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The new cover designs by Angus Hyland for a hardback series of Woolf’s major works inspired numerous comments on the VWoolf Listserv this week.

Stephen Barkway shared this photo of how the series was displayed last month in Foyles bookshop in the Charing Cross Road.

Trouble is, all of them were negative.

The series includes Mrs. DallowayA Room of One’s OwnTo the LighthouseThe Waves, and Orlando and is available on Penguin Books U.K. site for 14 pounds (about $21) each.

The covers are modeled after the textile designs of the Omega Workshop, but subscribers to the list don’t see the resemblance.

Here are some of the comments shared by list members:

Ugh.

Yuck.

I am not a fan either.  Whoever could have used Japanese prints to better effect.  I actually tried to put the cover with book meaningfully.  I failed.  Wouldn’t want them on my shelves.  I even preferred the mono-colored covers shown on the page.  Woolf must be –well I wonder what snarky remark she would have, and rightly so.

Am I alone in finding these new book jacket cover designs  rather – Harsh? Aggressive? Unsympathetic? The article claims that “They’re modeled after the textile designs of the Omega Workshop” but I don’t see much resemblance to what I know of the Omega designs.

no, Roy, you are so NOT alone. Let’s add HIDEOUS, grotesque, repellent, and vile. But that’s just an opinion, of course. Beauty is the eye, etc.

Fancy designing a cover for “A Room of One’s Own” that doesn’t mention that “Three Guineas” is also included!  Could this be a CONSPIRACY — or just a cock-up? Of course, I may be wrong: it may just be printed in a *very* large typeface and so needs to run to 432 pages: http://www.penguin.co.uk/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780141198545,00.html?/A_Room_of_One’s_Own_Virginia_Woolf Aye, as we say in Edinburgh: All fur coat and nae knickers.

I am not a fan either.  The covers seem not only to bear no resemblance to Omega designs, they also seem pretty arbitrary as to the contents of the books.  The choice of covers for the new annotated Harcourts shows how you can choose appropriate (mostly) non-representational art for Woolf covers if you actually have a strong sense of their content.  These look like a series of monoprints someone had lying around which they attached to the books pretty superficially (Orlando is a big O; The Waves has blue on it…) The one used for Room would have been more suggestive for Mrs. Dalloway (the sane and the insane side by side) though thinking of all the colors used in Woolf’s works, that muddy chartreuse is as far from her taste as I can imagine.

What do you think of the new cover designs? Cast your vote below.

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What if Virginia Woolf were a food writer? What if she were a dog? This week’s Woolf sightings have a few “what-ifs” and a lot of other stuff too.

Sightings include inspiring new cover designs by Angus Hyland for a hardback series of Woolf’s major works. The covers are modeled after the textile designs of the Omega Workshop. The series includes Mrs. Dalloway,

