The theme of loss is expressed or implied in much of Virginia Woolf's fiction and non-fiction, and one that resonates with the story of her own life, from her childhood, through her loss of family, and of friends, and of security in two World Wars, to her struggles with mental illness and her eventual suicide. And yet Virginia Woolf was, by all accounts, a lively and engaging woman, full of warmth, humor, maternal feeling (for her sister's children, as she had none of her own, passion, and exultation. She had a prodigiously active career, and she stood at the center of a large group of notable, engaged figures, many of them public intellectuals at the forefront of their generation, who were connected to her (and to each other) by bonds of family, affinity, shared artistic and social enterprise and, above all, affection. This group, and their friends, produced mountains of books, hundreds of square feet of paintings, and reams of press. The selection of material in this recent Grolier Club exhibition and its accompanyning catalogue documents the mutual enrichment of their life and work, and the resonance of Virginia Woolf's greatest literary work with the story of her life and the lives of those who were dear to her. Much of the material is reproduced here for the first time. Items from William Beekman's collection of Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury span her life and career, and include photographs, letters, association copies, artwork, and ephemera. From Barbara Dobkin's collection of feminist history are a number of items from Virginia's adolescent library as well as material documenting her relationship with Vita Sackville-West. The Mortimer Rare Book Room at Smith College provided many early images--drawn from Leslie Stephen's photo albums--as well as copiously annotated proof material and samples from Virginia's important correspondence with Lytton Strachey. Designed by Jerry Kelly, and printed in an edition of 1500 copies.
Nonfiction, Women's Studies, General,