Archive for the ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ Category

Famous Writers Dramatic Company has produced a 92-minute audio adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway that is available free online.

Its cast of six is led by Abigail Thaw, Robert Bathurst, Deborah Findlay and Tim McInnerny.

Please note that it is an adaptation, going from a 63,000 word novel to a 19,500 word adaptation. Thus, it does not begin with the famous first line of the novel but jumps into Clarissa’s walk through Westminster and uses several actresses to play the lead.

Katie Mitchell’s recent London stage production of Rebecca Watson’s Little Scratch inspired the work.

“I know the BBC has done several radio adaptations of the novel, but as far I know Mrs Dalloway has never been done like this and I am very happy with how it has turned out,” explained James Garner, who notified Blogging Woolf of the production, his company’s second.

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In August of 1923 Virginia Woolf was in the middle of writing the novel that would eventually be published in 1925 under the title Mrs. Dalloway. After writing in her diary that she was “battling for ever so long” with the novel — tentatively titled The Hours — on the following day, she spelled out the stream of consciousness technique she planned to use in her groundbreaking work.

In this oft-quoted passage written on Aug. 30, 1923, she describes the process as digging out “beautiful caves” behind her characters. This is what she wrote:

You see, I’m thinking furiously about Reading & Writing. I have no time to describe my plans. I should say a good deal about The Hours, & my discovery; how I dig out beautiful caves behind my characters; I think that gives exactly what I want; humanity, humour, depth. The idea is that the caves shall connect, & each comes to daylight at the present moment — Dinner! –Diary 2, 263.

Later in the year, on Oct. 15, she describes the process a bit differently:

It took me a year’s groping to discover what I call my tunnelling process, by which I tell the past by installments, as I have need of it. – A Writer’s Diary, 60.


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One hundred years ago today, on Saturday, 29 August 1923, Virginia Woolf wrote in her diary about the novel she was writing. Originally titled The Hours, it would be published in 1925 as Mrs. Dalloway.

I’ve been battling for ever so long with ‘The Hours’, which is proving one of my most tantalising & refractory of books. Parts are so bad, parts so good; I’m much interested; can’t stop making it up yet — yet. What is the matter with it? But I want to freshen myself, not deaden myself, so will say no more. Only I must note this odd symptom; a conviction that I shall go on, see it through, because it interests me to write it. — Diary 2, 262.

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Editor’s Note: Salon organizers have added two readings to the homework list. They are in boldface below.

What a month! First, the 31st Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf: Woolf and Ecologies. Then Dalloway Day. Now, an invitation. Mrs. Dalloway wants to keep the party going and requests the honor of your company at 2 pm. ET Friday, July 28, at Woolf Salon No. 25: Party Time.

Invite your friends! All are welcome.

The details

Hosts: Salon Conspirators
Day: Friday, 28 July 2023
Time: 2–4 p.m. EDT (New York) / 11 a.m.–1 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles) / 3–5 p.m. Brasilia / 7–9 p.m. BST (London) / 8–10 p.m. CEST (Paris) / 9–11 p.m. Ankara / 3 a.m –5 a.m. Sat 7/29 JST (Tokyo) / 4 a.m –6 a.m  Sat 7/29 AEST (Sydney)
Homework: Mrs. Dalloway’s Party

The readings

This 25th installment of the Salon Project will focus on the short stories posthumously collected in Mrs. Dalloway’s Party (1973). They are:

  • “Mrs. Dalloway in Bond Street” (Collected Short Fiction, pp. 152–59; online)
  • “The Man Who Loved His Kind” (CSF, pp. 195–200; HH, pp. 96–101)
  • “A Simple Melody” (CSF, pp. 201–07)
  • “The Introduction” (CSF, pp. 184–88)
  • “Ancestors” (CSF, pp. 181–83)
  • “Together and Apart” (CSF, pp. 189–94; HH, pp. 115–20)
  • “The New Dress” (CSF, pp. 170–77; HH, pp. 43–51)
  • “Happiness” (CSF, pp. 178–80)
  • “A Summing Up” (CSF, pp. 208–11; HH, pp. 121–24)

The event will be recorded for members of the International Virginia Woolf Society.

How to join the Salon

Anyone can join the Salon group, which usually meets on one Friday of each month via Zoom and focuses on a single topic or text. Just contact woolfsalonproject@gmail.com to sign up for the email list and receive the Zoom link.

Background on the Salon

The Salon Conspirators — Benjamin Hagen, Shilo McGiff, Amy Smith, and Drew Shannon — began the Woolf Salon Project in July 2020 to provide opportunities for conversation and conviviality among Woolf-interested scholars, students, and common readers during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

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This month marks the 100th anniversary of Clarissa Dalloway’s walk through London to “buy the flowers herself.” So it seems appropriate to share two related podcasts from Literature Cambridge’s “Virginia Woolf Podcast” with Dr. Karina Jakubowicz.

Mrs. Dalloway’s party paper dolls

  1. The first, “Mrs. Dalloway’s Party,” is a 27-minute podcast about the mysterious painting by Vanessa Bell that was exhibited in 1922 and disappeared until British art dealer Anthony d’Offay offered it in 1983 from the estate of Virginia Woolf.  In it, Karina speaks with the painting’s owner, Howard Ginsberg, and the bestselling author of Bloomsbury Pie, Regina Marler, as she thinks about paintings and parties in 1920s Bloomsbury. Give it a listen. You can also see an image of the painting at the above link.
  2. The second, “Professor Dame Gillian Beer on Mrs, Dalloway,” is an actual lecture by Professor Dame Gillian Beer titled, “For There She Was: Love and Presence in Mrs. Dalloway.” It times out at 26 minutes. You can listen to it online as well.

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