Archive for September 11th, 2023

Between 1975 and 1980, Hogarth Press/Harcourt Brace Jovanovich published six volumes of Virginia Woolf’s letters.

A new collection of letters from Virginia Woolf is in the works, thanks to Stuart N. Clarke and Stephen Barkway. The volume will be published by Edinburgh University Press.

For 25 years, Clarke and Barkway have been searching for previously unpublished letters from Virginia Woolf and including them in the pages of the Virginia Woolf Bulletin, which is issued free to members of the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain, of which both men have served as officers.

Now the pair has put out a call for any letters from Woolf  that did not make it into the six-volume collection of her letters published by Hogarth Press/Harcourt Brace Jovanovich between 1975-80.

The query Clarke and Barkway sent to society members

“Members of the VWSGB will be aware that, over the past 25 years, Stuart N. Clarke and I have been including previously unpublished letters from Virginia Woolf in the pages of the Virginia Woolf Bulletin.

“We will be collecting these, and many others that did not make it into the six-volume collection of her letters (Hogarth Press/Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975-80), for a collection to be published by Edinburgh University Press.

“We’re hoping to have almost finished by the end of the year, and to submit the ‘manuscript’ next summer.  We have been allowed to include the ‘new’ letters in ‘Congenial Spirits’.  The book will be a substantial tome.

“If any of you have any such letters, or copies of them, or know where they are, then we should love to hear from you.

“Many of the letters have been published in whole or in part, in auction catalogues, books and articles (e.g. ‘Some [Nineteen] New Woolf Letters’, ed. Joanne Trautmann Banks, Modern Fiction Studies 30:2 (Summer 1984): 175–202; in the Virginia Woolf Miscellany (43 & 55); Woolf Studies Annual (1, 7 & 8), but of course we are hunting for copies of the originals.

“We have checked all the institutions with substantial Woolf holdings, those who are mentioned as owners in the six volumes, and those listed in the annual ‘Woolf Studies Annual’ under ‘Guide to Library Special Collections.  There may be obscure (from a Woolfian point of view) institutions that have the odd letter and that we are not aware of.

“We are frustrated that we have by no means managed to track down all the letters on the two lists of ‘too lates’ (1980; available on the VW CD-Rom, Berg M43 (search for “Nigel”)) and ‘too too lates’ (1984), compiled by Nigel Nicolson and Joanne Trautmann.  For example, what happened to the letters owned by Roger Fry’s daughter, Pamela Diamand?

“We realise that the minute the book goes to press, another letter or letters will pop up, but we are seeking help from you, in the hope that we will not miss too many.

Got info? Send it here

Information about Woolf letters can be sent to:  vwletters@btinternet.com

A previously unpublished etter from Virginia Woolf to Leonard Woolf published in the Virginia Woolf Bulletin No. 73, May 2023, p. 5


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