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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
 
 
 
 

Listings for Reader:  

Virginia Woolf

  

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Mrs Humphry Ward : 

' ... [Virginia Woolf] was liable to blame Mrs [Humphry] Ward for her own periods of sterility as a writer: "How I dislike writing straight after reading Mrs H. Ward! -- she is as great a menace to health of mind as influenza to the body".'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

 : Times Literary Supplement, The

'"Reflection: It is presumably a bad thing to look through articles, reviews, etc. to find one's own name. Yet I often do." And that same week, she is agonizing over "one slight snub" in "The Times Literary Supplement".'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Newspaper, Serial / periodical

  

 : The Times

'There was one [thought like a hornet] zooming in The Times this morning - a woman's voice saying, "Women have not a word to say in politics".'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Newspaper

  

 : 'new novels'

Virginia Woolf, on her honeymoon, to Lytton Strachey, 1 September 1912: 'You can't think with what a fury we fall on printed matter, so long denied us by our own writing! I read 3 new novels in two days: Leonard waltzed through the Old Wives Tale like a kitten after its tail: after this giddy career I have now run full tilt into Crime et Chatiment, fifty pages before tea, and I see there are only 800; so I shall be through in no time. It is directly obvious that he [Dostoevsky] is the greatest writer ever born'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Fyodor Dostoevsky : Crime and Punishment

Virginia Woolf, on her honeymoon, to Lytton Strachey, 1 September 1912: 'You can't think with what a fury we fall on printed matter, so long denied us by our own writing! I read 3 new novels in two days: Leonard waltzed through the Old Wives Tale like a kitten after its tail: after this giddy career I have now run full tilt into Crime et Chatiment, fifty pages before tea, and I see there are only 800; so I shall be through in no time. It is directly obvious that he [Dostoevsky] is the greatest writer ever born'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

George Meredith : letters

Virginia Woolf to Violet Dickinson, 11 April 1913: '[italics]I've[end italics] never met a writer who didn't nurse enormous vanity, which at last made him unapproachable like Meredith whose letters I am reading -- who seems to me as hard as an old crab at the bottom of the sea'.

Unknown
Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      

  

Clive Bell : Art

'Clive Bell's Art had been published in February 1914. It propounded the concept of "Significant form", but Virginia [Woolf], reading it in the midst of her [mental] illness, did not much appreciate it.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Henry James : 'works'

Virginia Woolf to Lytton Strachey, 22 October 1915: 'I should think I had read 600 books since we met. Please tell me what merit you find in Henry James. I have disabused Leonard [Woolf, husband] of him; but we have his works here, and I read, and can't find anything but faintly tinged rose water, urbane and sleek, but vulgar, and pale as Walter Lamb. Is there really any sense in it? I admit I can't be bothered to snuff out his meaning when it's very obscure. I am beginning the Insulted and Injured [Dostoevsky, 1862]; which sweeps me away. Have you read it.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Fyodor Dostoevsky : The Insulted and Injured

Virginia Woolf to Lytton Strachey, 22 October 1915: 'I should think I had read 600 books since we met. Please tell me what merit you find in Henry James. I have disabused Leonard [Woolf, husband] of him; but we have his works here, and I read, and can't find anything but faintly tinged rose water, urbane and sleek, but vulgar, and pale as Walter Lamb. Is there really any sense in it? I admit I can't be bothered to snuff out his meaning when it's very obscure. I am beginning the Insulted and Injured [Dostoevsky, 1862]; which sweeps me away. Have you read it.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Thomas Carlyle : Past and Present

Virginia Woolf to Margaret Llewelyn Davies, 23 January 1916: 'I've been reading Carlyle's Past and Present [1843], and wondering whether all his rant has made a scrap of difference practically [...] I become steadily more feminist, owing to the Times, which I read at breakfast and wonder how this preposterous masculine fiction [the war] keeps going a day longer -- without some vigorous young woman pulling us together and marching through it'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

 : The Times

Virginia Woolf to Margaret Llewelyn Davies, 23 January 1916: 'I've been reading Carlyle's Past and Present [1843], and wondering whether all his rant has made a scrap of difference practically [...] I become steadily more feminist, owing to the Times, which I read at breakfast and wonder how this preposterous masculine fiction [the war] keeps going a day longer -- without some vigorous young woman pulling us together and marching through it'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Newspaper

  

Sophocles  : Electra

Virginia Woolf to Saxon Sydney-Turner, 25 February 1918: 'Asheham is very lovely at the moment. I started upon Sophocles the day after we came -- the Electra, which has made me plan to read all Greek straight through [...] I found great consolation during the influenza in the works of Leonard Merrick, a poor unappreciated second-rate pot-boiling writer of stories about the stage, whom I deduce to be a negro, mulatto, or quadroon; at any rate he has a grudge against the world, and might have done much better if he hadn't at the age of 20 married a chorus girl, had by her 15 coffee coloured brats and lived for the rest of the time in a villa in Brixton, where he ekes out his living by giving lessons in elocution to the natives'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Leonard Merrick : 

Virginia Woolf to Saxon Sydney-Turner, 25 February 1918: 'Asheham is very lovely at the moment. I started upon Sophocles the day after we came -- the Electra, which has made me plan to read all Greek straight through [...] I found great consolation during the influenza in the works of Leonard Merrick, a poor unappreciated second-rate pot-boiling writer of stories about the stage, whom I deduce to be a negro, mulatto, or quadroon; at any rate he has a grudge against the world, and might have done much better if he hadn't at the age of 20 married a chorus girl, had by her 15 coffee coloured brats and lived for the rest of the time in a villa in Brixton, where he ekes out his living by giving lessons in elocution to the natives'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Shakespeare : Measure for Measure

Virginia Woolf to Saxon Sydney-Turner, 25 February 1918: 'I daresay you share my feeling that Asheham is the best place in the world for reading Shakespeare. Asheham is very lovely at the moment [...] I've been sitting in the garden all the afternoon, reading Measure for Measure, looking at the trees, and thinking as much of you as of anything.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

 : classical Greek literature

Virginia Woolf to Lytton Strachey, 12 October 1918: 'I read the Greeks, but I am extremely doubtful whether I understand anything they say; also I have read the whole of Milton, without throwing any light upon my own soul, but that I rather like. Don't you think it very queer though that he entirely neglects the human heart? Is that the result of writing one's masterpiece at the age of 50?'

Century: 1850-1899 / 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

John Milton : complete works

Virginia Woolf to Lytton Strachey, 12 October 1918: 'I read the Greeks, but I am extremely doubtful whether I understand anything they say; also I have read the whole of Milton, without throwing any light upon my own soul, but that I rather like. Don't you think it very queer though that he entirely neglects the human heart? Is that the result of writing one's masterpiece at the age of 50?'

Century: 1850-1899 / 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Ethel Smyth : Impressions that Remained (vol. 2)

Virginia Woolf to Lytton Strachey, 30 November 1919: 'I'm in the 2nd vol. of Ethel Smyth. I think she shows up triumphantly, through sheer force of honesty. It's a pity she can't write; for I don't suppose one could read it again. But it fascinates me all the same. I saw her at a concert two days ago -- striding up the gangway in coat and skirt and spats and talking at the top of her voice [...] she keeps up the figure of the nineties to perfection. Of course the book is the soul of the nineties.'

Century: 1850-1899 / 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Walter Scott : The Bride of Lammermoor

Virginia Woolf to Molly MacCarthy, 20 June 1921: 'I am reading the Bride of Lammermoor -- by that great man Scott: and Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence, lured on by the portrait of Ottoline [Morrell] which appears from time to time [...] There is no suspense or mystery: water is all semen: I get a little bored, and make out the riddles too easily. Only this puzzles me: what does it mean when a woman [Gudrun] does eurythmics in front of a herd of Highland cattle?'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

D. H. Lawrence : Women in Love

Virginia Woolf to Molly MacCarthy, 20 June 1921: 'I am reading the Bride of Lammermoor -- by that great man Scott: and Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence, lured on by the portrait of Ottoline [Morrell] which appears from time to time [...] There is no suspense or mystery: water is all semen: I get a little bored, and make out the riddles too easily. Only this puzzles me: what does it mean when a woman [Gudrun] does eurythmics in front of a herd of Highland cattle?'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Katherine Mansfield : Bliss

Virginia Woolf to Janet Case, 20 March 1922: 'Literature still survives. I've not read K. Mansfield [The Garden Party], and don't mean to. I've read Bliss; and it was so brilliant, -- so hard, and so shallow, and so sentimental that I had to rush to the bookcase for something to drink. Shakespeare, Conrad, even Virginia Woolf.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Marcel Proust : A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs

Virginia Woolf to Roger Fry, 6 May 1922: 'I have the most violent cold in the whole parish. Proust's fat volume comes in very handy. Last night I started on vol 2 [A l'Ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs] of him (the novel) and propose to sink myself in it all day [...] Oh if I could write like that! I cry. And at the moment such is the astonishing vibration and saturation and intensification that he produces -- theres [sic] something sexual in it -- that I feel I [italics]can[end italics] write like that, and seize my pen and then I [italics]can't[end italics] write like that. Scarcely anyone so stimulates the nerves of language in me: it becomes an obsession. But I must return to Swann.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Rebecca West : The Judge

Virginia Woolf to Ottoline Morrell, 18 August 1922: 'Poor Rebecca West's novel bursts like an over stuffed sausage. She pours it all in; and one is covered with flying particles; indeed I had hastily to tie the judge tight and send it back to Mudies [Library] half finished. But this irreticence does not make me think any the worse of her human qualities [...] I do admire poor old Henry [James], and actually read through the Wings of a Dove [1902] last summer, and thought it such an amazing acrobatic feat, partly of his, partly of mine, that I now look upon myself and Henry James as partners in merit. I made it all out. But I felt very ill for some time afterwards. I am now reading Joyce, and my impression, after 200 out of 700 pages, is that the poor young man has got the dregs of a mind compared even with George Meredith. I mean if you could weigh the meaning on Joyces [sic] page it would be about 10 times as light as on Henry James'.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Henry James : The Wings of a Dove

Virginia Woolf to Ottoline Morrell, 18 August 1922: 'Poor Rebecca West's novel bursts like an over stuffed sausage. She pours it all in; and one is covered with flying particles; indeed I had hastily to tie the judge tight and send it back to Mudies [Library] half finished. But this irreticence does not make me think any the worse of her human qualities [...] I do admire poor old Henry [James], and actually read through the Wings of a Dove [1902] last summer, and thought it such an amazing acrobatic feat, partly of his, partly of mine, that I now look upon myself and Henry James as partners in merit. I made it all out. But I felt very ill for some time afterwards. I am now reading Joyce, and my impression, after 200 out of 700 pages, is that the poor young man has got the dregs of a mind compared even with George Meredith. I mean if you could weigh the meaning on Joyces [sic] page it would be about 10 times as light as on Henry James'.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

James Joyce : Ulysses

Virginia Woolf to Ottoline Morrell, 18 August 1922: 'Poor Rebecca West's novel bursts like an over stuffed sausage. She pours it all in; and one is covered with flying particles; indeed I had hastily to tie the judge tight and send it back to Mudies [Library] half finished. But this irreticence does not make me think any the worse of her human qualities [...] I do admire poor old Henry [James], and actually read through the Wings of a Dove [1902] last summer, and thought it such an amazing acrobatic feat, partly of his, partly of mine, that I now look upon myself and Henry James as partners in merit. I made it all out. But I felt very ill for some time afterwards. I am now reading Joyce, and my impression, after 200 out of 700 pages, is that the poor young man has got the dregs of a mind compared even with George Meredith. I mean if you could weigh the meaning on Joyces [sic] page it would be about 10 times as light as on Henry James'.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Marcel Proust : 

Virginia Woolf to Mary Hutchinson, c. 18 April 1923: 'I am reading Proust, I am reading Rimbaud. I am longing to write.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Rimbaud  : 

Virginia Woolf to Mary Hutchinson, c. 18 April 1923: 'I am reading Proust, I am reading Rimbaud. I am longing to write.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Walter Raleigh : Letters

Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West, 17 February 1926: 'Why are all professors of English literature ashamed of English literature? Walter Raleigh calls Shakespeare "Billy Shaxs" -- Blake, "Bill" -- a good poem "a bit of all right." This shocks me. I've been reading his letters.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

V. Sackville-West : Knole and the Sackvilles

Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West, 9 October 1927: 'I am reading Knole and The Sackvilles. Dear me; you know a lot: you have a rich dusky attic of a mind.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Marcel Proust : 

Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West, 30 August 1928: 'I am happy because it is the loveliest August [...] I read Proust, Henry James, Dostoevsky'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Henry James : 

Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West, 30 August 1928: 'I am happy because it is the loveliest August [...] I read Proust, Henry James, Dostoevsky'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Fyodor Dostoevsky : 

Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West, 30 August 1928: 'I am happy because it is the loveliest August [...] I read Proust, Henry James, Dostoevsky'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Honore de Balzac : 

Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West, 8 January 1929: 'I've been reading Balzac, and Tolstoy. Practically every scene in Anna Karenina is branded on me, though I've not read it for 15 years.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Leo Tolstoy : 

Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West, 8 January 1929: 'I've been reading Balzac, and Tolstoy. Practically every scene in Anna Karenina is branded on me, though I've not read it for 15 years.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Leo Tolstoy : Anna Karenina

Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West, 8 January 1929: 'I've been reading Balzac, and Tolstoy. Practically every scene in Anna Karenina is branded on me, though I've not read it for 15 years.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Ronald Firbank : 

Virginia Woolf to Mary Hutchinson, 6 May 1929: 'We are down here [Monks House, Rodmell] to see about making a new room -- this we have been seeing about for 3 months now, and not a stone is laid. But when the stones are laid you will have to brave the eternal sea mist and south west gale and come here. I should provide you with the works of Ronald Firbank which I am reading with some unstinted pleasure'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Rebecca West : Harriet Hume

Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West, 17 September 1929: 'I've only read 30 pages of Rebecca [West] [...] I agree that the convention is tight and affected and occasionally foppish beyond endurance, but then it is a convention and she does it deliberately, and it helps her to manufacture some pretty little China ornaments for the mantelpiece. One could read some of it again'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

D. H. Lawrence : Sons and Lovers

Virginia Woolf to Ethel Smyth, 20 April 1931: 'I'm reading Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, for the first time'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Stella Benson : 

Virginia Woolf to Ethel Smyth, 20 April 1931: 'Stella Benson I don't read because what I did read seemed to me all quivering -- saccharine with sentimentality; brittle with the kind of wit that makes sentiment freezing: But I'll try again'.

