Events

PLEASE NOTE: Online events appear in purple type.

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Society events (members only)

Danell Jones, ‘Everything You Think You Know about the Dreadnought Hoax Is Wrong’

VWSGB Online, Wednesday 15 May, 5.30pm BST

Illustrated talk by Professor Danell Jones about her new book, The Girl Prince: Virginia Woolf, Race and the Dreadnought Hoax, followed by a Q&A chaired by Marielle O’Neill. Journalists, memoirists and others have been getting the 1910 Dreadnought hoax wrong for more than a century. Even Virginia Woolf’s 1940 talk about the hoax is rife with inaccuracies, exaggerations and misrepresentations. The Girl Prince takes a deep-dive into the famous prank, exploring the often-overlooked diversity of Virginia Woolf’s world and setting the record straight on a practical joke that has been misunderstood for a hundred years. Danell Jones is a writer and scholar with a PhD in literature from Columbia University. She is the author of The Virginia Woolf Writers Workshop; the poetry collection Desert Elegy; and An African in Imperial London: The Indomitable Life of A.B.C. Merriman-Labor, which won the High Plains Book Award for Nonfiction.

Tickets £6, available to members only (see the Membership page to join)
Email onlinevwsgb@gmail.com for further information and queries.
* Recording now available to ticket holders *

Online event recordings

The VWSGB holds regular live online events, which are recorded and loaded to the Society’s YouTube channel. Members can access recordings to May 2022 using the password supplied to them. (From July 2022 only ticket holders have access to the event recording.)
Recordings of online events to May 2022
Email onlinevwsgb@gmail.com for further information and queries.

NEW Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury Reading Group

We are pleased to launch a new reading group for VWSGB members who want to talk about the works of Virginia Woolf and some of her Bloomsbury friends and contemporaries, to find connections, influences and similarities between them. The meetings will be a mixture of online and face-to-face discussions. Come prepared to tell us about your experience of reading the work, whether it’s your first or your hundredth time! What themes or motifs did you notice? Did anything surprise, delight, perplex or anger you? What do you think are the best parts, and why?
Email onlinevwsgb@gmail.com for further information and queries, membershipvwsgb@gmail.com to join the Society.

 

Society events open to non-members

DallowayDay 2024: ‘Mrs Dalloway in Town and Country’

Saturday 22 June 2024
Hatchards, 187 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LE

Join us for our annual celebration of Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel, Mrs Dalloway, in collaboration with Hatchards Piccadilly!

We’ll kick off with a Bloomsbury Walk: guided by Clara Jones (Virginia Woolf: Ambivalent Activist) we will saunter in the streets and squares of Virginia Woolf’s beloved Bloomsbury. Then we’ll move to Hatchards Piccadilly for ‘Mrs Dalloway in Town’, a conversation with two walkers and writers to reflect on walking in London both in Mrs Dalloway’s 1920s and today: John Rogers (This Other London: Adventures in the Overlooked City) and Matthew Beaumont (The Walker: On Finding and Losing Yourself in the Modern City). Then for ‘Mrs Dalloway in the Country’ we welcome Alexandra Harris (The Rising Down: Lives in a Sussex Landscape) and Harriet Baker (Rural Hours: The Country Lives of Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Townsend Warner and Rosamond Lehmann) to discuss walking in the country for Virginia Woolf and other writers, including Harriet and Alexandra themselves.

Tickets available from Eventbrite

 

Other events

Gardening Bohemia: Bloomsbury Women Outdoors

Wednesday 15 May–Sunday 29 Sep 2024
Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7LB

Centring on Vita Sackville-West, Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell and Lady Ottoline Morrell, Gardening Bohemia tells the story of the women of the Bloomsbury group and friends through their gardens. Photographs, paintings, textiles, books, and correspondence explore their interweaving lives and shared garden sanctuaries. Guest-curated by Dr Claudia Tobin.

Tickets £15 (concessions available)
See the Garden Museum website for further information
Phone: 020 7401 8865

In the footsteps of Virginia Woolf in Southern Spain

Monday 27 May–Sunday 2 June 2024 (6 nights)
Wednesday 25 September–Tuesday 1 October 2024 (6 nights)

A walking tour to Granada and Yegen where Virginia Woolf spent a holiday in 1923 visiting Gerald Brenan, led by guide Encarna Castillo. Discover this beautiful lesser known area of Southern Spain, away from the crowds but still with blue skies, warmth and the Spanish joy of life. Follow in the footsteps of Virginia Woolf on her trip to the Alpujarras in 1923. Trek up the mountains, wander round the quaint, quiet village of Yegen, or simply relax and swim in the hotel pool. Stay in the traditional hotel El Rincón de Yegen, with easy access to the paths walked by Gerald Brenan and Virginia Woolf.

