Archive for the ‘Juliet Nicolson’ Category

Weekly Standard coverHere is another Woolf sighting, and this one is most distressing. Virginia is featured on the cover of the Dec. 3 issue of the neo-conservative Weekly Standard magazine.

As if that is not bad enough, she is pictured playing ice hockey wearing an ugly uniform that features a sports logo made up of her first name and the head of a wolf.

On the original Web page, which has now moved into the black hole of cyberspace, her image appeared with a story titled “Not Your Father’s Tories,” by Reihan Salam. But in the hard copy version, the Woolf cover art doesn’t appear with any article.

However, upon closer perusal of the print edition, the Woolf graphic seems to have been inspired by a book about Woolf’s era: The Perfect Summer: England 1911, Just Before the Storm by Juliet Nicolson, which we wrote about back in August.

Written by Tracy Lee Simmons, the review is titled “On the Brink: England’s Indian Summer Before the Great War.”

Woolf, in fact, is mentioned in the opening lines of the review: “Perhaps posing a bit for pithy immortality, Virginia Woolf famously declared that human nature changed somewhere in the leafy neighborhood of 1910.” 

The magazine, considered the bible of right-wingers, is owned by Robert Murdoch, which means Blogging Woolf is not a subscriber.

However, my kind husband — who tipped me off to the Woolf cover — braved the cold and snow of Northeast Ohio to bring me a borrowed copy of the issue, just so I could satisfy my curiosity regarding the unlikely connection between Virginia and The Weekly Standard.

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Juliet NicolsonJuliet Nicolson’s social history, The Perfect Summer: England 1911, Just Before the Storm, focuses on a time period some reviewers call “the high noon of the Victorian era.” Her first book tells the story of the super-hot summer of 1911 in England, covering the steamy sex lives of the upper crust and the economic trials of the working class.


The Bloomsbury connection to this London Daily Mail’s book club choice is the fact that its author is the granddaughter of Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West, Woolf’s lover in the 1920s and the inspiration for her psuedo-biography Orlando. Granddaughter Juliet lives in South Cottage, a 2-bedroom Elizabethan on the grounds of Sissinghurst Castle, her grandparents’ former home in Cranbrook, England.


Read a review of the book, which came out in May, in the Guardian or the Washington Post.

In Uncommon Arrangements, Katie Roiphe chronicles the romances of seven post-Uncommon ArrangementsVictorian power couples, as well as their theories about modernizing marriage. Vanessa and Clive Bell are one couple among the seven.

They are singled out for attention because of their unusual living arrangements, including Vanessa’s longtime relationship with the bi- or homosexual Duncan Grant while she was still married to Clive.


Another couple with a connection to Woolf who is thrust into the limelight in this book is Lady Ottoline Morrell and her husband Phillip.


Is the book wise and witty, as Wall Street Journal writer David Propson pronounces? Or shallow and irksome, as noted by Michelle Green of the New York Times? Only the reader can decide.

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