Unknown
Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      

  

Princess Daisy of Pless : From My Private Diary

Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West, 24 May 1931: 'I've wasted 4 days when I wanted to write. And I've spent them partly reading Princess Daisy of Pless, speculating upon her real character and life and longing for a full account of them from you -- who appear in a footnote as a distinguished author. What a chance the British aristocracy had and lost -- I mean if they'd only grafted brains on to those splendid bodies and wholesome minds -- for I can't help liking her, in her wild idiocy, and her frankness "7 days late -- can it be a child --" seems to me the highest human quality, if it werent [sic] combined with a housemaids [sic] sensibility and the sentimentality of a Surbiton cook.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

George Eliot : Middlemarch

Virginia Woolf to Hugh Walpole, 8 November 1931: 'I'm reading Middlemarch with even greater pleasure than I remembered: and Ford M. Ford's memoirs [Thus to Revisit] -- fascinating, and even endearing; but I long to know the truth about him'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Ford Madox Ford : Thus to Revisit

Virginia Woolf to Hugh Walpole, 8 November 1931: 'I'm reading Middlemarch with even greater pleasure than I remembered: and Ford M. Ford's memoirs [Thus to Revisit] -- fascinating, and even endearing; but I long to know the truth about him'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Shakespeare : As You Like It

Virginia Woolf to Lytton Strachey, 10 December 1931: 'I read As you like it the other day and was almost sending you a wire to ask what is the truth about Jacques -- What is it? His last speech reads so very odd.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Elizabeth Bowen : 

Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West, 18 October 1932: 'My Elizabeth [Bowen] comes to see me, alone, tomorrow. I rather think, as I told you, that her emotions sway in a certain way [...] I'm reading her novel to find out. Whats so interesting is when one uncovers an emotion that the person themselves, I should say herself, doesn't suspect. And its a sort of duty dont you think -- revealing peoples true selves to themselves?'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Axel Munthe : The Story of San Michele

Virginia Woolf to Ethel Smyth, c.28 December 1932: 'D'you know I get such a passion for reading sometimes its like the other passion -- writing -- only the wrong side of the carpet [...] this passion, which has been so well advised, lands me tonight in a book like the reek of stale cabbage and cheap face powder -- a book called The Story of San Michele by [Axel] Munthe [1929] [...] A book more porous with humbug, reeking more suddenly with insincerity, I've never read. I'm at page 50 [...] And I'm reading Stella Benson [Tobit Transplanted (1931)]: with pleasure'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Stella Benson : Tobit Transplanted

Virginia Woolf to Ethel Smyth, c.28 December 1932: 'D'you know I get such a passion for reading sometimes its like the other passion -- writing -- only the wrong side of the carpet [...] this passion, which has been so well advised, lands me tonight in a book like the reek of stale cabbage and cheap face powder -- a book called The Story of San Michele by [Axel] Munthe [1929] [...] A book more porous with humbug, reeking more suddenly with insincerity, I've never read. I'm at page 50 [...] And I'm reading Stella Benson [Tobit Transplanted (1931)]: with pleasure'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

James Joyce : short story

Virginia Woolf to Quentin Bell, 26 July 1933: 'I'm sending you a book of short stories; one -- by [James] Joyce -- seems to me very good. The others Ive not read.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Quentin Bell : letter

Virginia Woolf to Quentin Bell, 26 November 1933: 'I read your letter with great pleasure in Time and Tide; it seemed to me put with masterly brevity; most true.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Serial / periodical

  

 : report of death of Sir George Duckworth

Virginia Woolf to Vanessa Bell, 3 May 1934: 'We only got the Times yesterday and read about George [Duckworth]. Well, there's nothing much to be said at this distance, in the wilds of Kerry. Poor old creature -- I wonder what happened and why he was at Freshwater [...] here we are a great deal further and wilder than if in Italy or Greece. We only see Irish papers, now and then; there are no towns, only an occasional small fishing village and as we changed our plans, all our letters have gone wrong. It was mere chance we found a copy of the Times lying about.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Newspaper

  

Marcel Proust : 

Virginia Woolf to Ethel Smyth, 21 May 1934: 'So I came back lit the fire; and read Proust, which is of course so magnificent that I cant write myself within its arc'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Edith Wharton : A Backward Glance

Virginia Woolf to Ethel Smyth, 21 May 1934: 'I lit the fire and read Mrs Wharton; Memoirs and she knew Mrs Hunter [Ethel's sister], and probably you. Please tell me some time what you thought of her. Theres the shell of a distinguished mind; I like the way she places colour in her sentences, but I vaguely surmise that theres something you hated and loathed in her.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

 : The Bible

Virginia Woolf to Ethel Smyth, 8 January 1935: 'We had a children's party and I judged the clothes. All the mothers gazed, and I felt like -- who's the man in the bible --? Which by the way, I have bought and am reading. And Renan. And the New Testament; so don't call me heathen in future.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Ernest Renan : St Paul

Virginia Woolf to Ethel Smyth, 8 January 1935: 'We had a children's party and I judged the clothes. All the mothers gazed, and I felt like -- who's the man in the bible --? Which by the way, I have bought and am reading. And Renan. And the New Testament; so don't call me heathen in future.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

 : New Testament

Virginia Woolf to Ethel Smyth, 8 January 1935: 'We had a children's party and I judged the clothes. All the mothers gazed, and I felt like -- who's the man in the bible --? Which by the way, I have bought and am reading. And Renan. And the New Testament; so don't call me heathen in future.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Charles Dickens : David Copperfield

Virginia Woolf to Hugh Walpole, 8 February 1936: 'I'm reading David Copperfield for the 6th time with almost complete satisfaction. I'd forgotten how magnificent it is [...] So enthusiastic am I that I've got a new life of him [Dickens]: which makes me dislike him as a human being.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Thomas Wright : Life of Charles Dickens

'In Thomas Wright's Life of Charles Dickens (1935), Virginia [Woolf] had read about the novelist's affair with the actress Frances Eleanor Ternan, which lasted many years and contributed to his estrangement from his wife.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette : Sido

'Virginia [Woolf] read at least three of Colette's books, two of autobiography (Mes Apprentissages, 1934, Sido, 1929), and one of fiction (Duo, 1934), and the two writers sent each other messages through mutual friends.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Wordsworth : The Prelude

Virginia Woolf to Ethel Smyth, 18 September 1936: 'The Prelude. Have you read it lately? Do you know, it's so good, so succulent, so suggestive, that I have to hoard it, as a child keeps a crumb of cake? And then people say he's dull!'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

George Sand : Memoires (vol 5)

Virginia Woolf to Lady Ottoline Morrell, 27 June 1937: 'If you want sheer joy read [Congreve]; if you dont want anything so ecstatic, but broad and mellow and satisfactory, try the Memoires of George Sand. 10 little volumes; I'm in the 5th, and find it absorbing'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Thomas Babington Macaulay : unknown

Virginia Woolf to Leonard Woolf, 14 July 1936: 'A very good, though very dull day. No headache this morning, brain rather active in fact: but didn't write -- did nothing but lie in bed and read Macaulay.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Bernard Mandeville : The Fable of the Bees; or, Private Vices, Publick Benefits

Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West, 3 May 1938: 'I am reading for the first time a book which I think a very good book -- Mandeville's Fable of the bees [1714].'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Lady Frederick Cavendish : The Diary of Lady Frederick Cavendish

Virginia Woolf to Ethel Smyth, 29 August 1938: 'Just finished Lady Fred Cavendish's diaries: no vigour, no insight, no originality. All as drab and dowdy as Mabel's Sunday best (Mabel is our maid of all work.) [...] And such damned condescension to artists. Yet all else is fine flowing and thoroughbred - only the mind cluttered with curtains and ferns.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Geoffrey Chaucer : unknown

Virginia Woolf to May Sarton, 2 February 1939: 'I have been so steeped in modern manuscripts that I was losing all sense that one differed from another. I am reading Chaucer and hope in a year to have recovered my palate.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Shena, Lady Simon : paper on women and war

Virginia Woolf to Shena, Lady Simon, 22 January 1940: 'I've had too many distractions to write [...] But not too many to read your paper. I find it useful, suggestive, and sound. I agree with most of your arguments [...] do cast your mind further that way: about sharing life after the war: about pooling men's and women's work: about the possibility, if disarmament comes, of removing men's disabilities. Can one change sex characteristics? How far is the women's movement a remarkable experiment in that transformation? Mustn't our next task be the emancipation of man?'

Unknown
Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      

  

Winifred Holtby : study on Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf to Ethel Smyth, 1 February 1940: 'I'd like to look at South Riding [...] W[inifred]. H[oltby]. was a barrel organ writer [...] I'm judging WH only on her journalism [...] and the book on me, which I felt to be a painstaking effort rather to clear up her own muddles than to get the hang of mine. But I didnt want to be written about (not personally) and so never did more than whip through it with one eye shut.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Edmund Burke : unknown

Virginia Woolf to Ethel Smyth, 1 February 1940: 'Reading Burke. Reading Gide.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Andre Gide : unknown

Virginia Woolf to Ethel Smyth, 1 February 1940: 'Reading Burke. Reading Gide.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Samuel Taylor Coleridge : unknown

Virginia Woolf to Ethel Smyth, 17 May 1940: 'D'you know what I find? -- reading a whole poet is consoling: Coleridge I bought in an old type copy tarnished cover, yellow and soft: and I began, and went on, and skipped the high peaks, and gradually climbed to the top of his pinnacle, by a winding unknown way.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Benedict Nicolson : letter to Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf to Benedict Nicolson, 13 August 1940: '[opens] Just as I began to read your letter, an air raid warning sounded. I'll put down the reflections that occurred to me, as honestly as I can, as you put down your reflection of reading my life of Roger Fry while giving air raid alarms at Chatham [goes on to describe thoughts on reading letter, looking up at raiders overhead, etc].'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Manuscript: Letter

  

Vita Sackville-West : Seducers in Ecuador

'I like the story very very much - in fact, I began reading it after you left...went out for a walk, thinking of it all the time, and came back and finished it, being full of a particular kind of interest which I daresay has something to do with its being the sort of thing I should like to write myself.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Manuscript: Unknown

  

Walter Scott : Guy Mannering

Saturday 2 January 1915: 'I read Guy Mannering upstairs for 20 minutes'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Fyodor Dostoevsky : The Idiot

Tuesday 19 January 1915: 'I'm reading The Idiot. I cant bear the style of it very often; at the same time, he seems to me to have the kind of vitality in him that Scott had; only Scott merely made superb ordinary people, & D. creates wonders, with very subtle brains, & fearful sufferings. Perhaps the likeness to Scott partly consists in the loose, free & easy, style of the translation. I am also reading Michelet, plodding through the dreary middle ages; & Fanny Kemble's Life. Yesterday in the train I read The Rape of the Lock, which seems to me "supreme" -- almost superhuman in its beauty & brilliancy -- you really can't believe such things are written down.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Jules Michelet : Histoire de France

Tuesday 19 January 1915: 'I'm reading The Idiot. I cant bear the style of it very often; at the same time, he seems to me to have the kind of vitality in him that Scott had; only Scott merely made superb ordinary people, & D. creates wonders, with very subtle brains, & fearful sufferings. Perhaps the likeness to Scott partly consists in the loose, free & easy, style of the translation. I am also reading Michelet, plodding through the dreary middle ages; & Fanny Kemble's Life. Yesterday in the train I read The Rape of the Lock, which seems to me "supreme" -- almost superhuman in its beauty & brilliancy -- you really can't believe such things are written down.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Fanny Kemble : 'Life'

Tuesday 19 January 1915: 'I'm reading The Idiot. I cant bear the style of it very often; at the same time, he seems to me to have the kind of vitality in him that Scott had; only Scott merely made superb ordinary people, & D. creates wonders, with very subtle brains, & fearful sufferings. Perhaps the likeness to Scott partly consists in the loose, free & easy, style of the translation. I am also reading Michelet, plodding through the dreary middle ages; & Fanny Kemble's Life. Yesterday in the train I read The Rape of the Lock, which seems to me "supreme" -- almost superhuman in its beauty & brilliancy -- you really can't believe such things are written down.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Alexander Pope : The Rape of the Lock

Tuesday 19 January 1915: 'I'm reading The Idiot. I cant bear the style of it very often; at the same time, he seems to me to have the kind of vitality in him that Scott had; only Scott merely made superb ordinary people, & D. creates wonders, with very subtle brains, & fearful sufferings. Perhaps the likeness to Scott partly consists in the loose, free & easy, style of the translation. I am also reading Michelet, plodding through the dreary middle ages; & Fanny Kemble's Life. Yesterday in the train I read The Rape of the Lock, which seems to me "supreme" -- almost superhuman in its beauty & brilliancy -- you really can't believe such things are written down.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Alexander Pope : Essay on Criticism

Wednesday 20 January 1915: 'I read Essay upon Criticism waiting for my train at Hammersmith. The classics make the time pass much better than the Pall Mall Gazette.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Alexander Pope : Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot

Thursday 21 January 1915: 'I went to the London Library [...] Here I read Gilbert Murray on Immortality, got a book for L[eonard]. & so home, missing my train, & reading the Letter to Arbuthnot on Hammersmith Station.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Gilbert Murray : unknown

Thursday 21 January 1915: 'I went to the London Library [...] Here I read Gilbert Murray on Immortality, got a book for L[eonard]. & so home, missing my train, & reading the Letter to Arbuthnot on Hammersmith Station.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Leslie Stephen : critical work on Pope

Monday 25 January 1915: 'I have been very happy reading father on Pope, which is very witty & bright -- without a single dead sentence in it.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Leonard Woolf : The Wise Virgins, A Story of Words, Opinions, and a Few Emotions

Sunday 31 January 1915: 'After tea [...] I started reading The Wise Virgins, & I read it straight on until bedtime, when I finished it. My opinion is that it is a remarkable book; very bad in parts; first rate in others. A writer's book, I think, because only a writer perhaps can see why the good parts are so very good, & why the bad parts aren't very bad [...] I was made very happy by reading this: I like the poetic side of L. & it gets a little smothered in Blue-books, & organisations.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Manuscript: Unknown

  

Jules Michelet : Histoire de France

Sunday 14 February 1915: 'I am now reading a later volume of Michelet, which is superb, & the only tolerable history.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

 : The Times

Friday 2 November 1917: 'I find it impossible to read after a railway journey; I cant open Dante or think of him without a shudder -- the cause being I think partly the enormous numbers of newspapers I've been reading in. Lottie [servant] brought me all the Times's which have accumulated [during absence].'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Newspaper

  

Rosalind Murray : The Leading Note

Monday 12 November 1917: 'I went to Mudies, & got The Leading Note, in order to examine into R.T. more closely [...] I came home with my book, which does not seem a very masterly performance after Turgenev, I suppose; but if you dont get your touches in the right place the method is apt to be sketchy & empty.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Dante Alighieri : Purgatorio

Wednesday 5 December 1917: 'L[eonard]. reading Life of Dilke [...] I'm past the middle of Purgatorio, but find it stiff, the meaning more than the language, I think.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

unknown : 'book on Children & Sex'

Friday 7 December 1917: 'I ended my afternoon in one of the great soft chairs at Gordon Square [...] I sat alone for 20 minutes, reading a book on Children & Sex.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

George Crabbe : unknown

'In bed I have been fuming over your assumption that my liking for the poet Crabbe is avowed. I assure you I bought a copy out of my own pocket money before you were weaned. What's more, I have read Peter Grimes I daresay 6 times in 10 years; "But he has no compassion in his grave" - That is where that comes from. There is also a magnificent description of wind among bulrushes which I will show you if you will come here.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Ezra Pound : Gaudier-Brzeska. A Memoir

10 December 1917: 'My afternoon was very nearly normal; to Mudies, tea in an A.B.C. reading a life of Gaudier Brzeska'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

 : newspapers

24 January 1918: 'To the Club, where I found Lytton by himself, & not feeling inclined for talk we read our papers near together.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Newspaper

  

John, Viscount Morley : unknown

2 March 1918: '[On 19 February] we went to Asheham [...] I saw no-one; for 5 days I wasn't in a state for reading [due to influenza]; but I did finally read Morley & other books; but reading when done to kill time has a kind of drudgy look in it [...] One day I sat in the garden reading Shakespeare; I remember the ecstacy'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Shakespeare : unknown

2 March 1918: '[On 19 February] we went to Asheham [...] I saw no-one; for 5 days I wasn't in a state for reading [due to influenza]; but I did finally read Morley & other books; but reading when done to kill time has a kind of drudgy look in it [...] One day I sat in the garden reading Shakespeare; I remember the ecstacy'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Wordsworth : 'Lines Written in Early Spring, 1798'

5 April 1918: 'Off we went to Asheham on Thursday [21 March] [...] my memory is most centred upon an afternoon reading in the garden. I happened to read Wordsworth; the poem which ends "what man has made of man".'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

 : notice of death of Sarah Emily Duckworth

27 June 1918: 'At the Club yesterday I picked up the Times & read of Aunt Minna's death 2 days ago at Lane End [...] She was in her 91st year. A more composed, & outwardly useless life one can't imagine [...] I saw her a few weeks ago, apparently unaware of death, taking her house for 4 years further, & saying precisely what she'd said at any time -- about good & bad novels [goes on to reminisce further about aunt]'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Newspaper

  

George Otto Trevelyan : The Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay

2 July 1918: 'I was reading Macaulay's Life over my tea [...] when Mrs Woolf [husband's sister-in-law] was announced.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Thomas de Quincey : Impassioned Prose

'...I'm sitting in an old silk petticoat at the moment with a hole in it, and the top part of another dress with a hole in it, and the wind is blowing through me, and I'm reading de Quincey, and Richardson, and again de Quincey- again de Quincey because I'm in the middle of writing about him, and my God Vita, if you happen to know do wire what's the essential difference between prose and poetry - It cracks my poor brain to consider.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Michael Rossetti : Memoir of Christina Rossetti

Editor's note reads 'V[irginia] W[oolf] must have been reading William Michael Rossetti's 1904 edition of The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti, to which he added a "compendious Memoir of her uneventful and rather secluded life."' See Additional Comments.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Katherine Mansfield : 'Bliss'

7 August 1918: 'Our excitement [has been] the return of the servants from Lewes last night, with [...] the English review for me, with [...] Katherine Mansfield on Bliss. I threw down Bliss with the exclamation, "She's done for!" Indeed I don't see how much faith in her as as woman or writer can survive that sort of story [...] her mind is a very thin soil, laid an inch or two upon very barren rock [...] she is content with superficial smartness; & the whole conception is poor, cheap, not the vision, however imperfect, of an interesting mind. She writes badly too. And the effect was as I say, to give me an impression of her callousness & hardness as a human being. I shall read it again; but I dont suppose I shall change.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Serial / periodical

  

unknown : life of Byron

7 August 1918: 'I was very glad to go on with my Byron [...] I'm amused to find how easily I can imagine the effect he had upon women [goes on to comment further upon Byron's life, letters, and poetry]'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Vita Sackville-West : Passenger to Teheran

'The whole book is full of nooks and corners which I enjoy exploring. Sometimes one wants a candle in one's hand though - That's my only criticism - you've left (I daresay in haste) one or two dangling dim places....'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Manuscript: Sheet, Earlier in the letter Virginia Woolf describes the form of the text she read as 'the second batch of proofs'.