Price: £1,250 including accommodation, food, English-speaking specialist guiding, a visit to the Alhambra in Granada, local transport and an airport transfer back to Malaga at the end of the trip.
For further information, visit the website.
Contact us by email contactus@walkingwomen.com or phone 01784 664063.
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33rd Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf

Woolf, Modernity, Technology
Thursday 6–Sunday 9 June 2024
California State University, Fresno, California
Organised by Ashley Foster

This is an in-person conference, and all panel presentations and interactive workshops will be held in person. However, we have been able to arrange a hybrid component of the conference with the keynote events and plenaries. Zoom registration for the keynotes are available for those who cannot come to Fresno. Attendees of the in-person conference do not need to register for the Zoom sessions; the keynotes are included in the in-person registration package.

Last few places on pre- and post-conference trips to Yosemite National Park and Sequoia/Kings Canyon on 5 and 9 June. Please register at fresnostate.edu/woolf2024. Any questions should be sent to woolf2024@mail.fresnostate.edu or to Ashley Foster at foster@csufresno.edu

In Search of Mrs Dalloway (LitSalon)

Saturday 8 June 2024
Pyports, Cobham, Surrey KT11 3EH

In the run-up to DallowayDay, take advantage of this rare opportunity with the London Literary Salon to visit Pyports, the childhood family home of Kitty Lushington, who was the model for Clarissa Dalloway and whose story is also woven into To the Lighthouse. The house remains privately owned and is not open to the general public. It offers a glimpse of the lives once lived within it by three generations of Lushingtons, a family closely involved with some of the most notable writers and artists from the early nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries, embracing the Romantics, the Pre-Raphaelites and then the Modernist age and the world of Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury. At Pyports we will discuss the links and correspondence between Virginia Woolf and Kitty Maxse (née Lushington) as part of an exploration of how real lives and relationships inspire narrative art. We will also consider the sometimes tricky dynamics of representing living people in fiction. Toby Brothers, London Literary Salon founder, Woolf scholar Karina Jakubowicz and Cobham historian David Taylor, author of The Remarkable Lushington Family: Reformers, Pre-Raphaelites, Positivists and the Bloomsbury Group (David was also responsible for placing a historic blue plaque at Pyports) will lead our discussions.

Tickets: £60 (including visit to Pyports, two-hour discussion and aperitif)
Followed by dinner at the Coppa Club in Cobham (cost not included)

Virginia Woolf Season IV: Woolf and Freedom (Literature Cambridge)

Saturday 8 June 2024, 6pm. Lecture 10. Politics and Freedom in Three Guineas (1938), with Claire Davison
Live online lectures and seminars organised by Trudi Tate, Literature Cambridge.
Individual lectures: £32 full / £27 students & VWSGB members
Email: info@literaturecambridge.co.uk

Vita & Virginia by Eileen Atkins

Saturday 15 June 2024, 7.30pm (60 minutes, no interval)
The Market Theatre, Market Street, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 2AQ

Virginia Woolf meets fellow author Vita Sackville-West in London in the 1920s. They embark on a twenty-year relationship that inspires one of Virginia’s most famous novels, Orlando.
Abridged by the cast from the original play by Eileen Atkins, Vita & Virginia consists entirely of words spoken or written by Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf during their twenty-year friendship. This NKP Theatre Company production deftly brings to life the real letters and diaries of the two women, revealing deep friendship, wit and passion between the literary genius and the aristocratic yet middlebrow poet.

Tickets £13 from the theatre website

Portraits to Dream In

Until Sunday 16 June 2024
National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE
Ph: 020 7306 0055
Open daily from 10.30am

The photographs of Julia Margaret Cameron and Francesca Woodman, ‘two of the most influential women in the history of photography. They lived a century apart – Cameron working in the UK and Sri Lanka from the 1860s, and Woodman in America and Italy from the 1970s. Both women explored portraiture beyond its ability to record appearance – using their own creativity and imagination to suggest notions of beauty, symbolism, transformation and storytelling.’

