of the Tavistock Hotel.

The hotel is famous because it is built on the site of Virginia and Leonard’s flat at 52 Tavistock Square, in which they lived from 1924-1939.

A blue plaque commemorating that fact was unveiled on the exterior of the building in April.

 

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Woolf sightings are frequent, both online and in person, testifying to the fact that Virginia Woolf has long been an icon.

Here’s one put together by Lois Gilmore, professor of language and literature at Bucks County Community College in Newton, Pa.

She set up the display of Woolf items in the campus library in conjunction with an honors composition class focused on Woolf that she is teaching this fall.

It includes books by and about Woolf, a doll, note cards, jewelry, the T-shirt from the 2009 Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf: Woolf and the City, and the program from the 28th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf: Woolf, Europe and Peace.

Fittingly enough, Lois included Virginia Woolf Icon (1999) by Brenda R. Silver among the books she selected.

Do you have a Woolf sighting or display to share? If so, please add a link in the comments section below.

The Virginia Woolf display at the Bucks County Community College library.

A Virginia Woolf-shaped note card, along with the famous Woolf in Raybans T-shirt, are included in the display.

A copy of Kew Gardens with cover design by Vanessa Bell, along with a quote from A Room of One’s Own and a necklace featuring a Bell portrait of Woolf knitting are part of the display.

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Every day Blogging Woolf monitors Google and Twitter for references to Virginia Woolf on the Web. Here are some recent sightings shared via the blog’s Facebook page:

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Virginia Woolf readers and scholars from all over the world attended the Woolf conference in Reading, England, earlier this month — and two of them were from Italy, representing the new Italian Virginia Woolf Society.

I was happy to meet Elisa Bolchi, president of the new society, along with member Sara Sullam. And when I mentioned at the Saturday evening banquet that I would love to have one of the society’s lavender buttons, Elisa readily removed hers from her sweater and gave it to me. It is now one of my prized mementoes from the conference, particularly since I am of Italian heritage and will always be in love with Italia.

Here’s an update about the group provided by President Elisa Bolchi.

Elisa Bolchi and Sara Sullam, two members of the new Italian Virginia Woolf Society who attended this month’s Woolf conference in Reading, England. Elisa is the society’s president.

The Italian Virginia Woolf Society now has 84 members. We had our ‘vernissage’ event 13 June (Dalloway’s day!), in the garden of the International House of Women in Rome. The title was ‘Virginia Woolf: the sense of community’, and it was meant to introduce the aims of the Society. The speakers were the founding members: Nadia Fusini, Liliana Rampello, Iolanda Plescia and I.

We now have several events scheduled:

  • 5 October: we will be in Turin to present the Society. We are also planning four events in Turin related to this first presentation: three encounters dedicated to Woolf’s novels and one regarding her essays. We don’t have the dates set yet. We have been invited by the Readers’ Club of Turin.
  • 21 October: We’ll be in Bologna to speak of the “Current relevance of Woolf” in the beautiful conference room of the Salaborsa, the main public library in Bologna.
  • I’ll be also giving a PhD. lecture on the above topic in Perugia, at the end of October or the beginning of November (I don’t have the dates yet).
  • 24-26 November: 2nd edition of the Literary Festival “Il Faro in una stanza”, dedicated to Woolf.
  • For next Spring (probably March) we are planning our first conference, and the theme will be “Woolf and Community”.

Taking a group photo of Italian — and half-Italian — attendees at the 27th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf banquet was a must. It includes Sara Sullam, Patrizia Muscogiuri, Paula Maggio, and Elisa Bolchi.

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Here is an overdue collection of Woolf sightings from around the Web:

  1. A call for papers: Legacy and the Androgynous Mind: Reading Woolf and the Romantics https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/16225
  2. To the Lighthouse is The Wall Street Journal Book Club pick. http://on.wsj.com/29KLes3
  3. Virginia Woolf visited Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage. http://www.cumbriacrack.com/2016/07/14/wordsworths-dove-cottage-celebrates-125-years-open-public/
  4. “Typology of Women” project is an exhibition and a book that includes Virginia Woolf’s essay, “A Room of One’s Own.” http://bit.ly/29F1avz
  5. Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford, which brings in Virginia Woolf and Vita, is a hit. http://usat.ly/29z8YiC
  6. Bloomsbury in Sussex: A One-day conference https://centreformoderniststudiessussex.wordpress.com/bloomsbury-in-sussex-a-one-day-conference-marking-100-years-at-charleston/
  7. Vanessa Bell will have solo show at Dulwich Picture Gallery next year. http://bit.ly/29p4ECB
  8. An artist who promises to solve a Virginia Woolf riddle, The Waves. http://bit.ly/29noUIL
  9. More on Ethel Smyth’s music, including a video, and news of the biopic on her life, starring Cate Blanchett. http://bit.ly/29nou59
  10. Head writer for Inside Amy Schumer includes reference to Virginia Woolf in book of essays. http://nyti.ms/29p3YwL
  11. The “Virginia Monologues” inspired by Woolf. http://bit.ly/29qGhVZ
  12. On my next trip to London, I plan to visit the The Bloomsbury Club Bar. I hope they’ll comp me a drink. They have 10 of them named after Bloomsbury group members. http://bit.ly/29hNmei
  13. The Guardian on the upcoming Vita and Virginia film. http://bit.ly/29hMHtA
  14. Opera House Arts offers “Orlando.” http://bit.ly/29qFxQp
  15. Is Southern Appalachian writer Julia Franks a 21st-century Virginia Woolf? This reviewer thinks so. http://bit.ly/28SbjnW
  16. The overlooked woman from the BBC who put Virginia Woolf on the air. http://bit.ly/28MC7Yr
  17. Coverage of Virginia Woolf’s connection with Yorkshire and the Bronte Parsonage Museum, along with The International Virginia Woolf Conference 2016 in the Yorkshire Post. http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/lifestyle/books/when-virginia-woolf-met-the-relics-of-charlotte-bronte-at-haworth-1-7966226
  18. A sustained homage to Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway in AL Kennedy’s “Serious Sweet.” http://on.ft.com/1sAeJnP
  19. Penguin Books bite-sized classics for 80p–including Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway–are luring younger readers. http://bit.ly/1TPRXBi
  20. Virginia Woolf stayed at the Hotel Villa Cimbrone on the Amalfi Coast. Bella! http://bit.ly/1TPR37V
  21. The complete script of “Life in Squares,” the 3-part BBC TV series about the Bloomsbury group, is out. http://amzn.to/1XoXIZm
  22. Here’s a must-see: “A Room of Their Own: Lost Bloomsbury Interiors 1914-1930,” an exhibit June 10 – Sept. 4 in Bath https://bathnewseum.com/2016/05/20/designs-on-the-bloomsbury-group/
  23. What the Dickens does Dickens have to do with Virginia Woolf and Mrs. Dalloway? Andre Gerard explains in Berfrois. http://bit.ly/1TsMtxu

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The 134th anniversary of Virginia Woolf’s birth got some attention. As usual. Below are some of the sightings I found online. But be sure to read yesterday’s post on this blog, “Virginia Woolf on her birthday, in her diaries,” first.

Any excuse to extend Virginia Woolf’s birthday fest!🎈🎂🎉 https://t.co/eLAUvo13TI

— Kathleen Burke (@kgburke3) January 26, 2016

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