  

 : The Times

'The day before I left I read in the Times that I had won the most insignificant and ridiculous of prizes but I have heard nothing more; so it may be untrue.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Newspaper

  

Leonard Woolf : Empire and Commerce in Africa. A Study in Economic Imperialism

7 January 1920: 'Reading Empire & Commerce to my genuine satisfaction, with an impartial delight in the closeness, passion & logic of it; indeed its a good thing now & then to read one's husband's work attentively.'

Unknown
Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      

  

 : Notice of birth of Mark Arnold-Foster

20 April 1920: 'Saw the birth of Ka's son in the Times this morning, & feel slightly envious all day in consequence.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Newspaper

  

Miguel de Cervantes : Don Quixote

Tuesday 10 August 1920: 'Reading Don Q. still -- I confess rather sinking in the sand -- rather soft going [...] but he has the loose, far scattered vitality of the great books, which keeps me going'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Sophocles  : Trachiniae

Thursday 19 August 1920: 'Yesterday [...] read [Sophocles'] Trachiniae with comparative ease -- always comparative -- oh dear me!'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Katherine Mansfield : unknown

Tuesday 25 January 1921: 'K. M. (as the papers call her) swims from triumph to triumph in the reviews; save that [J. C.] Squire doubts her genius -- so, I'm afraid, do I. These little points, though so cleanly collected, don't amount to much, I think. I read her at the Club last night'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Unknown

  

Thomas Carlyle : 'reminiscences'

Friday 15 April 1921: 'I have been lying recumbent all day reading Carlyle, and now Macaulay, first to see if Carlyle wrote better than Lytton [Strachey], then to see if Macaulay sells better. Carlyle (reminiscences) is more colloquial and scrappy than I remembered, but he has his merits. -- more punch in his phrase than in Lytton's.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Thomas Babington Macaulay : unknown

Friday 15 April 1921: 'I have been lying recumbent all day reading Carlyle, and now Macaulay, first to see if Carlyle wrote better than Lytton [Strachey], then to see if Macaulay sells better. Carlyle (reminiscences) is more colloquial and scrappy than I remembered, but he has his merits. -- more punch in his phrase than in Lytton's.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Kenneth Burke : 'The Modern English Novel Plus' (review of Virginia Woolf, NIght and Day, and The Voyage Out

Sunday 15 May 1921: 'I read 4 pages of sneer & condescending praise of me in the Dial the other day. Oddly enough, I have drawn the sting of it by deciding to print it among my puffs, where it will come in beautifully. The Dial is everything honest & vigorous & advanced; so I ought to feel crushed.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Serial / periodical

  

Henry James : The Wings of a Dove

Monday 12 September 1921: 'I have finished the Wings of the Dove, & make this comment. His [Henry James's] manipulations become so elaborate towards the end that instead of feeling the artist you merely feel the man who is posing the subject. And then I think he loses the power to feel the crisis. He becomes merely excessively ingenious [goes on to comment further on text].'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Katherine Mansfield : stories

Thursday 15 September 1921: 'I have been dabbling in K.M.'s stories, & have to rinse my mind -- in Dryden? Still, if she were not so clever she coudn't be so disagreeable.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Unknown

  

Clive Bell : [journalism]

Monday 6 February 1922: 'What a sprightly journalist Clive Bell is! I have just read him, & see how my sentences would have to be clipped to march in time with his.'

Unknown
Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      

  

Herman Melville : Moby Dick

Tuesday 14 February 1922: 'I am reading [in convalescence, following week of illness] Moby Dick: Princesse de Cleves; Lord Salisbury; Old Mortality; Small Talk at Wreyland; with an occasional bite at the Life of Lord Tennyson, of Johnson; & anything else I find handy. But this is all dissipated & invalidish. I can only hope that like dead leaves they may fertilise my brain.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Madame de La Fayette : La Princesse de Cleves

Tuesday 14 February 1922: 'I am reading [in convalescence, following week of illness] Moby Dick: Princesse de Cleves; Lord Salisbury; Old Mortality; Small Talk at Wreyland; with an occasional bite at the Life of Lord Tennyson, of Johnson; & anything else I find handy. But this is all dissipated & invalidish. I can only hope that like dead leaves they may fertilise my brain.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Walter Scott : Old Mortality

Tuesday 14 February 1922: 'I am reading [in convalescence, following week of illness] Moby Dick: Princesse de Cleves; Lord Salisbury; Old Mortality; Small Talk at Wreyland; with an occasional bite at the Life of Lord Tennyson, of Johnson; & anything else I find handy. But this is all dissipated & invalidish. I can only hope that like dead leaves they may fertilise my brain.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Lady Gwendolyn Cecil : The Life of Robert, Marquis of Salisbury

Tuesday 14 February 1922: 'I am reading [in convalescence, following week of illness] Moby Dick: Princesse de Cleves; Lord Salisbury; Old Mortality; Small Talk at Wreyland; with an occasional bite at the Life of Lord Tennyson, of Johnson; & anything else I find handy. But this is all dissipated & invalidish. I can only hope that like dead leaves they may fertilise my brain.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Cecil Torr : Small Talk at Wreyland (vol 1 and/or 2)

Tuesday 14 February 1922: 'I am reading [in convalescence, following week of illness] Moby Dick: Princesse de Cleves; Lord Salisbury; Old Mortality; Small Talk at Wreyland; with an occasional bite at the Life of Lord Tennyson, of Johnson; & anything else I find handy. But this is all dissipated & invalidish. I can only hope that like dead leaves they may fertilise my brain.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

unknown : Life of Tennyson

Tuesday 14 February 1922: 'I am reading [in convalescence, following week of illness] Moby Dick: Princesse de Cleves; Lord Salisbury; Old Mortality; Small Talk at Wreyland; with an occasional bite at the Life of Lord Tennyson, of Johnson; & anything else I find handy. But this is all dissipated & invalidish. I can only hope that like dead leaves they may fertilise my brain.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

unknown : Life of [?Samuel] Johnson

Tuesday 14 February 1922: 'I am reading [in convalescence, following week of illness] Moby Dick: Princesse de Cleves; Lord Salisbury; Old Mortality; Small Talk at Wreyland; with an occasional bite at the Life of Lord Tennyson, of Johnson; & anything else I find handy. But this is all dissipated & invalidish. I can only hope that like dead leaves they may fertilise my brain.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Thomas Love Peacock : Nightmare Abbey

Wednesday 15 February 1922: 'Of my reading I will now try to make some note. 'First Peacock; Nightmare Abbey, & Crotchet Castle. Both are so much better than I remember. Doubtless, Peacock is a taste acquired in maturity. When I was young, reading him in a railway carriage in Greece, sitting opposite Thoby [Woolf, reader's brother], I remember, who pleased me immensely by approving my remark that Meredith had got his women from Peacock [...] And now more than anything I want beautiful prose [...] And I enjoy satire more. I like the scepticism of his mind more [...] And then they're so short; & I read them in little yellowish perfectly appropriate first editions. 'The masterly Scott has me by the hair once more. Old Mortality. I'm in the middle; & have to put up with some dull sermons; but I doubt he can be dull, because everything is so much in keeping [goes on to comment further on text]'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Thomas Love Peacock : Crotchet Castle

Wednesday 15 February 1922: 'Of my reading I will now try to make some note. 'First Peacock; Nightmare Abbey, & Crotchet Castle. Both are so much better than I remember. Doubtless, Peacock is a taste acquired in maturity. When I was young, reading him in a railway carriage in Greece, sitting opposite Thoby [Woolf, reader's brother], I remember, who pleased me immensely by approving my remark that Meredith had got his women from Peacock [...] And now more than anything I want beautiful prose [...] And I enjoy satire more. I like the scepticism of his mind more [...] And then they're so short; & I read them in little yellowish perfectly appropriate first editions. 'The masterly Scott has me by the hair once more. Old Mortality. I'm in the middle; & have to put up with some dull sermons; but I doubt he can be dull, because everything is so much in keeping [goes on to comment further on text]'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Walter Scott : Old Mortality

Wednesday 15 February 1922: 'Of my reading I will now try to make some note. 'First Peacock; Nightmare Abbey, & Crotchet Castle. Both are so much better than I remember. Doubtless, Peacock is a taste acquired in maturity. When I was young, reading him in a railway carriage in Greece, sitting opposite Thoby [Woolf, reader's brother], I remember, who pleased me immensely by approving my remark that Meredith had got his women from Peacock [...] And now more than anything I want beautiful prose [...] And I enjoy satire more. I like the scepticism of his mind more [...] And then they're so short; & I read them in little yellowish perfectly appropriate first editions. 'The masterly Scott has me by the hair once more. Old Mortality. I'm in the middle; & have to put up with some dull sermons; but I doubt he can be dull, because everything is so much in keeping [goes on to comment further on text]'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

George Gordon, Lord Byron : Lord Byron's Correspondence

Saturday 18 February 1922: 'According to the papers, the cost of living is now I dont know how much lower than last year [...] You cant question Nelly [Woolf's cook] much without rubbing a sore. She threatens at once to send up a cheap meal [...] Not a very grievous itch; & quelled by the sight of the new Byron letters just come from Mudie's [library].'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Madame de la Fayette : La Princesse de Cleves

Saturday 18 February 1922: 'I want to read Byron's Letters, but I must go on with La Princesse de Cleves. This masterpiece has long been on my conscience. Me to talk of fiction & not to have read this classic! But reading classics is generally hard going. Especially classics like this one, which are classics because of their perfect taste, shapeliness, composire, artistry [...] I think the beauty very great, but hard to appreciate [comments further on text].'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

 : The New Statesman

Saturday 18 February 1922: 'Within the last few minutes I have skimmed the reviews in the New Statesman; between coffee & cigarette I read the Nation: now the best brains in England (metaphorically speaking) sweated themselves for I dont know how many hours to give me this brief condescending sort of amusement [...] Reviews seem to me more & more frivolous.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Serial / periodical

  

 : The Nation

Saturday 18 February 1922: 'Within the last few minutes I have skimmed the reviews in the New Statesman; between coffee & cigarette I read the Nation: now the best brains in England (metaphorically speaking) sweated themselves for I dont know how many hours to give me this brief condescending sort of amusement [...] Reviews seem to me more & more frivolous.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Serial / periodical

  

unknown : [ms novel]

'I'm reading an Oxford undergraduate ms novel, and his hero says "Do you know these lines from The Land, the finest poem, by far the finest of our living poets -" but for all that, we shan't publish him.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Manuscript: Codex

  

Sophocles  : unknown

Tuesday 31 August 1920: 'Finished Sophocles this morning -- read mostly at Asheham.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Samuel Taylor Coleridge : unknown

Sunday 5 December 1920: 'My brain is tired of reading Coleridge. Why do I read Coleridge? It is partly the result of Eliot [i.e. The Sacred Wood] whom I've not read; but L[eonard]. has & reviewed & praised into the bargain.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Edmund Gosse : Books on the Table

Wednesday 10 August 1921: 'I may well ask, what is truth? And I cant ask it in my natural tones, since my lips are wet with Edmund Gosse. How often have I said that I would never read anyone before beginning to write? The book came at breakfast, & I fell. He is one of the respectables [...] But how low in tone it all is -- purred out by the firesides of Dowagers. That is not quite true, seeing that he has some sturdiness, some independence, & some love of letters. The peculiar combination of suavity, gravity, malignity, & common sense always repels me.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Leigh Hunt : The Autobiography of Leigh Hunt

[Following transcription of two substantial paragraphs, in which Leigh Hunt describes Coleridge] '[this] is all I can take the trouble to quote from Leigh Hunt's memoirs vol 2 page 223, supposing I should want to cook this up again somewhere. L.H. was our spiritual grandfather, a free man [...] These free, vigorous spirits advance the world, & when one lights on them in the strange waste of the past one says Ah you're my sort -- a great compliment.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

James Joyce : Ulysses

Wednesday 16 August 1922: 'I have read 200 pages [of Ulysses] so far -- not a third; & have been amused, stimulated, charmed interested by the first 2 or 3 chapters -- to the end of the Cemetery scene; & then puzzled, bored, irritated, & disillusioned as by a queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples [...] An illiterate, underbred book it seems to me: the book of a self-taught working man, & we all know how distressing they are, how egotistic, insistent, raw, striking, & ultimately nauseating [...] I may revise this later. I do not compromise my critical sagacity. I plant a stick in the ground to mark page 200.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Gilbert Seldes : Review of James Joyce, Ulysses

Thursday 7 September 1922: 'L[eonard]. put into my hands a very intelligent review of Ulysses, in the American Nation, which, for the first time, analyses the meaning, & certainly makes it much more impressive than I judged.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Serial / periodical

  

James Joyce : Ulysses

Wednesday 6 September 1922: 'I finished Ulysses, & think it a mis-fire. Genius it has I think; but of the inferior water. The book is diffuse. It is brackish. It is pretentious. It is underbred, not only in the obvious sense, but in the literary sense [...] I'm reminded all the time of some callow board school boy [...] full of wits & powers, but so self-conscious & egotistical that he loses his head, becomes extravagant, mannered, uproarious, ill at ease, makes kindly people feel sorry for him, & stern ones merely annoyed; & one hopes he'll grow out of it; but as Joyce is 40 this scarcely seems likely. I have not read it carefully; & only once; & it is very obscure; so no doubt I have scamped the virtue of it more than is fair.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Ben Jonson : Epicoene, or The Silent Woman

Saturday 17 March 1923: 'Written, for a wonder, at 10 o'clock at night [...] my brain saturated with the Silent Woman. I am reading her because we now read plays at 46 [Gordon Square].'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Elizabeth Gaskell : Wives and Daughters

Thursday 30 Auguust: 'My goodness, the wind! Last night we looked at the meadow trees, flinging about [...] I read such a white dimity rice puddingy chapter of Mrs Gaskell in the gale "Wives and Daughters"'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Vita Sackville-West : On the Lake

Monday 21 December 1925: 'I read her [Vita Sackville-West's] poem; which is more compact, better seen & felt than anything yet of hers.'