Tickets £8.50, concessions including under-25s and over-60s
For further information, see the NPG website

Woolf and Childhood: Live Online Summer Course  (Literature Cambridge)

Monday 8–Friday 12 July 2024 (five-day course)
Live online summer course organised by Trudi Tate, Literature Cambridge

Woolf writes very powerfully about her own childhood in ‘A Sketch of the Past’. A number of her novels explore the experiences and perceptions of childhood. She looks at children’s relations with parents and siblings, children’s resistance to parental tyranny, children’s experiences of grief and loss, the difficulties and joys of passing from childhood into adult life. Participants will spend a week immersed in the great writings and ideas of Virginia Woolf, with a rich programme of lectures, supervisions (tutorials), talks and more. 

Set reading
• ‘A Sketch of the Past’ (1939) and selections from Hyde Park News
Jacob’s Room (1922)
To the Lighthouse (1927)
The Waves (1931)
The Years (1937)

Fees: £580 full price / £540 VWSGB members and students for five-day course
For further information, email: info@literaturecambridge.co.uk or see the Literature Cambridge website

This course is repeated a month later as an in-person residential event in Cambridge. Details below.

Gardening the Bloomsbury Gardens

Friday 12 July 2024, 7pm
Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7LB (next to Lambeth Palace)

To coincide with the current exhibition, Gardening Bohemia. Join us for a special evening with current and former head gardeners Troy Scott Smith of Sissinghurst Castle, Sara Jackson of Monks House, and Hannah Gardener, formerly of Garsington Manor, to hear about their experiences caring for the gardens of the Bloomsbury group. Chaired by Olivia Laing.

Tickets: £20 Standard; £15 Friends, Young Fronds; £10 Livestream

Ottoline Morrell: Life on a Grand Scale

Friday 19 July 2024, 12pm
Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7LB (next to Lambeth Palace)

To coincide with the current exhibition, Gardening Bohemia. Ottoline Morrell described Garsington Manor as a ‘theatre’ for social gatherings. Many of the artists and writers who visited created poems, paintings and stories inspired by the house and gardens, including Dora Carrington, Mark Gertler and John Nash. Join Miranda Seymour, the author of Ottoline Morrell: Life on a Grand Scale for a lunchtime talk on the arts patron and her fabulous life at Garsington Manor.

Tickets: £15 Standard; £10 Friends, Young Fronds

Woolf and Childhood: Residential Summer Course in Cambridge  (Literature Cambridge)

Sunday 4–Saturday 10 August 2024 (five-day course)
Clare Hall, Herschel Road, Cambridge CB3 9AL
Residential address: Robinson College, Grange Road, Cambridge CB3 9AN (or you can stay elsewhere)
Residential summer course organised by Trudi Tate, Literature Cambridge

Woolf writes very powerfully about her own childhood in ‘A Sketch of the Past’. A number of her novels explore the experiences and perceptions of childhood. She looks at children’s relations with parents and siblings, children’s resistance to parental tyranny, children’s experiences of grief and loss, the difficulties and joys of passing from childhood into adult life. Participants will spend a week immersed in the great writings and ideas of Virginia Woolf, with a rich programme of lectures, supervisions (tutorials), talks, visits, music recital and more.

Set reading
• ‘A Sketch of the Past’ (1939) and selections from Hyde Park News
Jacob’s Room (1922)
To the Lighthouse (1927)
The Waves (1931)
The Years (1937)

Fees: £1,200 full price / £1,130 VWSGB members and students for five-day course. Please note that the fee includes all tuition and visits plus a group welcome dinner and closing dinner. Accommodation is a separate cost. Please book your accommodation directly with Robinson College or another venue in Cambridge.
For further information, email: info@literaturecambridge.co.uk or see the Literature Cambridge website

Vita & Virginia by Eileen Atkins

Tuesday 6 August 2024, 7.30pm (60 minutes, no interval)
Robinson College Chapel, Cambridge CB3 9AN

Virginia Woolf meets fellow author Vita Sackville-West in London in the 1920s. They embark on a twenty-year relationship that inspires one of Virginia’s most famous novels, Orlando.
Abridged by the cast from the original play by Eileen Atkins, Vita & Virginia consists entirely of words spoken or written by Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf during their twenty-year friendship. This NKP Theatre Company production deftly brings to life the real letters and diaries of the two women, revealing deep friendship, wit and passion between the literary genius and the aristocratic yet middlebrow poet.