A Room of One’s OwnTo the LighthouseThe Waves, and Orlando and is available on Penguin Books U.K. site for 14 pounds (about $21) each.
  1. Wanted: A Virginia Woolf Series Designed By Pentagram’s Angus HylandCo.Design
    What a shame that the thought and imagination inside of Woolf’s books aren’t reflected on the outside. So it’s with great relief that we bring you news of Angus Hyland’s designs for a fresh hardback series of Woolf’s major works. ..
  2. The Best of British in the kitchen: CHRISTMAS COOKERY BOOKS, Daily Mail
    In her tie-in cookbook, she quotes Virginia Woolf: ‘One cannot think well, love well and sleep well if one has not dined well.’ Lorraine’s take on easy fine dining includes salami-stick sausage rolls and a cake made of readymade chocolate ice-cream and …
  3. Nightcaps: If famous writers had been food writersSan Francisco Chronicle (blog)
    [Tablehopper] What if Virginia Woolf was a food writer? “Looking back at the cherries, that would not be pitted, red polka dots on white, so bright and jolly, their little core of hardness invisible, in pity she thought of Mrs Sorley, that poor woman …
  4. What We’re ReadingNew York Times (blog)
    So beginneth an onion tart recipe as set down by Geoffrey Chaucer — and imagined by Mark Crick, who speculates how Chaucer, Virginia Woolf and Raymond Chandlerwould have written cookbooks. (Chandler on lamb with dill sauce: “Feeling the blade in my …
  5. What Virginia Woolf might look like. As a dog.Houston Chronicle (blog)
    It’s like finding your other half. Needless to say, the temptation to upload every photo of every friend and family member is frighteningly strong. I’m proud to say I stopped at two: That’s Virginia Woolf, with her doggelganger. ..
  6. In Praise of PG WodehouseTIME
    He was a comic writer in an age of serious aesthetes: he was of the generation of James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, and the toweringly serious works of his famous coevals have gone a long way towards obscuring Wodehouse’s enormous gifts as a stylist.
  7. Board of Education Approves Search Contract, Discusses Book PurchasesPatch.com
    Most of those novels are being used in classrooms, though administrators told the board that they are working with a publisher to exchange hundreds of extra copies of Mrs. Dalloway, the Virginia Woolf classic. However, the updated version of the
  8. Afternoon of Cakes & Conversation at Dimbola, Island Pulse
    Enjoy the atmosphere of Dimbola Lodge where Lord Tennyson and Charles Darwin, Lewis Carroll, Virginia Woolf and many other writers found inspiration. – Well known playwright John writes novels for children, BBC Radio plays and local dramas. …
  9. How a Hangover Will Help you Achieve Huge Commercial SuccessChicagoNow
    The lyrics are equally strong; particularly striking are those in “What the Water Gave Me”, which evinces Virginia Woolf’s suicide with pockets full of stones. Each song on the album is different and memorable in its own right. 
  10. Mac the Knife: On Dwight MacdonaldThe Nation
    He also had a predilection, perhaps not surprising for a man of his time, for a certain type of virile authorial presence, which a “lady novelist” like Virginia Woolf failed to satisfy. (He said he preferred George Eliot, “whom I really don’t consider …
  11. Beattitudes: On Ann BeattieThe Nation
    Wider questions are discussed, as well: what Katherine Anne Porter meant when she said that Virginia Woolf “ranged freely under her own sky,” what Louise Glück had in mind when she spoke of “the impossibility of connecting the self one is in the …
  12. Woolf who turned his back on the pack – IThe Island.lk (subscription)
    Leonard was later to marry Virginia, the younger of the two sisters, whose fame as a writer eclipsed his, though he was himself a star in his own right in a combination of diverse other roles; Leonard Woolf was a prominent member of the Fabian Society, …
  13. Biopic Pictures The OscarsFemaleFirst.co.uk
    Other winners since 2000 include Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich, Nicole Kidman as troubled Virginia Woolf, Charlize Theron as Aileen Wuornos and Reese Witherspoon for her portrayal of June Carter in Walk the Line. Similarly six of the last eleven …
  14. OxStu Big Book Survey: The ResultsOxford Student
    In the ‘Favourite Author’ category Virginia Woolf edged to victory, ahead of a four-way tie for second place. Clearly opinion was divided between classic literature and more modern favourites, with JK Rowling and Terry Pratchett sharing the spoils with …
  15. Don’t Miss: Nov. 26-Dec. 2Wall Street Journal
    The William B. Beekman collection of memorabilia tied to novelist-essayist Virginia Woolf is up for sale and partly on view in “Virginia Woolf: The Flight of Time”—including a 1911 letter rebuffing her suitor Sydney Waterlow. …
  16. Writing MiddlesexThe Guardian
    Traditionally, literary characters who change sex have been mythical figures such as Tiresias, or fanciful creations such as Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. I wanted to write about a realistic person and be as accurate as I could with respect to the …
  17. Going ‘Solo,’ plus oneThe Boston Globe
    Others she seeks out, as a kind of pilgrim: gravesites (Shelley’s, Brancusi’s, Walt Whitman’s) or personal artifacts, again mundane, belonging to the famous (Robert Graves’s hat, Virginia Woolf’s cane, Hermann Hesse’s typewriter). …
  18. Things Fall ApartWall Street Journal
    In its literary brilliance and evocative power, the diary is the equal of those of Virginia Woolf, Harold Nicolson and André Gide. Mr. Easton ranks it one of the greatest diaries ever. Many will agree. But if the journal is so significant as a literary ...
  19. Cary Grant: Hollywood enigma was a devoted dad but a despicable husbandDaily Mail
    Perhaps he had what Virginia Woolf described as “an androgynous mind”. I’m sure he was sometimes a bit flirty with men. People can be so black and white. I’d like to think Dad greyed the line a bit. Not long ago, someone asked if I’d heard George …
  20. How fiction can engage history students in the pastThe Guardian (blog)
    8 – 13 Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway, published in 1925, pp. 58 – 63 • Debbie Bogard teaches History and Politics at City and Islington Sixth Form College in London. A …
  21. Books of the year 2011The Guardian