Unknown
Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      

  

Virginia Woolf : 1923 diary

Saturday 27 February 1926: 'Mrs. Webb's book has made me think a little what I could say of my own life. I read some of 1923 this morning, being headachy again'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Manuscript: Unknown

  

Beatrice Webb : My Apprenticeship

Saturday 27 February 1926: 'Mrs. Webb's book has made me think a little what I could say of my own life. I read some of 1923 this morning, being headachy again'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Leo Tolstoy : Anna Karenina

Wednesday 24 March 1926: 'These disjointed reflections I scribble on a divine, if gusty, day; being about, after reading Anna Karenina, to dine at a pot-house with Rose Macaulay -- not a cheerful entertainment; but an experience perhaps.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Gerard Manley Hopkins : [manuscripts]

Thursday 1 July: '[in library of Robert Bridges, during visit to Morrell family at Garsington] I asked to see the Hopkins manuscripts; & sat looking at them with that gigantic grasshopper Aldous [Huxley] folded up in a chair close by.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Manuscript: Unknown

  

Maurice Baring : C

'Owing to his giving me the books, am now reading C by M. Baring. I am surprised to find it as good as it is. But how good is it? Easy to say it is not a great book. But what qualities does it lack? That it adds nothing to one's vision of life, perhaps. Yet it is hard to find a serious flaw.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Vita Sackville-West : Collected Poems

'And the book came. And I've read one or two of the new ones. And I liked them yes - I liked the one to Enid Bagnold; and I think I see how you may develop differently.'

Unknown
Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      

  

Kenneth Clark : unknown

'I've been walking on the marsh and found a swan sitting in a Saxon grave. This made me think of you. Then I came back and read about Leonardo - Kenneth Clark - good I think: this also made me think of you.'

Unknown
Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      

  

Vita Sackville-West : Country Notes

'I've not read it (and I dont suppose you'd care a damn to know what I thought, if I thought about it considered as a work of art - or would you?) - but I dipped in and read about Saulieu and the fair and the green glass bottle....I shall keep it by my bed, and when I wake in the night - so, I shant use it as a soporific, but as a sedative: a dose of sanity and sheep dog in this scratching, clawing, and colding universe....'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Robert Bridges : unknown

Saturday 31 July [entry headed 'My Own Brain,' and beginning 'Here is a whole nervous breakdown in miniature']: 'A desire to read poetry set in on Friday. This brings back a sense of my own individuality. Read some Dante & Bridges, without troubling to understand, but got pleasure from them.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Unknown

  

Dante Alighieri : unknown

Saturday 31 July [entry headed 'My Own Brain,' and beginning 'Here is a whole nervous breakdown in miniature']: 'A desire to read poetry set in on Friday. This brings back a sense of my own individuality. Read some Dante & Bridges, without troubling to understand, but got pleasure from them.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Geoffrey Scott : The Architecture of Humanism. A Study in the History of Taste

Tuesday 28 September 1926: 'Intense depression: I have to confess that this has overcome me several times since September 6th [...] Somehow, my reading had lapsed [...] One night I got hold of Geoffrey Scott's book on Architecture, & a little spark of motive power awoke in me. This is a warning, then; never to cease the use of the brain.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

V. Sackville-West : Passenger to Teheran

Saturday 12 February 1927: 'Vita's prose is too fluent. I've been reading it, & it makes my pen run. When I've read a classic, I am curbed & -- not castrated; no, the opposite; I cant think of the word at the moment. 'Had I been writing P[assenger] to T[eheran] I should have run off whole pools of this coloured water; & then (I think) found my own method of attack [...] Were I writing travels I should wait till some angle emerged: & go for that. The method of writing smooth narrative cant be right; things dont happen in one's mind like that. But she is very skilful & golden voiced.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Maurice Baring : unknown

Saturday 18 June 1927: 'I read -- any trash. Maurice Baring; sporting memoirs.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

unknown : 'sporting memoirs'

Saturday 18 June 1927: 'I read -- any trash. Maurice Baring; sporting memoirs.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

 : Notice of death of the Hon. Philip Charles Thomson Ritchie

Tuesday 20 September 1927: 'I opened the Morning Post & read the death of Philip Ritchie [...] I think for the first time, I felt this death leaves me an elderly laggard; makes me feel I have no right to go on; as if my life was at the expense of his. And I had not been kind; not asked him to dinner & so on.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Newspaper

  

William Shakespeare : Othello

Tuesday 24 April 1928: 'I was reading Othello last night, & was impressed by the volley & volume & tumble of his words: too many I should say, were I reviewing for the Times [goes on to comment further on Shakespeare] [...] I've read only French for 4 weeks.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

unknown : French texts

Tuesday 24 April 1928: 'I was reading Othello last night, & was impressed by the volley & volume & tumble of his words: too many I should say, were I reviewing for the Times [goes on to comment further on Shakespeare] [...] I've read only French for 4 weeks.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Lytton Strachey : Elizabeth and Essex

Sunday 25 November 1928: 'I took Essex & Eth (Lytton's) down [to Rodmell] to read, & Lord forgive me! -- find it a poor book. I have not finished it, and am keeping it to see if my [text ends]'.

Unknown
Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      

  

Samuel Butler : Notebooks

Monday 2 September 1929: 'I have just read a page or two out of Samuel Butler's notebooks to take the taste of Alice Meynell's life out of my mouth. One rather craves brilliance & cantankerousness. Yet I am interested; a little teased by the tight airless Meynell style; & then I think what they had that we had not -- some suavity & grace, certainly [comments further on Meynell's work, life and personality] [...] When one reads a life one often compares one's own life with it. And doing this I was aware of some sweetness & dignity in those lives compared with ours [...] Yet in fact their lives would be intolerable -- so insincere, so elaborate; so I think [goes on to comment further on Meynell family, and others' reminiscences of them]'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Viola Meynell : Alice Meynell. A Memoir

Monday 2 September 1929: 'I have just read a page or two out of Samuel Butler's notebooks to take the taste of Alice Meynell's life out of my mouth. One rather craves brilliance & cantankerousness. Yet I am interested; a little teased by the tight airless Meynell style; & then I think what they had that we had not -- some suavity & grace, certainly [comments further on Meynell's work, life and personality] [...] When one reads a life one often compares one's own life with it. And doing this I was aware of some sweetness & dignity in those lives compared with ours [...] Yet in fact their lives would be intolerable -- so insincere, so elaborate; so I think [goes on to comment further on Meynell family, and others' reminiscences of them]'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Elizabeth Jenkins : Virginia Water

Wednesday 23 October 1929: 'Since I have been back [apparently to London, from Sussex home] I have read Virginia Water (a sweet white grape); God; -- all founded, & teased & spun out upon one quite simple & usual psychological experience; but the mans no poet & cant make one see; all his sentences are like steel lines on an engraving. I am reading Racine, have bought La Fontaine, & so intend to make my sidelong approach to French literature, circling & brooding'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

John Middleton Murry : God: an Introduction to the Science of Metabiology

Wednesday 23 October 1929: 'Since I have been back [apparently to London, from Sussex home] I have read Virginia Water (a sweet white grape); God; -- all founded, & teased & spun out upon one quite simple & usual psychological experience; but the mans no poet & cant make one see; all his sentences are like steel lines on an engraving. I am reading Racine, have bought La Fontaine, & so intend to make my sidelong approach to French literature, circling & brooding'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Jean Racine : 

Wednesday 23 October 1929: 'Since I have been back [apparently to London, from Sussex home] I have read Virginia Water (a sweet white grape); God; -- all founded, & teased & spun out upon one quite simple & usual psychological experience; but the mans no poet & cant make one see; all his sentences are like steel lines on an engraving. I am reading Racine, have bought La Fontaine, & so intend to make my sidelong approach to French literature, circling & brooding'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Augustine Biirrell : ?Collected Essays, 1880-1920

Monday 18 November 1929: '[following argument with cook] My mind is like a gum when an aching tooth has been drawn. I am having a holiday -- reading old Birrell'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

George Puttenham : The Arte of English Poesie

'V[irginia] W[oolf] made notes (see Holograph Reading Notes, vols XI and XII in the Berg Collection) on George Puttenham's The Arte of English Poesie (1589); on William Webbe's A Discourse of English Poetrie (1586) -- both in Constable's English reprints of 1895; and on Gabriel Harvey's Works, ed. A. B. Grosart, 1884; his Commonplace Book, ed. G. C. Moore Smith, 1913; and his Letter Book, 1573-1580, ed. E. J. L. Scott, 1884.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Webbe : A Discourse of English Poetrie

'V[irginia] W[oolf] made notes (see Holograph Reading Notes, vols XI and XII in the Berg Collection) on George Puttenham's The Arte of English Poesie (1589); on William Webbe's A Discourse of English Poetrie (1586) -- both in Constable's English reprints of 1895; and on Gabriel Harvey's Works, ed. A. B. Grosart, 1884; his Commonplace Book, ed. G. C. Moore Smith, 1913; and his Letter Book, 1573-1580, ed. E. J. L. Scott, 1884.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Gabriel Harvey : Works

'V[irginia] W[oolf] made notes (see Holograph Reading Notes, vols XI and XII in the Berg Collection) on George Puttenham's The Arte of English Poesie (1589); on William Webbe's A Discourse of English Poetrie (1586) -- both in Constable's English reprints of 1895; and on Gabriel Harvey's Works, ed. A. B. Grosart, 1884; his Commonplace Book, ed. G. C. Moore Smith, 1913; and his Letter Book, 1573-1580, ed. E. J. L. Scott, 1884.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Gabriel Harvey : Commonplace Book

'V[irginia] W[oolf] made notes (see Holograph Reading Notes, vols XI and XII in the Berg Collection) on George Puttenham's The Arte of English Poesie (1589); on William Webbe's A Discourse of English Poetrie (1586) -- both in Constable's English reprints of 1895; and on Gabriel Harvey's Works, ed. A. B. Grosart, 1884; his Commonplace Book, ed. G. C. Moore Smith, 1913; and his Letter Book, 1573-1580, ed. E. J. L. Scott, 1884.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Gabriel Harvey : Letter Book, 1573-1580

'V[irginia] W[oolf] made notes (see Holograph Reading Notes, vols XI and XII in the Berg Collection) on George Puttenham's The Arte of English Poesie (1589); on William Webbe's A Discourse of English Poetrie (1586) -- both in Constable's English reprints of 1895; and on Gabriel Harvey's Works, ed. A. B. Grosart, 1884; his Commonplace Book, ed. G. C. Moore Smith, 1913; and his Letter Book, 1573-1580, ed. E. J. L. Scott, 1884.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

 : 'Lord Chaplin's life'

Sunday 26 January 1930: 'We have been at Rodmell [...] At night I read Lord Chaplin's life.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

E. F. Benson : Dodo

Monday 3 March 1930: 'Rodmell again [...] Suppose health were shown on a thermometer I have gone up 10 degrees since yesterday, when I lay, mumbling the bones of Dodo: if it had bones'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Molly Hamilton : unknown

Monday 3 March 1930: 'Molly Hamilton writes a d----d bad novel. She has the wits to construct a method of telling a story; & then heaps it with the dreariest, most confused litter of old clothes. When I stop to read a page attentively I am shocked by the dishabille of her English. It is like hearing cooks & scullions chattering; she scarcely articulates [...] And the quality of the emotion is so thick & squab, the emotions of secondrate women painters, of spotted & pimpled young men'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Dante Alighieri : Inferno

Wednesday 20 August 1930: 'I am reading Dante, & I say, yes, this makes all writing unnecessary [...] I read the Inferno for half an hour at the end of my own page [of current work]: & that is the place of honour'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Rosamund Lehmann : A Note in Music

Thursday 28 August 1930: 'I am reading R. Lehmann, with some interest & admiration -- she has a clear hard mind, beating up now & again to poetry; but I am as usual appalled by the machinery of fiction: its much work for little result. Yet I see no other outlet for her gifts.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Dante Alighieri : La Divina Commedia

Wednesday 24 September 1930: 'I am reading Dante; & my present view of reading is to elongate immensely. I take a week over one canto. No hurry.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Daniel Defoe : A Tour through the Whole Island of Great Britain

Saturday 27 December 1930: 'We came down [to Rodmell] on Tuesday, & next day my cold was the usual influenza, & I am in bed with the usual temperature [...] I moon torpidly through book after book: Defoe's Tour; Rowan's auto[biograph]y; Benson's Memoirs; Jeans; in the familiar way [...] Oh & I've read Q[ueen]. V[ictoria]'s letters [...] Q.V. entirely unaesthetic; a kind of Prussian competence, & belief in herself her only prominences [...] Knew her own mind. But the mind radically commonplace.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Archibald Hamilton Rowan : The Autobiography of Archibald Hamilton Rowan

Saturday 27 December 1930: 'We came down [to Rodmell] on Tuesday, & next day my cold was the usual influenza, & I am in bed with the usual temperature [...] I moon torpidly through book after book: Defoe's Tour; Rowan's auto[biograph]y; Benson's Memoirs; Jeans; in the familiar way [...] Oh & I've read Q[ueen]. V[ictoria]'s letters [...] Q.V. entirely unaesthetic; a kind of Prussian competence, & belief in herself her only prominences [...] Knew her own mind. But the mind radically commonplace.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

E. F. Benson : As We Were: A Victorian Peep-Show

Saturday 27 December 1930: 'We came down [to Rodmell] on Tuesday, & next day my cold was the usual influenza, & I am in bed with the usual temperature [...] I moon torpidly through book after book: Defoe's Tour; Rowan's auto[biograph]y; Benson's Memoirs; Jeans; in the familiar way [...] Oh & I've read Q[ueen]. V[ictoria]'s letters [...] Q.V. entirely unaesthetic; a kind of Prussian competence, & belief in herself her only prominences [...] Knew her own mind. But the mind radically commonplace.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

James Jeans : unknown

Saturday 27 December 1930: 'We came down [to Rodmell] on Tuesday, & next day my cold was the usual influenza, & I am in bed with the usual temperature [...] I moon torpidly through book after book: Defoe's Tour; Rowan's auto[biograph]y; Benson's Memoirs; Jeans; in the familiar way [...] Oh & I've read Q[ueen]. V[ictoria]'s letters [...] Q.V. entirely unaesthetic; a kind of Prussian competence, & belief in herself her only prominences [...] Knew her own mind. But the mind radically commonplace.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

The Rev. John Skinner : The Journal of a Somerset Rector

Saturday 27 December 1930: 'We came down [to Rodmell] on Tuesday, & next day my cold was the usual influenza, & I am in bed with the usual temperature [...] I moon torpidly through book after book: Defoe's Tour; Rowan's auto[biograph]y; Benson's Memoirs; Jeans; in the familiar way. The parson -- Skinner -- who shot himself emerges like a bloody sun in a fog. a book worth perhaps looking at again in a clearer mood [goes on to remark further on this text] [...] Oh & I've read Q[ueen]. V[ictoria]'s letters [...] Q.V. entirely unaesthetic; a kind of Prussian competence, & belief in herself her only prominences [...] Knew her own mind. But the mind radically commonplace.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Queen Victoria : Letters

Saturday 27 December 1930: 'We came down [to Rodmell] on Tuesday, & next day my cold was the usual influenza, & I am in bed with the usual temperature [...] I moon torpidly through book after book: Defoe's Tour; Rowan's auto[biograph]y; Benson's Memoirs; Jeans; in the familiar way [...] Oh & I've read Q[ueen]. V[ictoria]'s letters [...] Q.V. entirely unaesthetic; a kind of Prussian competence, & belief in herself her only prominences [...] Knew her own mind. But the mind radically commonplace.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

D. H. Lawrence : Sons and Lovers

Monday 20 April 1931: 'Arrived [at La Rochelle] at 7.30 -- so quick one drives: I forgot our 2 punctures. One at Thouart [Thouars]; kept us, as the man did not mend it while we lunched. I read Sons & Lovers [by D. H. Lawrence], every word.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

D. H. Lawrence : The Man Who Died

Thursday 28 May 1931: 'Disappointed, reading lightly through, by The man who died, D.H.L.'s last. Reading Sons and Lovers first, then the last I seem to span the measure of his powers & trace his decline. A kind of Guy Fawkes dressing up grew on him it seems, in spite of the lovely silver-bright writing here & there: something sham. Making himself into a God, I suppose.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

George Gordon, Lord Byron : Don Juan

Tuesday 7 July 1931: 'I am reading Don Juan; & dispatch a biography every two days.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

unknown : biographies

Tuesday 7 July 1931: 'I am reading Don Juan; & dispatch a biography every two days.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Hugh Walpole : Judith Paris

