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afterwords & other woolf book recommendations

Edited by Sybil Oldfield, Edinburgh University Press, 2005

Since my post on the reactions to the death of Virginia Woolf, on 28th March 1941, my blog has been visited by more people than ever, so I have to thank you for visiting and reading, and for commenting if you did. Virginia Woolf has long been a source of inspiration, fascination and intrigue to me (and many others, I might add) that it gives me immense pleasure to share thoughts and findings. In this post, I’m going to present some of the (possibly) more unknown works about Virginia.

Much of my previous post was thanks to Afterwords, edited by Sybil Oldfield. I think I only discovered it a few months ago, and have yet to read it completely, but I already know that it’s going to be a fascinating read. In it, the editor painstakingly has trawled through what must be thousands of letters and has grouped them into five categories: letters from Virginia’s circle, from the couple’s circle, from Leonard’s circle, from the public and from Vanessa Bell’s circle. For me, I think this is such an important book which should not be forgotten when looking at the life of Virginia Woolf.

Cambridge University Press, 1978

The Unknown Virginia Woolf by Roger Poole is also a fairly new discovery for me. I believe there’s another cover, but this is the cover of the copy I’ve got. In the book, Poole sets out to question the idea that Woolf was ‘mad’ or ‘insane’. Although published in 1978, I think it still has a lot of significance today.

The very talented writer, Jean Moorcroft Wilson, married to Cecil Woolf and father to Emma, wrote this superb book exploring the significance of place in Virginia’s life. Virginia Woolf’s London does focus on the capital, but it has an exceptional chapter on Woolf’s other houses, including Hogarth House, Monk’s House and Talland House.

Tauris Parke Paperbacks, 2000

For me, Jane Dunn is an excellent biographer (do also check out her other work), but of course, this biography of Vanessa and Virginia ranks very highly. A Very Close Conspiracy looks at the often troubled and intense relationship between the sisters, including the difficulty when Vanessa got married and other traumatic times for Virginia.

Virago, 2001 (originally published in 1990)
These editions published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

In addition to Vanessa Bell, Leonard Woolf was a major influence in Virginia’s life. His five-volume autobiography is a stunning recollection of his life, and for the part of his life with Virginia, it’s refreshing to get a different point of view to Virginia’s. However, the real treasure here is seeing Leonard pre- and post-Virginia.

Louise De Salvo conducted a huge amount of research for Virginia Woolf’s First Voyage, which looks at the process and many drafts of writing The Voyage Out. I’ve recently started this, and I have to say that it is fascinating and I’m learning so many new things.

And then of course, there’s my book. I know I shout about it a lot, but I feel that it needs shouting about (obviously). Available from Aurora Metro as hardback and also as ebook from various online stores, including Amazon, Kobo and Google Books.

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