    As Virginia Woolf said: “The whole world is a work of art.” Non-fiction: I loved two very different books of criticism, Nicola Shulman’s beautifully lucid study of Thomas Wyatt, Graven with Diamonds (Short Books), and Owen Hatherley’s furiously 
  22. Library Connection, Conway Daily Sun
    PWR (People Who Read) a discussion group for adults and teens gathers to discuss “Make Lemonade” by Virginia Woolf. Warning: this group tackles controversial issues and is not for the faint of heart. Teens must be in at least ninth grade. …
  23. Woolf signature seals £10250 saleFalmouth Packet
    The visitors’ book from Godrevy Lighthouse in St Ives, containing the childhood signature ofVirginia Woolf, was sold last week for £10250 at the Bonhams Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs Sale in London. 
  24. Insider’s viewChandigarh Tribune
    What is interesting is the frequent meetings of a small group consisting of James Strachey, Maynard Keynes, EM Forster, Bertrand Russell and Virginia Woolf who met in rooms in Neville’s Court with the conviction that they had found the answer to moral …
  25. Jack Kerouac’s ‘first’ novel publishedDigitalJournal.com
    The prose style utilizes a free-from style of writing and is in the tradition of the ‘stream of consciousness’ (that is a flow of thoughts and images) prose style (earlier employed by Virginia Woolf in “To The Lighthouse”). …
  26. Pilgrimage by Annie Leibovitz: reviewTelegraph.co.uk
    So she photographs the detail in Dickinson’s sole surviving dress; the books on Sigmund Freud’s shelf; a pigeon skeleton labelled by Darwin; Georgia O’Keeffe’s box of pastels; Virginia Woolf’s desk, covered in stains and scratches – the residue left by...
  27. The Fashion Set Flocks to Chelsea for Leibovitz’s ‘Pilgramage’Women’s Wear Daily
    Guests, who included Carolina Herrera, Jann Wenner, Tory Burch, Karen Elson and Ali Hewson, took in shots of relics that ranged from Virginia Woolf’s writing desk to the gloves Abraham Lincoln wore the night he was assassinated. 
  28. Leibovitz’s ‘Pilgrimage’ records photographer’s journeyLincoln Journal Star
    Leibovitz has the former, regardless of subject matter, and her photos here, be they of the dark interior of Virginia Woolf’s home, Old Faithful or Annie Oakley’s boots, show her mastery in the capture of light. This is a true aside. …
  29. Picture books hook the eyeSan Antonio Express
    There are intimate shots of ghostly interiors —Eleanor Roosevelt’s bedroom — and meaningful objects — the hat Lincoln wore to Ford’s Theater — that tell us something about their owners — including John Muir, Virginia Woolf, Annie Oakley.
  30. Hills & Gardens Photographer Leibovitz at BookCourtBrooklyn Daily Eagle
    We see Virginia Woolf’s writing desk and the carpeted couch in Sigmund Freud’s London study. There is a section devoted to the New Mexican desert world of Georgia O’Keeffe — both the outdoor vistas that inspired her art and the collected rocks and 
  31. Self-Knowledge: Identify Your Patron Saints.Huffington Post (blog)
    Virginia Woolf: intensely attuned to the power of the passing moment. Well, Julia Child and Winston Churchill are probably rarely paired together in the same discussion, but they both represent very powerful ideas to me. It’s interesting — the posts …
  32. Tilda’s talkingNew York Post
    Anyone hear she keeps her “Virginia Woolf” prosthetic nose? When it wrapped, producers gave her a permanent silver one. PRAYER heard out on the North Fork: “Dear Father: Please. For this year a thin body and a fat bank account. 
  33. From the archives: Remembering Ken RussellFilm Journal
    “I think of Virginia Woolf and The Waves—on one page, she manages to convey the childhood of six people and you also get how they’re going to grow up, as well as an afternoon in an English country garden. There are so many layers that words can make. …
  34. Sullivan Street Press Announces New Book Launch, Scags at 18, About Boomers …PR Web (press release)
    To discover the power of feminism, specifically by reading Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own.” It’s during her trip to DC to participate for the first time in an anti-war march that Scags experiences more than she could have imagined. …
  35. University ClubA.V. Club New York
    Instead of focusing on the food, let the spirits of luminaries who have supped at this 104-year-old establishment—many exchanging bon mots concerning Thomas Kuhn, Xenophanes, and Virginia Woolf—come alive as a collective ghostly presence. …
  36. The Literary CubsNew York Times
    Rachel Rosenfelt, right, reads a selection from Virginia Woolf at a literary salon held by the editors of The New Inquiry, an online journal she helped start. Also at the salon, from left to right, are Rebecca Chapman, Helena Fitzgerald and Tim Barker. …
  37. Improve your health… get a garden shed: How solitude may help lower blood Daily Mail
    Among those who swore by them include Virginia Woolf, Rudyard Kipling and Dylan Thomas, not forgetting Benjamin Britten, whose potting shed at Horham, Suffolk, is now a Grade II listed building, one of 50 such places of special interest nominated by
  38. Upheaval at the New York Public LibraryThe Nation
    Over the decades, the NYPL would acquire a spectacular range of materials: Thomas Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence, Walt Whitman’s personal copy of Leaves of Grass,Virginia Woolf’s cane, Man Ray’s portrait of Arnold Schoenberg, …
  39. Paris paradox: The changelessness of changeGadling
    You’ve seen these faces before: Malraux, Cocteau, Gide, Colette, Valéry, Zweig, Joyce, Virginia Woolf… But you’ve never seen them displayed and lit so skillfully. Another German Jew who fled the Nazis and transited through Paris was Walter Benjamin, 
  40. A Spirit from the Past Moves the PresentPalisadian-Post
    I often think of Beryl as I while away the hours here at the coffee shop, plucking out poems and lesson plans for my students at Marquez Elementary and Palisades Elementary, ‘musing among the cauliflowers,’ as Virginia Woolf once put it. …
  41. Art shows run gambit of elements, students, books, sizeTulsa World
    Meltzer writes that the images he builds feature “the most meaningful and representative passages” from writers as diverse as Henry David Thoreau and Friedrich Nietzsche, Virginia Woolf and Lewis Carroll. “I hope to encourage the viewer to experience …

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