Tuesday 1 September 1931: 'And so a few days of bed & headache & overpowering sleep, sleep descending inexorable as I tried to read Judith Paris, then Ivanhoe. A note on Judith Paris: its a London museum book. Hugh bouncing with spurious enthusiasm -- a collection of keepsakes bright beads -- unrelated. Why? No central feeling anywhere [...] All a trivial litter of bright objects to be swept up. 'Scott: a note. A pageant. And I know the man [Locksley] (I forget his name) will hit the mark. So I'm not excited. Almost incredible that my father [Leslie Stephen, in Hours in a Library vol. 1 p.158] shd. have taken this scene seriously. But I think some roots. A perfectly desire surely to amuse, now & then ruffled (but oh how seldom!) by some raid from the sub-conscious -- only in the humour tho. Rowena, Rebecca, hairdressers ornaments -- Madame Tussaud sham jewels [...] But I think I trust him & like him better than Hugh. Question of morality. That we are all moralists; with a temporary standard.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Walter Scott : Ivanhoe

Tuesday 1 September 1931: 'And so a few days of bed & headache & overpowering sleep, sleep descending inexorable as I tried to read Judith Paris, then Ivanhoe. A note on Judith Paris: its a London museum book. Hugh bouncing with spurious enthusiasm -- a collection of keepsakes bright beads -- unrelated. Why? No central feeling anywhere [...] All a trivial litter of bright objects to be swept up. 'Scott: a note. A pageant. And I know the man [Locksley] (I forget his name) will hit the mark. So I'm not excited. Almost incredible that my father [Leslie Stephen, in Hours in a Library vol. 1 p.158] shd. have taken this scene seriously. But I think some roots. A perfectly desire surely to amuse, now & then ruffled (but oh how seldom!) by some raid from the sub-conscious -- only in the humour tho. Rowena, Rebecca, hairdressers ornaments -- Madame Tussaud sham jewels [...] But I think I trust him & like him better than Hugh. Question of morality. That we are all moralists; with a temporary standard.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Goethe : Faust

25 December 1931: 'After writing the last page, Nov. 16th, I could not go on writing without a perpetual headache; & so took a month lying down; have not written a line; have read Faust, Coningsby &c.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Benjamin Disraeli : Coningsby

25 December 1931: 'After writing the last page, Nov. 16th, I could not go on writing without a perpetual headache; & so took a month lying down; have not written a line; have read Faust, Coningsby &c.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

H. G. Wells : The Science of Life

Tuesday 2 February 1932: 'I am reading Wells' science of life, & have reached the hen that became a cock or vice versa.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

H. G. Wells : The Work, Wealth, and Happiness of Mankind

Thursday 11 February 1932: 'My mind is set running upon A Knock on the Door (whats its name?) owing largely to reading "Wells on Woman" -- how she must be ancillary & decorative in the world of the future, because she has been tried, in 10 years, & has not proved anything.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Max Eastman : The Literary Mind: Its Place in an Age of Science

Sunday 8 May 1932: 'I've scarcely read [on holiday in Greece] [...] only Roger's Eastman, & Wells, & Murry.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

H. G. Wells : unknown

Sunday 8 May 1932: 'I've scarcely read [on holiday in Greece] [...] only Roger's Eastman, & Wells, & Murry.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

John Middleton Murry : unknown

Sunday 8 May 1932: 'I've scarcely read [on holiday in Greece] [...] only Roger's Eastman, & Wells, & Murry.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Jean-Jacques Rousseau : unknown

Wednesday 11 May: 'again this heroism in the attempt at pen & ink: but I am tired of reading Rousseau: it is 6 o'clock [...] we are shaking & rattling through Lombardy towards the Alps [on way back from holiday in Greece]'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Alexis de Tocqueville : Souvenirs

In Diary of Virginia Woolf, facing page on which entry for 20 August 1932 and beginning of entry for 2 September written: 'Reading this August: Souvenirs de Tocqueville Any number of biographies -- Coleridge -- one or two poems. Lord Kilbracken memoirs. Shaw Pen portraits. Ainslie memoirs. Vita's novel [...] Nothing much good -- except de T: Coleridges letters; but failed to finish the 2nd vol.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Lord Kilbracken : Reminiscences

In Diary of Virginia Woolf, facing page on which entry for 20 August 1932 and beginning of entry for 2 September written: 'Reading this August: Souvenirs de Tocqueville Any number of biographies -- Coleridge -- one or two poems. Lord Kilbracken memoirs. Shaw Pen portraits. Ainslie memoirs. Vita's novel [...] Nothing much good -- except de T: Coleridges letters; but failed to finish the 2nd vol.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

George Bernard Shaw : Pen Portraits and Reviews

In Diary of Virginia Woolf, facing page on which entry for 20 August 1932 and beginning of entry for 2 September written: 'Reading this August: Souvenirs de Tocqueville Any number of biographies -- Coleridge -- one or two poems. Lord Kilbracken memoirs. Shaw Pen portraits. Ainslie memoirs. Vita's novel [...] Nothing much good -- except de T: Coleridges letters; but failed to finish the 2nd vol.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Douglas Ainslie : Adventures Social and Literary

In Diary of Virginia Woolf, facing page on which entry for 20 August 1932 and beginning of entry for 2 September written: 'Reading this August: Souvenirs de Tocqueville Any number of biographies -- Coleridge -- one or two poems. Lord Kilbracken memoirs. Shaw Pen portraits. Ainslie memoirs. Vita's novel [...] Nothing much good -- except de T: Coleridges letters; but failed to finish the 2nd vol.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

V. Sackville-West : 'novel'

In Diary of Virginia Woolf, facing page on which entry for 20 August 1932 and beginning of entry for 2 September written: 'Reading this August: Souvenirs de Tocqueville Any number of biographies -- Coleridge -- one or two poems. Lord Kilbracken memoirs. Shaw Pen portraits. Ainslie memoirs. Vita's novel [...] Nothing much good -- except de T: Coleridges letters; but failed to finish the 2nd vol.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Samuel Taylor Coleridge : poems

In Diary of Virginia Woolf, facing page on which entry for 20 August 1932 and beginning of entry for 2 September written: 'Reading this August: Souvenirs de Tocqueville Any number of biographies -- Coleridge -- one or two poems. Lord Kilbracken memoirs. Shaw Pen portraits. Ainslie memoirs. Vita's novel [...] Nothing much good -- except de T: Coleridges letters; but failed to finish the 2nd vol.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Samuel Taylor Coleridge : letters

In Diary of Virginia Woolf, facing page on which entry for 20 August 1932 and beginning of entry for 2 September written: 'Reading this August: Souvenirs de Tocqueville Any number of biographies -- Coleridge -- one or two poems. Lord Kilbracken memoirs. Shaw Pen portraits. Ainslie memoirs. Vita's novel [...] Nothing much good -- except de T: Coleridges letters; but failed to finish the 2nd vol.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

D. H. Lawrence : The Letters of D. H. Lawrence

Sunday 2 October 1932: 'I am [...] reading DHL. with the usual sense of frustration. Not that he & I have too much in common -- the same pressure to be ourselves: so that I dont escape when I read him; am surfeited [...] What I enjoy (in the Letters) is the sudden visualisation [...] but I get no satisfaction from his explanations of what he sees [goes on to comment further on text]'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Elizabeth Wright : The Life of Joseph Wright (vol 1)

Wednesday 13 July 1932: 'Old Joseph Wright & Lizzie Wright are people I respect. Indeed I do hope the 2nd vol. will come this morning. He was a maker of dialect dixeries: he was a workhouse boy [...] And he married Miss Lea a clergyman's daughter. And I've just read their love letters with respect [goes on to comment further on text].'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

R. Barry O'Brien : The Life of Charles Stuart Parnell

Sunday 15 January 1933: 'I am reading Parnell.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Henry James : The Sacred Fount

Sunday 14 May 1933: 'I am reading -- skipping -- the Sacred Fount [by Henry James] -- about the most inappropriate of all books for this din -- sitting by the open window, looking across heads & heads & heads -- all Siena parading in gray & pink & the cars hooting. How finely run along all those involuted thread [in James]? I dont -- thats the answer. I let 'em break. I only mark that the sign of a masterly writer is the power to break his mould callously [goes on to comment further on James].'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Thomas Creevey : The Creevey Papers

Sunday 21 May 1933: 'Tonight sitting at the open window of a secondrate inn in Draguignan [...] I dip into Creevey; L[eonard]. into Golden Bough.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Shakespeare : Henry IV Part 1

Monday 26 June 1933: 'The present moment. 7 o'clock on June 26th: [...] I after reading Henry 4 Pt one saying whats the use of writing; reading, imperfectly, a poem by Leopardi'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Leopardi : [poem]

Monday 26 June 1933: 'The present moment. 7 o'clock on June 26th: [...] I after reading Henry 4 Pt one saying whats the use of writing; reading, imperfectly, a poem by Leopardi'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Virginia Woolf : diaries

Friday 7 July 1933: 'Being headachy [...] I have spent the whole morning reading old diaries, and am now (10 to 1) much refreshed. This is by way of justifying these many written books [...] The diary amuses me.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Manuscript: Unknown

  

Florence Hardy : Life of Thomas Hardy

Wednesday 26 July 1933: 'When I cant write of a morning -- as now -- I try to tune myself on other books: couldnt settle on any save T. Hardy's life just now. Rather to my liking.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Geoffrey Cust Faber : A Character Study of the Oxford Movement

Saturday 12 August 1933: 'I've been reading Faber on Newman; compared his account of a nervous breakdown; the refusal of some part of the mechanism; is that what happens to me? Not quite. Because I'm not evading anything. I long to write The Pargiters [work in progress]. No. I think the effort to live in 2 spheres: the novel; & life is a strain'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Turgenev : unknown

Wednesday 16 August 1933: 'I want to discuss Form, having been reading Turgenev [goes on to make remarks on this topic]'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Arsene Houssaye : Confessions

Thursday 24 August 1933: 'I have spent the morning reading the Confessions of Arsene Houssaye left here yesterday by Clive [Bell].'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Vera Brittain : Testament of Youth

Satirday 2 September 1933: 'I am reading with extreme greed a book by Vera Britain [sic], called The Testament of Youth. Not that I much like her. A stringy metallic mind, with I suppose, the sort of taste I should dislike in real life. But her story, told in detail, without reserve, of the war, & how she lost lover & brother, & dabbled her hands in entrails [as nurse] [...] runs rapidly, vividly across my eyes. A very good book of its sort. The new sort, the hard anguished sort, that I could never write [comments further] [...] I give her credit for having lit up a long passage to me at least. I read & read & read & neglect Turgenev & Miss [Ivy] C[ompton]. Burnett.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Margot Oxford : More Memories

23 September 1933: 'I am reading Margot [Oxford] -- "V W our greatest English authoress;" Molly Hamilton on Webbs: & Turgenev.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Mary Agnes Hamilton : Sidney and Beatrice Webb

23 September 1933: 'I am reading Margot [Oxford] -- "V W our greatest English authoress;" Molly Hamilton on Webbs: & Turgenev.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Marguerite Steen : Hugh Walpole: A Study

5 October 1933: 'I spent yesterday in bed; headache; infinite weariness up my back; clouds forming in my neck; half asleep; through the rift reading Steen (author of Stallion) on Hugh Walpole. My word -- how Hugh can let that rotten pear lie on his name God knows.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

 : announcement of death of Stella Benson

Thursday 7 December 1933: 'I was walking through Leicester Sqre -- how far from China -- just now when I read Death of noted Novelist on the poster. And I thought of Hugh Walpole. But it is Stella Benson [...] I did not know her, but have a sense of those fine patient eyes; the weak voice; the cough; the sense of oppression. She sat on the terrace with me at Rodmell [Woolf's country residence]. And now, so quickly, it is gone, what might have been a friendship [reflects further on acquaintanceship with Benson] [...] How mournful the afternoon seems, with the newspaper carts dashing away up Kingsway "Death of Noted Novelist" on the placard [...] Why not my name on the posters?'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Poster

  

Andrew Marvell : unknown

Tuesday 16 January: 'I have let all this time -- 3 weeks at Monks [House, Sussex residence] -- slip because I was there so divinely happy & pressed with ideas [...] So I never wrote a word of farewell to the year [...] nothing about the walks I had ever so far into the downs; or the reading -- Marvell of an evening, & the usual trash.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Arthur Young : Travels in France during the Years 1787, 1788, and 1789

Tuesday 30 January 1934: 'Yesterday I went to Shapland about my watch bracelet [...] came back; sat; talked; Julian [Bell, nephew] came to tea; read Young;s French travels'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Arthur Young : Travels in France during the Years 1787, 1788, and 1789

Wednesday 14 February: '10 days recumbent [with headache], sleeping, dreaming, dipping into oh dear how many different books, how capriciously: Thackeray, Young's travels in France [...] then a book a day from the Times [Book Club], Berners, Selincourt & a stout life by Neale of Q. Elizabeth which pretending to impartiality emphasises the double chin & the wig of Mary at the critical moment: a fig for impartial & learned historians! All men are liars.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Arthur Young : Travels in France during the Years 1787, 1788, and 1789

Wednesday 14 February: '10 days recumbent [with headache], sleeping, dreaming, dipping into oh dear how many different books, how capriciously: Thackeray, Young's travels in France [...] then a book a day from the Times [Book Club], Berners, Selincourt & a stout life by Neale of Q. Elizabeth which pretending to impartiality emphasises the double chin & the wig of Mary at the critical moment: a fig for impartial & learned historians! All men are liars.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Makepeace Thackeray : unknown

Wednesday 14 February: '10 days recumbent [with headache], sleeping, dreaming, dipping into oh dear how many different books, how capriciously: Thackeray, Young's travels in France [...] then a book a day from the Times [Book Club], Berners, Selincourt & a stout life by Neale of Q. Elizabeth which pretending to impartiality emphasises the double chin & the wig of Mary at the critical moment: a fig for impartial & learned historians! All men are liars.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Lord Berners : First Childhood

Wednesday 14 February: '10 days recumbent [with headache], sleeping, dreaming, dipping into oh dear how many different books, how capriciously: Thackeray, Young's travels in France [...] then a book a day from the Times [Book Club], Berners, Selincourt & a stout life by Neale of Q. Elizabeth which pretending to impartiality emphasises the double chin & the wig of Mary at the critical moment: a fig for impartial & learned historians! All men are liars.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Ernest de Selincourt : Dorothy Wordsworth

Wednesday 14 February: '10 days recumbent [with headache], sleeping, dreaming, dipping into oh dear how many different books, how capriciously: Thackeray, Young's travels in France [...] then a book a day from the Times [Book Club], Berners, Selincourt & a stout life by Neale of Q. Elizabeth which pretending to impartiality emphasises the double chin & the wig of Mary at the critical moment: a fig for impartial & learned historians! All men are liars.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

J. E. Neale : Queen Elizabeth

Wednesday 14 February: '10 days recumbent [with headache], sleeping, dreaming, dipping into oh dear how many different books, how capriciously: Thackeray, Young's travels in France [...] then a book a day from the Times [Book Club], Berners, Selincourt & a stout life by Neale of Q. Elizabeth which pretending to impartiality emphasises the double chin & the wig of Mary at the critical moment: a fig for impartial & learned historians! All men are liars.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Shakespeare : Pericles

Saturday 21 July 1934: 'I am reading Sh[akespea]re plays the fag end of the morning. Have read, Pericles, Titus Andronicus, & Coriolanus.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Shakespeare : Titus Andronicus

Saturday 21 July 1934: 'I am reading Sh[akespea]re plays the fag end of the morning. Have read, Pericles, Titus Andronicus, & Coriolanus.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Shakespeare : Coriolanus

Saturday 21 July 1934: 'I am reading Sh[akespea]re plays the fag end of the morning. Have read, Pericles, Titus Andronicus, & Coriolanus.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

T. S. Eliot : The Rock. A Pageant Play

'T. S. Eliot's The Rock. A Pageant Play had been performed at Sadler's Wells Theatre 28 May-9 June [1934] in aid of the Forty-Five Churches Fund of the Diocese of London, and was published at the same time. V[irginia] W[oolf] only read it, and expressed her views in a letter to Stephen Spender'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Guy de Maupassant : Une Vie