Tickets
Free to attendees of the Literature Cambridge ‘Woolf and Childhood’ summer course
A few tickets are for sale for people not attending the summer course

Charlie Porter: Bring No Clothes

Tuesday 3 September 2024, 7pm
Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7LB (next to Lambeth Palace)

To coincide with the current exhibition, Gardening Bohemia. Writer Charlie Porter explores the importance of gardens and nature to our visual understanding of the Bloomsbury group, based on the research for his book Bring No Clothes: Bloomsbury and the Philosophy of Fashion and the recent exhibition he curated at Charleston.

Tickets: £20 Standard; £15 Friends, Young Fronds

Reading To the Lighthouse in St Ives, Cornwall (LitSalon)

Sunday 29 September–Wednesday 2 October 2024
Porthmeor Studios, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1NL

Although To the Lighthouse is not autobiographical, many find close parallels between Woolf’s early life and the world presented in the book. Led by Toby Brothers, founding director of the London Literary Salon, we will read and discuss the work in Porthmeor Studios, a wonderful location in St Ives, the Cornish town that played such an influential part in Woolf’s childhood. During our visit there will be opportunities to visit Tate St Ives, Godrevy Lighthouse (by boat) and, we hope, Talland House, Woolf’s childhood summer home. To the Lighthouse demonstrates Woolf at play, testing the ability of language to truly reflect human experience through the life of the mind, not just action, helping us to understand the author’s precarious position as a visionary on the edge of a violently changing world.

Cost: £560, plus accommodation (participants are responsible for arranging their own travel and accommodation, we can suggest tried and tested places to stay). For more information, please email litsalon@gmail.com using ‘To the Lighthouse 2024’ as the subject line. See event listing on our website.

Reading Jacob’s Room in St Ives, Cornwall (LitSalon)

Friday 4–Monday 7 October 2024
Porthmeor Studios, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1NL

This study weekend will be led by London Literary Salon founding director, Toby Brothers, and Woolf aficionado Sarah Snoxall. Based in the fabulous Porthmeor Studios in St Ives, we will devote four days to reading and discussing the book that is the linchpin between the more traditional novel form and Woolf’s leap forward into the modernist mode. In Jacob’s Room she lets go of event and character development to make room for the intensity of living – that incredible burning that may look from one angle like inconsequence but from another the very heart of being. During our visit to Woolf’s beloved Cornwall there will also be opportunities to visit Tate St Ives, Godrevy Lighthouse (by boat) and, we hope, Talland House, Woolf’s childhood summer home.

Cost: £560, plus accommodation (participants are responsible for arranging their own travel and accommodation, we can suggest tried and tested places to stay). For more information, please email litsalon@gmail.com using ‘Jacob’s Room 2024’ as the subject line. See event listing on our website.

Leslie Stephen: Thinking with and against His Time (International Conference)

Thursday 24–Friday 25 October 2024
Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris
Organised by Claire Davison and Isabelle Gadoin (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris), and Marie Laniel (Université de Picardie, Amiens)

Early advocate of evolutionism, one of the first openly declared agnostics, editor of the Cornhill Magazine, pioneering mountaineer, moral philosopher, founder and general editor of the Dictionary of National Biography: there are so many more facets to Leslie Stephen (1832–1904) than those recorded by his daughter Virginia Woolf, who memorably paid tribute to his ‘strong’, ‘healthy out of door, moor striding mind’. By unfolding all the contradictions and paradoxes of his character, this first international conference on Leslie Stephen means to reclaim the full complexity of his thought and legacy.

