From left: Virginia Woolf, Rachel Cusk (Vianney Le Caer/AP), Maggie Nelson (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation – also background), Jane Gleeson-White (Pauline Futeran).
When Jane Gleeson-White’s marriage ended two years after her mother died, she lost her voice. Books by women writers like Rachel Cusk, Olivia Laing and Maggie Nelson helped her find it again.
Dior Men summer 2023 group shot in front of a Charleston reconstruction.
The Bloomsbury group’s distaste for formality helped to set the foundations for how we dress today.
Virginia Woolf’s own, marked up, copy of her first novel: newly digitised.
The University of Sydney/Stefanie Zingsheim
A Sydney librarian recently discovered a misfiled lost gem in the stacks: Virginia Woolf’s own copy of her first novel, with handwritten notes for revision. An expert explores what they tell us.
Anna McGahan as Charmian Clift in the State Theatre Company’s Hydra.
Jeff Busby/State Theatre Company
‘Literary couples are a plague,’ wrote Elsa Morante, married to Alberto Moravia. They’re one of the couples in this lively exploration of what happens when two writers share loves and lives.
Sewing Fisherman’s Wife by Anna Ancher (1890).
Randers Museum of Art
Woolf’s writing illuminates the special place that sewing held in British households from the late 19th century.
Edwina Preston reflects on the lost art of hanging out – which feeds creativity – and the need to reclaim time from the pressures of productivity. She draws on new books by Jenny Odell and Sheila Liming.
Edwina Preston pays tribute to the humble letter: from literary love letters to philosophical lessons to cherished family heirlooms. Letters impart lessons, reveal character – and are a form of art.
Sophie Cunningham’s novel about Leonard Woolf and the contemporary writer attempting to tell his story is wry and earnest – and yes, devastating when it needs to be.
Pictured, clockwise from left: Gertrude Stein, Lina Poletti, Sarah Bernhardt, Virginia Woolf, Sappho.
Selby Wynn Schwartz’s inventive, poetic reimagining of lives like those of Virginia Woolf and Sarah Bernhardt – against a backdrop of Sappho – has just been longlisted for the Booker Prize.
In her first novel, Michelle Cahill gives a marginalised character from Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway the opportunity to speak for herself.
Marks & Spencer’s stall in the covered market, Cardiff, in 1901.
Heritage Image Partnership Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
The pandemic changed the way we shop – with many ‘new’ initiatives actually reinventing old ways of doing things.
Virginia Woolf listened to a wide variety of music, including Russian ballet music which she heard when the Ballets Russes visited London in 1912.
Woolf thought of her books as music before she wrote them so it is unsurprising that her writing influenced the work of composers.
Spanish Flu spread around the world in 1918 and 1919. At least 20 million died.
Woolf’s writing about illness defied the establishment’s post-war story of national strength.
Still from the German silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr Calgari (1920).
The experience of going to the cinema is unique, wrote Woolf.
A young Virginia Woolf photographed in 1902.
Written in 1929, this short, passionate book highlighting the silencing of women’s voices continues to shape our culture.
A portrait of George Eliot at 30 by Alexandre-Louis-François d'Albert-Durade. Her masterpiece Middlemarch is often claimed to be the greatest novel in the English language.
Henry James called her a ‘great, horse-faced bluestocking’. On the 200th anniversary of her birth, we celebrate George Eliot, a literary trailblazer with an endless appetite for ideas, living in a patriarchal time.
Look a little closer, and these Oscars aren’t all they appear to be…
Virginia Woolf’s satire of readers who use easily accessible art to acquire class and culture might just reveal why certain films win awards like Oscars.
Men of U.S. 64th Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, celebrate the news of the Armistice, November 11, 1918.
Writers like Virginia Woolf, Arthur Conan Doyle and J.M. Barrie suffered personal loss during the First World War. Their grief and insight helped readers with their own post-war collective grief.
Loneliness (feeling alone) and solitude (being alone) are not the same thing.
For those who are finding the social distancing isolating, here are some lessons from ancient hermits, who often found joy in being alone.
Perhaps the designers of the first Christmas card from 1840 were influenced by Leigh Hunt’s question: Is it right to spend, laugh and revel when there are so many people who live in isolation and poverty? John Calcott Horsely, curator and designer of the card, asked the painter, Sir Henry Cole, to show people being fed and clothed to remind his friends of the needs of the poor during this season.
Leigh Hunt is a nineteenth-century writer who grappled with the question: How can we celebrate and enjoy ourselves at this time of the year when there is so much misery in the world?