Tuesday 21 August 1934: 'I read Une Vie last night, & it seemed to me rather marking time & watery -- heaven help me -- in comparison [to last chapter of own work in progress]'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Ex-Detective Sergeant B. Leeson : Lost London. The Memoirs of an East End Detective

Thursday 30 August 1934: 'No letters at all this summer. But there will be many next year, I predict. And I dont mind; the day, yesterday to be exact, being so triumphant: writing: the walk; reading, Leeson, a detective, Saint Simon, Henry James' preface to P. of a Lady -- very clever, [word illegible] but one or two things I recognise: then Gide's Journal, again full of startling recollection -- things I cd have said myself.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Saint-Simon : Memoirs

Thursday 30 August 1934: 'No letters at all this summer. But there will be many next year, I predict. And I dont mind; the day, yesterday to be exact, being so triumphant: writing: the walk; reading, Leeson, a detective, Saint Simon, Henry James' preface to P. of a Lady -- very clever, [word illegible] but one or two things I recognise: then Gide's Journal, again full of startling recollection -- things I cd have said myself.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Henry James : Preface, Portrait of a Lady

Thursday 30 August 1934: 'No letters at all this summer. But there will be many next year, I predict. And I dont mind; the day, yesterday to be exact, being so triumphant: writing: the walk; reading, Leeson, a detective, Saint Simon, Henry James' preface to P. of a Lady -- very clever, [word illegible] but one or two things I recognise: then Gide's Journal, again full of stratling recollection -- things I cd have said myself.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Andre Gide : Pages de Journal, 1929-1932

Thursday 30 August 1934: 'No letters at all this summer. But there will be many next year, I predict. And I dont mind; the day, yesterday to be exact, being so triumphant: writing: the walk; reading, Leeson, a detective, Saint Simon, Henry James' preface to P. of a Lady -- very clever, [word illegible] but one or two things I recognise: then Gide's Journal, again full of stratling recollection -- things I cd have said myself.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Shakespeare : Troilus and Cressida

Tuesday 2 October 1934: 'Books read or in reading [over summer 1934]: Sh[akespea]re. Troilus. Pericles. Taming of Shrew. Cymbeline. Maupassant. de Vigny. only scraps [the four French authors grouped by bracket in MS] St Simon. Gide. Library books: Powys Wells Lady Brooke. Prose. Dobree. Alice James.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Shakespeare : Pericles

Tuesday 2 October 1934: 'Books read or in reading [over summer 1934]: Sh[akespea]re. Troilus. Pericles. Taming of Shrew. Cymbeline. Maupassant. de Vigny. only scraps [the four French authors grouped by bracket in MS] St Simon. Gide. Library books: Powys Wells Lady Brooke. Prose. Dobree. Alice James.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Shakespeare : The Taming of the Shrew

Tuesday 2 October 1934: 'Books read or in reading [over summer 1934]: Sh[akespea]re. Troilus. Pericles. Taming of Shrew. Cymbeline. Maupassant. de Vigny. only scraps [the four French authors grouped by bracket in MS] St Simon. Gide. Library books: Powys Wells Lady Brooke. Prose. Dobree. Alice James.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Shakespeare : Cymbeline

Tuesday 2 October 1934: 'Books read or in reading [over summer 1934]: Sh[akespea]re. Troilus. Pericles. Taming of Shrew. Cymbeline. Maupassant. de Vigny. only scraps [the four French authors grouped by bracket in MS] St Simon. Gide. Library books: Powys Wells Lady Brooke. Prose. Dobree. Alice James.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Guy de Maupassant : unknown

Tuesday 2 October 1934: 'Books read or in reading [over summer 1934]: Sh[akespea]re. Troilus. Pericles. Taming of Shrew. Cymbeline. Maupassant. de Vigny. only scraps [the four French authors grouped by bracket in MS] St Simon. Gide. Library books: Powys Wells Lady Brooke. Prose. Dobree. Alice James.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Charles de Vigny : unknown

Tuesday 2 October 1934: 'Books read or in reading [over summer 1934]: Sh[akespea]re. Troilus. Pericles. Taming of Shrew. Cymbeline. Maupassant. de Vigny. only scraps [the four French authors grouped by bracket in MS] St Simon. Gide. Library books: Powys Wells Lady Brooke. Prose. Dobree. Alice James.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Saint-Simon : Memoirs

Tuesday 2 October 1934: 'Books read or in reading [over summer 1934]: Sh[akespea]re. Troilus. Pericles. Taming of Shrew. Cymbeline. Maupassant. de Vigny. only scraps [the four French authors grouped by bracket in MS] St Simon. Gide. Library books: Powys Wells Lady Brooke. Prose. Dobree. Alice James.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Andre Gide : unknown

Tuesday 2 October 1934: 'Books read or in reading [over summer 1934]: Sh[akespea]re. Troilus. Pericles. Taming of Shrew. Cymbeline. Maupassant. de Vigny. only scraps [the four French authors grouped by bracket in MS] St Simon. Gide. Library books: Powys Wells Lady Brooke. Prose. Dobree. Alice James.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

John Cowper Powys : Autobiography

Tuesday 2 October 1934: 'Books read or in reading [over summer 1934]: Sh[akespea]re. Troilus. Pericles. Taming of Shrew. Cymbeline. Maupassant. de Vigny. only scraps [the four French authors grouped by bracket in MS] St Simon. Gide. Library books: Powys Wells Lady Brooke. Prose. Dobree. Alice James.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

H. G. Wells : Experiment in Autobiography

Tuesday 2 October 1934: 'Books read or in reading [over summer 1934]: Sh[akespea]re. Troilus. Pericles. Taming of Shrew. Cymbeline. Maupassant. de Vigny. only scraps [the four French authors grouped by bracket in MS] St Simon. Gide. Library books: Powys Wells Lady Brooke. Prose. Dobree. Alice James.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Sylvia Leonora Brook, Ranee of Sarawak : Good Morning and Good Night

Tuesday 2 October 1934: 'Books read or in reading [over summer 1934]: Sh[akespea]re. Troilus. Pericles. Taming of Shrew. Cymbeline. Maupassant. de Vigny. only scraps [the four French authors grouped by bracket in MS] St Simon. Gide. Library books: Powys Wells Lady Brooke. Prose. Dobree. Alice James.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Bonamy Dobree : Modern Prose Style

Tuesday 2 October 1934: 'Books read or in reading [over summer 1934]: Sh[akespea]re. Troilus. Pericles. Taming of Shrew. Cymbeline. Maupassant. de Vigny. only scraps [the four French authors grouped by bracket in MS] St Simon. Gide. Library books: Powys Wells Lady Brooke. Prose. Dobree. Alice James.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Alice James : Alice James: Her Brothers -- Her Journal

Tuesday 2 October 1934: 'Books read or in reading [over summer 1934]: Sh[akespea]re. Troilus. Pericles. Taming of Shrew. Cymbeline. Maupassant. de Vigny. only scraps [the four French authors grouped by bracket in MS] St Simon. Gide. Library books: Powys Wells Lady Brooke. Prose. Dobree. Alice James.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

James Thomson : The Seasons

Sunday 14 October 1934: 'I cant write. When will my brain revive? in 10 days I think. And it can read admirably. I began [Thomson's] The Seasons last night; after Eddie [Sackville-West]'s ridiculous rhodomontade -- or so I judge it [...] a vast book called The Sun in Capricorn: a worthless book I think [...] No. I don't like him. Trash & tarnish; and this morbid silliness.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Edward Sackville-West : The Sun in Capricorn

Sunday 14 October 1934: 'I cant write. When will my brain revive? in 10 days I think. And it can read admirably. I began [Thomson's] The Seasons last night; after Eddie [Sackville-West]'s ridiculous rhodomontade -- or so I judge it [...] a vast book called The Sun in Capricorn: a worthless book I think [...] No. I don't like him. Trash & tarnish; and this morbid silliness.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

unknown : life of James Boswell

Monday 15 October 1934, during period of depression: 'I am as slack as a piece of macaroni: & in this state cant shake off a blackness, a blankness. Now (10 to 1) after writing & beginning to read an old life of Boswell I feel the wheels grinding.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Virginia Woolf : diaries

Wednesday 17 October 1934: 'I am so sleepy. Is this age? I cant shake it off. And so gloomy. Thats [writing] the end of the book [The Years]. I looked up past diaries -- a reason for keeping them -- & found the same misery after Waves.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Manuscript: Unknown

  

Sophocles  : Antigone

Monday 29 October 1934: 'Reading Antigone. How powerful that spell is still -- Greek. Thank heaven I learnt it young -- an emotion different from any other.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

H. G. Wells : Experiment in Autobiography

Wednesday 21 November 1934: 'I am reading, with interest & distaste, Wells'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Ernest Renan : St Paul

Tuesday 1 January 1935: 'I had a lovely old years walk yesterday [...] & then in to Lewes to take the car to Martins [garage], & then home, & read St Paul & the papers [...] I am reading the Acts of the Apostles. At last I am illuminating that dark spot in my reading.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

 : newspapers

Tuesday 1 January 1935: 'I had a lovely old years walk yesterday [...] & then in to Lewes to take the car to Martins [garage], & then home, & read St Paul & the papers [...] I am reading the Acts of the Apostles. At last I am illuminating that dark spot in my reading.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Newspaper

  

 : Acts of the Apostles

Tuesday 1 January 1935: 'I had a lovely old years walk yesterday [...] & then in to Lewes to take the car to Martins [garage], & then home, & read St Paul & the papers [...] I am reading the Acts of the Apostles. At last I am illuminating that dark spot in my reading.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Edmund Spenser : The Faerie Queene

Wednesday 23 January 1935: 'I am reading the Faery Queen [sic] -- with delight. I shall write about it.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Chateaubriand : unknown

Monday 11 March 1935: 'I am reading Chateaubriand; & to my joy find I can read an Italian novel for pleasure, currently, easily.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

unknown : 'Italian novel'

Monday 11 March 1935: 'I am reading Chateaubriand; & to my joy find I can read an Italian novel for pleasure, currently, easily.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Vittorio Alfieri : unknown

Sunday 14 April 1935: 'Now for Alfieri & Nash & other notables: so happy I was reading alone last night [...] I read Annie S. Swan on her life with considerable respect. Almost always this comes from an Au[tobiograph]y: a liking, at least some imaginative stir: for no doubt her books, which she cant count, & has no illusions about, but she cant stop telling stories, are wash, pigs, hogs -- any wash you choose. But she is a shrewd capable old woman.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

John Summerson : John Nash, Architect to King George IV

Sunday 14 April 1935: 'Now for Alfieri & Nash & other notables: so happy I was reading alone last night [...] I read Annie S. Swan on her life with considerable respect. Almost always this comes from an Au[tobiograph]y: a liking, at least some imaginative stir: for no doubt her books, which she cant count, & has no illusions about, but she cant stop telling stories, are wash, pigs, hogs -- any wash you choose. But she is a shrewd capable old woman.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Annie S. Swan : My Life

Sunday 14 April 1935: 'Now for Alfieri & Nash & other notables: so happy I was reading alone last night [...] I read Annie S. Swan on her life with considerable respect. Almost always this comes from an Au[tobiograph]y: a liking, at least some imaginative stir: for no doubt her books, which she cant count, & has no illusions about, but she cant stop telling stories, are wash, pigs, hogs -- any wash you choose. But she is a shrewd capable old woman.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Stephen Spender : The Destructive Element

Saturday 20 April 1935: 'The scene has now changed to Rodmell [...] Good Friday was a complete fraud -- rain & more rain. I tried walking along the bank [...] Then I came home & read -- Stephen Spender [The Destructive Element] [...] It has considerable swing & fluency; & some general ideas; but peters out in the usual litter of an undergraduates table [discusses text further]'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Howard Overing Sturgis : Belchamber

'Belchamber (1904) by Howard ("Howdie") Overing Sturgis (1855-1920), a prosperous American expatriate, has for its principal character "Sainty" -- the Marquis and Earl of Belchamber. V[rginia] W[oolf] read the "World's Classics" edition of 1935, with an introduction by Gerard Hopkins which draws a portrait of the author.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

D. H. Lawrence : Aaron's Rod

Thursday 9 May 1935: 'Sitting in the sun outside the German Customs. A car with the swastika on the back window has just passed into Germany. L[eonard]. is in the customs. I am nibbling at Aaron's Rod [by D. H. Lawrence, 1922]. Ought I to go in and see what is happening? A fine dry windy morning. The Dutch Customs took 10 seconds. This has taken 10 minutes already.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Katherine Mansfield : The Letters of Katherine Mansfield

Sunday 26 May 1935: 'I'm writing at Aix-en-Provence on a Sunday evening [...] I'm dipping into K.M.'s letters, Stendhal on Rome [...] Cant formulate a phrase for K.M. All I think a little posed & twisted by illness & [John Middleton] Murry; but agonised, & at moments that direct flick at the thing seen which was her gift.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Stendhal  : 'on Rome'

Sunday 26 May 1935: 'I'm writing at Aix-en-Provence on a Sunday evening [...] I'm dipping into K.M.'s letters, Stendhal on Rome [...] Cant formulate a phrase for K.M. All I think a little posed & twisted by illness & [John Middleton] Murry; but agonised, & at moments that direct flick at the thing seen which was her gift.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Ruth Gruber : Virginia Woolf: A Study

Friday 31 May 1935: 'Some good German woman sends a pamphlet on me, into which I couldnt resist looking, though nothing so much upsets & demoralises as this looking at ones face in the glass. And a German glass produces an extreme diffuseness & complexity so that I cant get either praise or blame but must begin twisting among long words.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      

  

Emily Hilda Young : Miss Mole

Thursday 29 August 1935: 'Reading Miss Mole, Abbe Dunnet (good), an occasional bite at Hind & Panther'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Abbe Dunnet : unknown

Thursday 29 August 1935: 'Reading Miss Mole, Abbe Dunnet (good), an occasional bite at Hind & Panther'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

John Dryden : The Hind and the Panther

Thursday 29 August 1935: 'Reading Miss Mole, Abbe Dunnet (good), an occasional bite at Hind & Panther'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

John Dryden : The Hind and the Panther

Saturday 31 August 1935: 'Read Hind & Panther. D.H.L. by E. (good) & slept.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Jessie Chambers : D. H. Lawrence: A Personal Record

Saturday 31 August 1935: 'Read Hind & Panther. D.H.L. by E. (good) & slept.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

John Bailey : John Bailey, 1864-1931, Letters and Diaries

Saturday 7 September 1935: 'A heavenly quiet morning reading Alfieri by the open window & not smoking [...] I've stopped 2 days now The Years [novel in progress]:& feel the power to settle, calmly & firmly on books coming back at once. John Bailey's life, come today, makes me doubt though -- what? Everything [...] I've only just glanced & got the smell of Lit. dinner. Lit. Sup, Lit this that & the other -- & the one remark to the effect that Virginia Woolf, of all people, has been given Cowper by Desmond [MacCarthy], & likes it! I, who read Cowper when I was 15 -- d----d nonsense.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Vittorio Alfieri : unknown

Saturday 7 September 1935: 'A heavenly quiet morning reading Alfieri by the open window & not smoking [...] I've stopped 2 days now The Years [novel in progress]:& feel the power to settle, calmly & firmly on books coming back at once. John Bailey's life, come today, makes me doubt though -- what? Everything [...] I've only just glanced & got the smell of Lit. dinner. Lit. Sup, Lit this that & the other -- & the one remark to the effect that Virginia Woolf, of all people, has been given Cowper by Desmond [MacCarthy], & likes it! I, who read Cowper when I was 15 -- d----d nonsense.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Congreve : Love for Love

Friday 13 September 1935: 'Reading Love for Love, Life of Anthony Hope, &c.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Sir Charles Mallett : Anthony Hope and His Books

Friday 13 September 1935: 'Reading Love for Love, Life of Anthony Hope, &c.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

John Ford : The Lover's Melancholy

[?] Sunday 29 September 1935: 'Yesterday I [...] read the Lovers Melancholy & skimmed the top of the words; & want to go on reading things miles away -- beautiful hard words. remote. Not Mrs Easdale, who is silly, egotistic, sloppy, & very conventional. I am shocked to find Rodmell patched onto those pages.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Mrs Easdale : Middle Age: 1885-1932

[?] Sunday 29 September 1935: 'Yesterday I [...] read the Lovers Melancholy & skimmed the top of the words; & want to go on reading things miles away -- beautiful hard words. remote. Not Mrs Easdale, who is silly, egotistic, sloppy, & very conventional. I am shocked to find Rodmell patched onto those pages.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

 : Star

Thursday 14 March 1915: 'If I'd written this diary last night which I was too excited to do, I should have left a row of question marks at the end. What excited me was the evening paper. After printing [for Hogarth Press] all afternoon I went out later, bought a Star, looked at it casually under the public House lamp, & read that the Prime Minister needed our prayers. We were faced with momentous decisions [...] We evolved from this an offer of peace to France: but it appears to be only L[loyd]. G[eorge].'s way of whipping up his gallery. Anyhow, I was whipped.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Newspaper

  

John Milton : Paradise Lost

Tuesday 10 September 1918: 'Though I am not the only person in Sussex who reads Milton, I mean to write down my impressions of Paradise Lost [...] Impressions fairly well describes the sort of thing left in my mind. I have left many riddles unread. I have slipped on too easily to taste the full flavour [goes on to describe and discuss in detail] [...] But how smooth, strong & elaborate it all is! What poetry!'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Virginia Woolf : Diary

Sunday 20 April 1919: 'In the idleness which succeeds [writing] any long article [...] I got out this diary, & read as one always does read one's own writing, with a kind of guilty intensity. I confess that the rough & random style of it, often so ungrammatical, & crying for a word altered, afflicted me somewhat. I am trying to tell whichever self it is that reads this hereafter that I can write very much better [...] And now I may add my little compliment to the effect that it has a slapdash & vigour, & sometimes hits an unexpected bulls eye [goes on to discuss further reasons for, and artistic benefits of, keeping diary].'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Manuscript: Codex

  

Sir Thomas Browne : unknown

Thursday 12 September 1919: 'Writing has been done under difficulties. I was making way with my new experiment, when I came up against Sir Thomas Browne, & found I hadn't read him since I used to dip & duck & be bored & somewhow [sic -- misprint?] enchanted hundreds of years ago. Therefore I had to break off, send for his books (by the way, I have read him fairly often, now I come to think of it) & start little stories.'