Confirmed keynote speakers
Prof. Terry Gifford (Bath Spa University)
Dr Jane Potter (Oxford Brookes University)
Dr Trudi Tate (Clare Hall, University of Cambridge)

Call for Papers
We welcome contributions focusing on Leslie Stephen, but also on the following topics, connected with his life and times and shedding light on the larger context of his work.
• Victorian encyclopaedism
• Victorian periodicals, print culture, the publishing industry
• Biography, the DNB, ‘hero worship’
• Stephen’s relations to Victorian sages and prophets
• Letters, epistolarity, literary networks
• Cambridge, academia, education and university reform
• Gentlemen’s clubs, sociability
• 18th-century philosophy and literature, the Enlightenment
• Utilitarianism, Science, Evolutionism
• The Clapham Sect, Agnosticism, Scepticism
• War, the anti-slavery movement
• Morality, the ‘science of ethics’
• Mountaineering, athletics, walking, nature and travel writing
• Memory, elegy, mourning, the Mausoleum Book, Virginia Woolf and Leslie Stephen
Abstracts of about 300 words, for 25-minute papers in English, together with a short (100-word) author biography, should be sent to: leslie.stephen.conference@gmail.com. by 31 March 2024. In case of difficulties tracing Stephen’s works, please contact the organisers, who will be happy to share links and resources.

For further information, email leslie.stephen.conference@gmail.com

34th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf

Saturday 5–Tuesday 8 July 2025
University of Sussex, UK (plus an opening event on Friday 4 July at King’s College London)
Organised by Helen Tyson (University of Sussex), with Clara Jones and Anna Snaith (King’s College London)

Monks House

Rodmell, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 3HF
Monks House is open on Friday and Saturday from 29 March 2024: pre-booked visits only, including National Trust members.

Explore the country retreat of the novelist Virginia Woolf, where she wrote many of most celebrated novels. Leonard and Virginia’s personalities saturate the house and it should feel as if they have just stepped out for a walk. You can explore the house at your own speed and there are room guides on hand to help you to bring the house alive. The beautiful English country garden was designed by Leonard Woolf and has incredible views of the Sussex Downs. Virginia Woolf was greatly influenced by the garden wrote many of her major works in her writing lodge. Her short story ‘The Orchard’ was inspired by the garden. With the tranquility of the Sussex Downs through the window and the garden surrounding her, it was the perfect place to write.

Facilities
There is a small shop selling guidebooks, postcards and some second-hand books. Outdoor privy located in the garden. Dogs are permitted in the garden on a lead, but there are no dog bins at the property. There is a small parking area for cars and bicycles nearby, and the Abergavenny Arms in Rodmell serves tea, coffee and cake when Monks House is open.

Tickets £9.50/£10.50 adult, £4.75/£5.30 child (National Trust members free), on sale every Thursday for bookings for the following four weeks.
For more information, see the Monks House website

Volunteer guides
Would you like to be a volunteer guide at Monks House? Meet other Woolf enthusiasts and work, surrounded by Bloomsbury treasures, in the house where Virginia and Leonard Woolf lived for so many years. Training will be provided. Read more about volunteering for us. If you’re interested, please phone 01273 474760 or email monkshouse@nationaltrust.org.uk

Charleston

Charleston, Firle, Lewes, East Sussex BN8 6LL
Open Wednesday–Sunday/Bank Holiday Monday, 10am–5pm
* Charleston Festival 16–27 May 2024 *

Visit Charleston to explore the art and lives of artists Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and their contemporaries. Almost as soon as they moved to Charleston in 1916, Bell and Grant began to paint. Not just the walls, but on every surface imaginable, transforming the house into a living, breathing work of art. Over the following decades, Charleston became a gathering point for some of the 20th century’s most radical artists, writers and thinkers known collectively as the Bloomsbury group. It is where they lived out their progressive social and artistic ideals. Today, it continues to be a place that brings people together to engage with art and ideas.

A visitor assistant will accompany you around the house as you explore the individually designed and hand-painted rooms. Entry to the galleries and the house is by timed ticket and pre-booking is recommended. The shop, café and garden are available to visit without purchasing a ticket. To book, see the website and for events, see the What’s On page. You can shop online at the Charleston shop web page.

Tickets £18.50 / £16.50 (Friends of Charleston free)

 

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Payment (VWSGB events only)

First, book your place at the event by emailing eventsvwsgb@gmail.com

Next, pay for the event by online banking, PayPal, credit/debit card or cheque (sterling only).

1) For online payments, please use the following details.
Bank: Santander
Account Name: Virginia Woolf Society GB
Account No.: 40411044
Sort Code: 09 06 66

2) If you wish to pay by PayPal, please email for details. You may need to add a little extra to cover costs.

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4) Make out a cheque to ‘Virginia Woolf Society’ and email for details.

 

Reference: for all payment types, please indicate the event plus your surname (e.g. AGM22 SMITH), so that we can match up the payment with the contact details provided.