Century: 1850-1899 / 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Mrs Humphry Ward : A Writer's Recollections

Sunday 21 September 1919: 'By paying 5/ I have become a member of the Lewes public library. It is an amusing place -- full of old ghosts; books half way to decomposition [...] I could not resist Mrs Ward, & I stand in her unconscionably long hours, as if she were a bath of tepid water that one lacks the courage to leave [goes on to comment further on Ward's autobiography].'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Mrs Humphry Ward : A Writer's Recollections

'A Writer's Recollections, by Mrs Humphry Ward, had been published in the autumn of 1918. V[irginia] W[oolf] had read it then'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Henry Festing Jones : Samuel Butler, Author of Erewhon (1835-1902): A Memoir

Sunday 28 December 1919, following illness with influenza: 'I've read two vast volumes of the Life of Butler; & am racing through Greville Memoirs -- both superbly fit for illness. Butler has the effect of paring the bark off feelings: all left a little raw, but vivid -- a lack of sap though [goes on to comment further on Butler and his biographer, Henry Festing Jones]]'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Charles Greville : Memoirs

Sunday 28 December 1919, following illness with influenza: 'I've read two vast volumes of the Life of Butler; & am racing through Greville Memoirs -- both superbly fit for illness. Butler has the effect of paring the bark off feelings: all left a little raw, but vivid -- a lack of sap though [goes on to comment further on Butler and his biographer, Henry Festing Jones]'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Thomas Hardy : The Trumpet-Major

Sunday 5 January 1936: 'My head is quiet today, soothed by reading the Trumpet Major last night'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

George Borrow : Wild Wales

Sunday 11 January 1936: 'A very fine day [...] I read Borrow's Wild Wales, into which I can plunge head foremost [...] then [...] to tea with Nessa [sister] [...] Home, & dine alone, & sleep over Mr Clarkson's memoirs. He had a sexual kink, & a passion for fish'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Harry J. Greenwall : The Strange Life of Willy Clarkson

Sunday 11 January 1936: 'A very fine day [...] I read Borrow's Wild Wales, into which I can plunge head foremost [...] then [...] to tea with Nessa [sister] [...] Home, & dine alone, & sleep over Mr Clarkson's memoirs. He had a sexual kink, & a passion for fish'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Charles Dickens : David Copperfield

Tuesday 25 February 1936: 'I've had headaches. Vanquish them by lying still & binding books & reading D. Copperfield.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Peter Quennell : Byron. The Years of Fame

Saturday 29 February 1936: 'I read Quennel [sic] on Byron: dont like that young mans clever agile thin blooded mind'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Gustave Flaubert : letters

Sunday 21 June 1936, during composition of The Years: 'A very strange, most remarkable summer [...] I am learning my craft in the most fierce conditions. Really reading Flaubert's letters I hear my own voice cry out Oh art! Patience. Find him consoling, admonishing.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Sir Thomas Browne : letters

Friday 27 November 1936: 'Dined alone, read Sir T. Browne's letters.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Colette  : Mes Apprentisages

Wednesday 24 February 1937: 'Started reading French again: Misanthrope & Colette's memoirs given me last summer by Janie [Jane-Simone Bussy]: when I was in the dismal drowse & cdn't fix on that or anything.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Moliere  : Le Misanthrope

Wednesday 24 February 1937: 'Started reading French again: Misanthrope & Colette's memoirs given me last summer by Janie [Jane-Simone Bussy]: when I was in the dismal drowse & cdn't fix on that or anything.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Leo Tolstoy : What Then Must We Do?

Monday 8 March 1937: 'What I noticed on the walk to Cockfosters [on 6 March] were: [records various observations] [...] then the tramps [...] The middle aged woman was trying to make a fire: a man in townish clothes was lying on his side in the grass [...] When we [Woolf and husband Leonard] came back after an hour the woman had got the fire to burn [...] She was cutting a slice of bread off a loaf, but there was no butter. At night it became very cold, & as we sat down to our duck L. said he wondered how they [s]pent the night. I said probably they go to the workhouse. This fitted in well with What shall we do then, wh. I read in the train. But incidentally I'm not so much impressed as I expected by it. Vivid, but rather wordy so far.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Howard Spring : review of Virginia Woolf, The Years

Friday 19 March 1937: '"They" say almost universally that The Years is a masterpiece [...] The praise chorus began yesterday: by the way I was walking in Covent Garden & found St Pauls, CG for the first time [...] then went to Burnets [of Garrick St.] [...] bought the E. Standard & found myself glorified as I read it in the Tube.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Newspaper

  

Honore de Balzac : unknown

Sunday 4 April 1937: 'Reading Balzac with great pleasure. Novel reading power is coming back.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

George Sand : Elle et Lui

Tuesday 25 May 1937, in account of travels in France, 7-23 May 1937: 'At Rodez the best hotel in the world [...] Reading Elle et Lui, a very good best seller [by George Sand]. Cant stop reading.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Guy Chapman : Beckford

Tuesday 25 May 1937, in account of travels in France, 7-23 May 1937: 'Reading Beckford by [Guy] Chapman [1937] -- but why write about this cold egotist? this nugatory man?'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Honore de Balzac : unknown

Thursday 15 April 1937: 'Reading Balzac: reading A. Birrell's memoirs'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Augustine Birrell : Things Past Redress

Thursday 15 April 1937: 'Reading Balzac: reading A. Birrell's memoirs'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Francois-Rene Vicomte de Chateaubriand : unknown

Tuesday 30 November 1937: 'Reading Chateaubriand now, bought in 6 fine vols for one guinea at Cambridge'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

unknown : Greek verse

Sunday, 19 June 1937, during holiday to Scotland and Border country: 'I have been reading translations of Greek verse, and thinking idly.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Queenie Leavis : Review of Virginia Woolf, Three Guineas

Thursday 1 September 1937: 'A violent attack on 3 Gs in Scrutiny by Q. Leavis. I dont think it gave me an entire single thrill of horror. And I didnt read it through [...] But I read eno' to see that it was all personal - about Queenie's own grievances & retorts to my snubs.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Serial / periodical

  

Madame de Sevigne : unknown

Thursday 22 September 1938: 'I was just getting into the old, very old, rhythm of regular reading, first this book then that [...] bowls 5 to 6.30: then Madame de Sevigne; get dinner 7.30 [...] read Siegfried Sassoon; & so to bed at 11.30 or so.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Siegfried Sassoon : unknown

Thursday 22 September 1938: 'I was just getting into the old, very old, rhythm of regular reading, first this book then that [...] bowls 5 to 6.30: then Madame de Sevigne; get dinner 7.30 [...] read Siegfried Sassoon; & so to bed at 11.30 or so.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Geoffrey Chaucer : unknown

Tuesday 15 November 1938: 'My one quiet evening since Thursday. Read Chaucer.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

T. S. Eliot : valedictory editorial article

Tuesday 17 January 1939: 'Yesterday I went to the London Library [...] read Tom [Eliot]'s swan song in the Criterion [...] home & read Delacroix journals; about whiich I could write: I mean the idea is that its among the painters not the writers one finds stability, consolation. This refers to a sentence of his about the profundity of the painter's meaning; & how a writer always superficialises.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Serial / periodical

  

Eugene Delacroix : Journal de Eugene Delacroix

Tuesday 17 January 1939: 'Yesterday I went to the London Library [...] read Tom [Eliot]'s swan song in the Criterion [...] home & read Delacroix journals; about whiich I could write: I mean the idea is that its among the painters not the writers one finds stability, consolation. This refers to a sentence of his about the profundity of the painter's meaning; & how a writer always superficialises.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Virginia Woolf : Diary (17 May 1932)

Thursday 9 February 1939: 'Looking at my old Greek diary I was led to speculate [...] I won't budge from the scheme there (1932) laid down for treating decline of fame. To accept; then ignore; & always venture further.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Manuscript: Unknown

  

Percy Bysshe Shelley : Mont Blanc

Tuesday 28 February 1939: 'I have just read [Shelley's] Mont Blanc, but cant make it "compose": clouds perpetually over lapping [sic]. If a new poem, what should I say? I think a great idea somewhere; but the language so nebulous, or rather words overlapping, like ripples, each effacing the other, partly: & a general confusion results.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

T. S. Eliot : The Family Reunion

Thursday 16 March 1939: 'Yesterday in Bond Street where I finally did lay out 10 on clothes, I saw a crowd round a car, & on the back seat was a Cheetah with a chain round his loins. I also found a presentation copy of Tom's Family Reunion; & sucked no pleasure from the first pages.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

T. S. Eliot : The Family Reunion

Wednesday 22 March 1939: 'Tom sent me his play, Family Reunion. No, it don't do. I read it over the week end. It starts theories. But no... You see the experiment with stylised chatter isnt successful. he's a lyric not a dramatic. But here theres no free lyricism. is caught back by the character [...] A clever beginning, & some ideas; but they spin out: & nothing grips: all mist -- a failure: a proof hes not a dramatist. A monologist.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Sir Edward Marsh : A Number of People

Wednesday 22 March 1939: 'Reading Eddie Marsh.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Charles Dickens : unknown

Tuesday 11 April 1939: 'I am reading Dickens; by way of a refresher. how he lives; not writes: both a virtue & a fault. Like seeing something emerge; without containing mind. Yet the accuracy & even sometimes the penetration [...] Also I'm reading Rochefoucauld.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Rochefoucauld : unknown

Tuesday 11 April 1939: 'I am reading Dickens; by way of a refresher. how he lives; not writes: both a virtue & a fault. Like seeing something emerge; without containing mind. Yet the accuracy & even sometimes the penetration [...] Also I'm reading Rochefoucauld.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Charles Dickens : unknown

Thursday 13 April 1939: 'I read about 100 pages of Dickens yesterday, & see something vague about the drama & fiction: how the emphasis, the caricature of these innumerable scenes, forever formng character, descend from the stage.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Adolf Hitler : Speech denouncing 1935 Anglo-German Naval Agreement and 1934 German-Polish Non-Agression Pact

Saturday 29 April 1939: 'Yesterday I went out [...] to walk in London [makes various observations] [...] So into Cannon St. Bought a paper with Hitler's speech. Read it on top of Bus. Inconclusive -- cut up in Stop Press. Everyone reading it -- even newspaper sellers, a great proof of interest [...] Read Chaucer. Enjoyed it.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Newspaper

  

Geoffrey Chaucer : unknown

Saturday 29 April 1939: 'Yesterday I went out [...] to walk in London [makes various observations] [...] So into Cannon St. Bought a paper with Hitler's speech. Read it on top of Bus. Inconclusive -- cut up in Stop Press. Everyone reading it -- even newspaper sellers, a great proof of interest [...] Read Chaucer. Enjoyed it.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Blaise Pascal : unknown

Thursday 13 July 1939: 'A bad morning [...] 2 hours at M[ecklenburgh]S[quare].[...] A grim thought struck me: wh. of these rooms shall I die in? Which is going to be the scene of some -- oh no, I wont write out the tragedy that has to be acted there [...] So I read Pascal & Pater & wrote letters & cooked dinner & did my embroidery. But couldnt sleep sound.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Walter Pater : unknown

Thursday 13 July 1939: 'A bad morning [...] 2 hours at M[ecklenburgh]S[quare].[...] A grim thought struck me: wh. of these rooms shall I die in? Which is going to be the scene of some -- oh no, I wont write out the tragedy that has to be acted there [...] So I read Pascal & Pater & wrote letters & cooked dinner & did my embroidery. But couldnt sleep sound.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Andre Gide : Andre Gide's Journal 1885-1939

Friday 28 July 1939: 'Reading Gide's diaries, recommended by poor death mask Eddie [Sackville-West]. An interesting knotted book. Its queer that diaries now pullulate. No one can settle to a work of art. Comment only.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Theophrastus  : 'Characters'

Monday 11 September 1939: 'I have just read 3 or 4 Characters of Theophrastus, stumbling from Greek to English, & may as well make a note of it. Trying to anchor my mind on Greek. Rather successful.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Sigmund Freud : unknown

Saturday 2 December 1939: 'Began reading Freud last night; to enlarge the circumference. to give my brain a wider scope: to make it objective, to get outside. Thus defeat the shrinkage of age. Always take on new things.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Sigmund Freud : unknown

Friday 8 December 1939: 'Shopping -- tempted to buy jerseys & so on. I dislike this excitement. yet enjoy it. Ambivalence as Freud calls it. (I'm gulping up Freud).'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Sigmund Freud : Group Psychology

Sunday 17 December 1939: 'We ate too much hare pie last night; & I read Freud on Groups [...] I'm reading Ricketts diary -- all about the war the last war; & the Herbert diaries & ... yes, Dadie's Shakespeare, & notes overflow into my 2 books.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Charles Ricketts : Self-Portrait, Taken from the Letters & Journals of Charles Ricketts, RA

Sunday 17 December 1939: 'We ate too much hare pie last night; & I read Freud on Groups [...] I'm reading Ricketts diary -- all about the war the last war; & the Herbert diaries & ... yes, Dadie's Shakespeare, & notes overflow into my 2 books.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Lord Herbert : Letters and Diaries of Henry, Tenth Earl of Pembroke and his Circle, 1734-80

Sunday 17 December 1939: 'We ate too much hare pie last night; & I read Freud on Groups [...] I'm reading Ricketts diary -- all about the war the last war; & the Herbert diaries & ... yes, Dadie's Shakespeare, & notes overflow into my 2 books.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Shakespeare : The Ages of Man: Shakespeare's Image of Man and Nature

Sunday 17 December 1939: 'We ate too much hare pie last night; & I read Freud on Groups [...] I'm reading Ricketts diary -- all about the war the last war; & the Herbert diaries & ... yes, Dadie's Shakespeare, & notes overflow into my 2 books.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

John Stuart Mill : Autobiography

Wednesday 3 January 1940: 'I have just put down Mill's autobiography, after copying certain sentences in the volume I call, deceptively, the Albatross.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Winifred Holtby : South Riding

Friday 9 February 1940: 'For some reason hope has revived. Now what served as bait? [...] I think it was largely reading Stephen [Spender]'s autobiography [published Spring 1940 by Woolf's Hogarth Press] [...] its odd -- reading that & South Riding both mint new, give me a fillip after all the evenings I grind at Burke & Mill. A good thing to read one's contemporaries, even rapid twinkling slice of life novels like poor W.H.'s.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Edmund Burke : unknown

Friday 9 February 1940: 'For some reason hope has revived. Now what served as bait? [...] I think it was largely reading Stephen [Spender]'s autobiography [published Spring 1940 by Woolf's Hogarth Press] [...] its odd -- reading that & South Riding both mint new, give me a fillip after all the evenings I grind at Burke & Mill. A good thing to read one's contemporaries, even rapid twinkling slice of life novels like poor W.H.'s.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

anon  : mock epitaph for Virginia Woolf

Thursday 7 March 1940: 'A fortnight -- well on Saturday it will be a fortnight -- with influenza [...] before getting into bed that bitter [previous Saturday] afternoon I read my epitaph -- Mrs W. died so soon, in the N.S. & was pleased to support that dismissal very tolerably [...] And read all Havelock Ellis, a cautious cumulative, teased & tired book; too pressed down with that very common woman, Edith [Lees, Ellis's wife]: so I judged her, but she was life to him [...] He's honest & clear but thick [illegible] & too like the slow graceful Kangaroo with its cautious soft leaps. But thats much due to influenza.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Serial / periodical

  

Henry Havelock Ellis : My Life

Thursday 7 March 1940: 'A fortnight -- well on Saturday it will be a fortnight -- with influenza [...] before getting into bed that bitter [previous Saturday] afternoon I read my epitaph -- Mrs W. died so soon, in the N.S. & was pleased to support that dismissal very tolerably [...] And read all Havelock Ellis, a cautious cumulative, teased & tired book; too pressed down with that very common woman, Edith [Lees, Ellis's wife]: so I judged her, but she was life to him [...] He's honest & clear but thick [illegible] & too like the slow graceful Kangaroo with its cautious soft leaps. But thats much due to influenza.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

A. B. Goldenveizer : Talks with Tolstoi

Thursday 22 March 1940: 'I read Tolstoy at Breakfast -- Goldenweiser, that I translated with Kot in 1923 & have almost forgotten. Always the same reality -- like touching an exposed electric wire. Even so imperfectly conveyed -- his rugged short cut mind -- to me the most, not sympathetic, but inspiring, rousing, genius in the raw [...] I remember that was my feeling about W. & Peace, read in bed at Twickenham. Old [Sir George] Savage [doctor] picked it up. "Splendid stuff!" & Jean [Thomas, owner of nursing home] tried to admire what was a revelation to me. Its directness, its reality. Yet he's against photographic realism.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Jane Austen : Sense and Sensibility

Sunday 31 March 1940: 'S[ense]. & S[ensibility]. all scenes. very sharp. Surprises. masterly [...] Very dramatic. Plot from the 18th Century. Mistressly in her winding up. No flagging [...] And the love so intense, so poignant [makes few further comments, in same note form] Elinor I suppose Cassandra: Marianne Jane, edited.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Wordsworth : letters

Wednesday 29 May 1940: 'Reading masses of Coleridge & Wordsworth letters of a night -- curiously untwisting & burrowing into that plaited nest [...] Reading Thomas A'Quinas [sic] [1933] by Chesterton. His skittish over ingenious mind makes one shy (like a horse). Not straightforward, but has a good engine in his head.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Samuel Taylor Coleridge : letters

Wednesday 29 May 1940: 'Reading masses of Coleridge & Wordsworth letters of a night -- curiously untwisting & burrowing into that plaited nest [...] Reading Thomas A'Quinas [sic] [1933] by Chesterton. His skittish over ingenious mind makes one shy (like a horse). Not straightforward, but has a good engine in his head.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

G. K. Chesterton : Thomas Aquinas

Wednesday 29 May 1940: 'Reading masses of Coleridge & Wordsworth letters of a night -- curiously untwisting & burrowing into that plaited nest [...] Reading Thomas A'Quinas [sic] [1933] by Chesterton. His skittish over ingenious mind makes one shy (like a horse). Not straightforward, but has a good engine in his head.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Honore de Balzac : unknown

Friday 31 May 1940: 'Began Balzac, Vautrin.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Wordsworth : letters

Thursday 13 June 1940: '[Lord] Haw-Haw, objectively announcing defeat -- victory on his side of the line, that is -- again & again, left us about as down as we've yet been. We sat silent in the 9 o'clock dusk; & L. could only with difficulty read Austen Chamberlain. I found the Wordsworth letters my only drug.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Percy Bysshe Shelley : unknown

Saturday 22 June 1940: 'On the down at Bugdean I found some green glass tubes [...] And I read my Shelley at night. How delicate & pure & musical & uncorrupt he & Coleridge read, after the left wing group [...] how they compact; & fuse, & deepen.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Samuel Taylor Coleridge : Biographia Literaria

Friday 5 July 1940: 'Why should I be bothering myself with Coleridge I wonder -- Biog. Lit. & then with father's essay on Coleridge, this fine evening, when the flies are printing their little cold feet on my hands? It was in order to give up thinking about economy'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Sir Leslie Stephen : essay on Coleridge

Friday 5 July 1940: 'Why should I be bothering myself with Coleridge I wonder -- Biog. Lit. & then with father's essay on Coleridge, this fine evening, when the flies are printing their little cold feet on my hands? It was in order to give up thinking about economy'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

 : Scrutiny

Wednesday 28 August 1940: 'I should say, to placate V[irginia].W[oolf]. when she wishes to know what was happening in Aug. 1940 -- that the air raids are now at their prelude. Invasion, if it comes, must come within 3 weeks [...] We've not had our raid yet, we say. Two in London. One caught me in the L[ondon]. Library. There I sat reading in Scrutiny that Mrs W[oolf]. after all was better than the young. At this I was pleased.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Serial / periodical

  

Madame de Sevigne : letters

Saturday 14 September 1940: 'I am reading Sevigne: how recuperative last week [during heavy air raids]; gone stale a little with that mannered & sterile Bussy now. Even through the centuries his acid dandified somehow supercilious well what? -- cant find the word -- this manner of his, this character penetrates; & moreover reminds me of someone I dislike [...] Theres a ceremony in him that reminds me of Tom [ie T. S. Eliot]. Theres a parched artificial cruelty'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Henry Williamson : Goodbye West Country

Saturday 14 September 1940: 'I am reading Sevigne: how recuperative last week [during heavy air raids]; gone stale a little with that mannered & sterile Bussy now [...] I'm reading Henry Williamson. Again I dislike him.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Henry Williamson : Goodbye West Country

Monday 16 September 1940: 'Have been dallying with Mr Williamson's Confessions, appalled by his ego centricity [...] He cant move an inch from the glare of his own personality -- his fame. And I've never read one of those immortal works.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

F. L. Lucas : Studies French and English

Tuesday 17 September 1940: 'Yesterday in the Public Library I took down a book of Peter Lucas's criticism [...] London Library atmosphere effused. Turned me against all lit crit [...] Is all lit. crit. that kind of exhausted air? -- book dust, London Library, air. Or is it only that F.L.L[ucas] is a second hand, frozen fingered, university specialist, don trying to be creative, don all stuffed with books, writer? Would one say the same of the Common Reader [by Woolf]? I dipped for 5 minutes & put the book back depressed.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Jules Michelet : Histoire de France

Saturday 21 September 1940: 'I have forced myself to overcome my rage at being beaten at Bowls & my fulminations against Nessa [for issuing invitation to Igor and Helen Anrep] by reading Michelet'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Jules Michelet : Histoire de France vol.15

Saturday 26 October 1940: '"The complete Insider" -- I have just coined this title to express my feeling towards George Trevelyan; who has just been made Master of Trinity: whose history of England I began after tea (throwing aside Michelet vol.15) with a glorious sense of my own free & easiness in writing now) [...] I like outsiders better. Insiders write a colourless English. They are turned out by the University machine.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

G. M. Trevelyan : History of England

Saturday 26 October 1940: '"The complete Insider" -- I have just coined this title to express my feeling towards George Trevelyan; who has just been made Master of Trinity: whose history of England I began after tea (throwing aside Michelet vol.15) with a glorious sense of my own free & easiness in writing now) [...] I like outsiders better. Insiders write a colourless English. They are turned out by the University machine.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

E. F. Benson : Final Edition, an Informal Autobiography

Friday 1 November 1940: 'My Times book this week is E. F. Benson's last autobigraphy [...] I learn there the perils of glibness.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Virginia Woolf : 'The Leaning Tower'

Friday 15 November 1940: 'I had a gaping raw wound too reading my essay in N.W. Why did I? Why come to the top when I suffer so in that light?'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Herbert Read : Annals of Innocence and Experience

Friday 15 November 1940: 'I am reading Read's Aut[obiograph]y: a tight packed unsympathetic mind, all good cabinet making.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Herbert Read : Annals of Innocence and Experience

Monday 18 November 1940: 'These queer little sand castles, I was thinking; I was finishing Herbert Read's autobiography this morning at breakfast. Little boys making sand castles. This refers to H. Read; Tom Eliot; Santayana; Wells. Each is weathertight, & gives shelter to the occupant. I think I can follow Read's building; so far as one can follow what one cannot build. But I am the sea which demolishes these castles [...] meaning that owing to Read's article on Roger [Fry, or Woolf's biography of Fry], his self that built the castle is to me destructive of its architecture [comments further] [...] I am carrying on, while I read, the idea of women discovering, like the 19th century rationalists, agnostics, that man is no longer God. My position, ceasing to accept the religion, is quite unlike Read's, Wells', Tom's, or Santayana's. It is essential to remain outside; & realise my own beliefs: or rather not to accept theirs.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Matthew Arnold : Thyrsis

Sunday 29 December 1940: 'I detest the hardness of old age --I feel it. I rasp. I'm tart. 'The foot less prompt to meet the morning dew, The heart less bounding at emotion new, And hope, once crush'd, less quick to spring again. 'I actually opened Matthew Arnold & copied these lines [from "Thyrsis"]. While doing so, the idea came to me that why I dislike, & like, so many things idiosyncratically now, is because of my growing detachment from the hierarchy, the patriarchy [...] I am I; & must follow that furrow, not copy another. That is the only justification for my writing & living.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

anon : account of the Great Fire of London

Wednesday 1 January 1941: 'On Sunday night, as I was reading about the great fire, in a very accurate detailed book, London was burning. 8 of my city churches destroyed, & the Guildhall. This belongs to last year.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Desmond MacCarthy : Drama

Thursday 9 January 1941: 'Desmond's book has come. Dipping I find it small beer. Too Irish, too confidential, too sloppy & depending upon the charm of the Irish voice. Yet I've only dipped, I say to quiet my critical conscience, which wont let me define things so easily.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Andre Gide : La Porte Etroite

Monday 20 January 1941: 'Reading Gide. La Porte Etroite [1909] feeble, slaty, sentimental.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

R. H. Tawney : 

Sunday 3 September 1939: 'This is I suppose certainly the last hour of peace. The time limit is out at 11. P[rime]M[inister] to broadcast at 11.15 [makes various brief observations] [...] I believe little exact notes are more interesting than reflections -- the only reflection is that this is bosh & stuffing compared with the reality of reading say Tawney [...] One's too tired, emotionally, to read a page. I tried Tawney last night -- cd'nt concentrate [...] Its now about 10.33.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Francis Steegmuller : Flaubert and Madame Bovary. A Double Portrait

Friday 6 October 1939: 'I compose articles on Lewis Carroll & read a great variety of books -- Flaubert's life, R[oger Fry].'s lectures, out at last, a life of Erasmus & Jacques Blanche.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Jacques Emile Blanche : More Portraits of a Lifetime, 1918-38

Friday 6 October 1939: 'I compose articles on Lewis Carroll & read a great variety of books -- Flaubert's life, R[oger Fry].'s lectures, out at last, a life of Erasmus & Jacques Blanche.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Roger Fry : Last Lectures

Friday 6 October 1939: 'I compose articles on Lewis Carroll & read a great variety of books -- Flaubert's life, R[oger Fry].'s lectures, out at last, a life of Erasmus & Jacques Blanche.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

 : 'life of Erasmus'

Friday 6 October 1939: 'I compose articles on Lewis Carroll & read a great variety of books -- Flaubert's life, R[oger Fry].'s lectures, out at last, a life of Erasmus & Jacques Blanche.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Charles Dickens : Little Dorrit

Wednesday 25 October 1939: 'As a journalist I'm in demand [...] To relax I read Little Dorrit [...] Gerald Heard's book spun me to distraction last night. So good & suggestive & firm for 200 pages: then a mere bleat bitter repetition contorsion [sic] & inversion [...] he's nothing to offer, once he's done his historical accounting.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Gerald Heard : Pain, Sex and Time: A New Outlook on Evolution and the Future of Man

Wednesday 25 October 1939: 'As a journalist I'm in demand [...] To relax I read Little Dorrit [...] Gerald Heard's book spun me to distraction last night. So good & suggestive & firm for 200 pages: then a mere bleat bitter repetition contorsion [sic] & inversion [...] he's nothing to offer, once he's done his historical accounting.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Euripides : The Bacchae

'Baccae [sic] is far and away the best play of Euripides I have read.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Julia Mary Cartwright Ady : The Life and Works of Edward Burne-Jones, bart.

'I am just finishing the Life of B[urne-]. J[ones]. which begins to bore me slightly-not the Life, which is excellent, but the man.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Alice Stopford Green : Town Life in the Fifteenth Century

'I am reading, 'Your Life in 15 Century' Mrs J. R. Green.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

J.W. Mackail : Life of William Morris

'I am reading, ... "Life" of William Morris.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Austen Henry Layard : Nineveh

'I am reading, ... Layard's Nineveh.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

unknown : [History of Music]

'I am reading, ... "History of Music."'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Rhoda Broughton : Not Wisely but Too Well

'I am reading, ... "Not Wisely but too Well" by Miss Rhoda Broughton.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

 : The Windsor Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly for Men and Women

'I am reading, ... 2 bound volumes of the Windsor Magazine which I hire for 2d a week, a ridiculously cheap price.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Serial / periodical

  

Henry James : The Golden Bowl

'...- I spend 5 days of precious time toiling through Henry James' subtleties for Mrs Lyttleton, and write a very hardworking review for her...'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

 : The Strand Magazine

Leonard Woolf to Molly MacCarthy, 28 September 1912: 'Virginia is very lazy, she's lying on a sofa eating chocolates & reading & looking at pictures, including her own portrait, in the Strand Magazine.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Serial / periodical

  

 : The Life of Mrs Humphry Ward

Leonard Woolf to Lytton Strachey, describing routine at home at Asheham, 25 April 1913: 'After dinner Virginia reads the Life of Mrs Humphry Ward & I the Poor Law Minority Report.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Virginia Woolf : "memoir of Old Bloomsbury"

'After dinner, (a delicious dinner), Virginia read us her memoir of Old Bloomsbury. She had read it to me already at Saulieu, but I loved hearing it again; I want you to hear it.'

Unknown
Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      

  

Margaret Symonds : Days Spent on a Doge's Farm

'Have you read your sister in laws Doges Farm? Well that describes much the same sort of country that this is; and you see how she, a person of true artistic soul, revels in the land.'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

William Shakespeare : Cymbeline

'My real object in writing is to make a confession-which is to take back a whole cartload of goatisms which I used at Fritham and elsewhere in speaking of a certain great English writer-the greatest: I have been reading Marlow, and I was so much more impressed by him than I thought I should be, that I read Cymbeline just to see if there mightnt be more in the great William than I supposed.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

Lewis Melville : The Thackeray Country

'However, to make up, the Times has sent me two trashy books, about Thackeray and Dickens and I may write 1500 words or so - Bruce Richmond is generous...'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

F. G. Kitton : The Dickens Country

'However, to make up, the Times has sent me two trashy books, about Thackeray and Dickens and I may write 1500 words or so - Bruce Richmond is generous...'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book

  

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