University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Virginia Woolf
Turning the Centuries

"Virginia Woolf Turning the Centuries," an exhibition of library materials relating to British author Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), was on display from May 19 to September 7, 1999 on the first floor of the Morris Library, South College Avenue, on the University of Delaware Campus in Newark. The exhibition was held in conjunction with the Ninth Annual Virginia Woolf Conference titled "Virginia Woolf Turning the Centuries," which was hosted on campus by the University of Delaware English Department from June 10-13, 1999. The display was curated by Shiela Pardee.

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Virginia Stephen (1882-1941) grew up in a literary household. She enjoyed reading books from her father's library and writing her impressions in journals. Her mother's death when she was thirteen was a devastating loss, but she was close to her sister Vanessa, an artist, and her brother Thoby, who introduced her to his Cambridge University friends. In 1904 the Stephen siblings moved to the Bloomsbury section of London, where they entertained artists, writers, and intellectuals. In December 1910 their friend Roger Fry organized an art exhibition which established the Bloomsbury group's association with everything considered "modern" in art and culture.

In 1912, Virginia married Leonard Woolf, an acquaintance from Cambridge who had served as a colonial administrator in Ceylon. Woolf criticized British political and social policies in essays and articles, and he also wrote fiction. Virginia disliked politics, but both were committed to women's rights and world peace. In the late 1920s, Virginia was romantically involved with writer Vita Sackville-West, who inspired Virginia's fantasy biography Orlando (1928).

Bell, Quentin. 1910 - .
Virginia Woolf: a biography. London: Hogarth, 1990, c1972.
Letter from Vanessa Stephen, illustrated with sketch of Virginia Stephen skating.

Dawley, Janice E.
"Bloomsbury Group."

Dunn, Jane.
A Very Close Conspiracy: Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf. London: Cape, 1990.
Two 1912 color portraits of Woolf by Vanessa Bell.

Leaska, Mitchell Alexander.
Granite and Rainbow: the hidden life of Virginia Woolf. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1998.
Photographs of Virginia Woolf, Leonard Woolf, and Vita Sackville-West.

Shone, Richard.
Bloomsbury Portraits: Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, and their circle. London: Phaidon Press, 1993.
Reproduction of "On the Roof, 38 Brunswick Square" by Duncan Grant, picturing Virginia Stephen, Adrian Stephen, and Leonard Woolf on the roof of their home in Brunswick Square, 1912.

Stansky, Peter.
On or about December 1910: early Bloomsbury and its intimate world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1996.
Detail of "Post-Impressionist Expressions--Sketches by Frank Reynolds," full page cartoon in the Illustrated London News, December 3, 1910.

Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941.
The Common Reader. London: L. & V. Woolf at the Hogarth Press, 1925.
Color facsimile of the cover by Vanessa Bell, made from original in Special Collections.

Woolf Virginia, 1882-1941.
Orlando: a biography. London: Penguin Books, 1993.
Photograph of Vita Sackville-West as Orlando, probably taken by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, November 1927.

Woolf, Leonard.
Stories of the East. Richmond, England: L. and V. Woolf, 1921.
Color facsimile of the cover by Dora Carrington, made from original in Special Collections.


Virginia Stephen (1882-1941) began writing stories and articles for the Stephen family newspaper in 1891, and her first article appeared in the Times Literary Supplement in 1905. Collections of her essays include The Common Reader (1925) and The London Scene (1982), both published by Hogarth Press. Longer non-fiction works include A Room of One's Own (1929), in which Woolf asserts that "a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction," and Three Guineas (1938), which argues that education, politics, and the press are dominated by patriarchal values which celebrate competition and war, and oppress women.

Virginia Woolf is best known for her fiction. Her novels include A Voyage Out (1915), Jacob's Room (1922), Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), The Waves (1931), and The Years (1937). Her experimental style, which focused on the mental processes of her characters, gradually gained the respect of critics, although some ridiculed her feminism. Woolf's works also include short stories, biography, and the "autobiography" of poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning's dog (Flush, 1933).

King, James, 1942-.
Virginia Woolf. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1994.
Reproduction of cartoon from Time and Tide, 25 June1938 with caption, p.574.

Warner, Eric, 1951- .
Virginia Woolf: The Waves. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.

The Waves publication history FAQ.

Woolf Studies Annual.
Volume 4. New York: Pace University Press, 1998.

Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941.
Flush. New York: Harcourt Brace & Co., 1976.

- - - . The London Scene. London: Hogarth Press, 1982, c1975.

- - - . Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown. London: L. and Virginia Woolf, 1924.

- - - . Monday or Tuesday. Richmond, England: Leonard & Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, 1921.
Color facsimile of the cover by Vanessa Bell made from original in Special Collections.

- - - . Mrs. Dalloway / Virginia Woolf ; with an introduction and notes by Elaine Showalter ; text edited by Stella McNichol, Annotated ed. London: Penguin, 1992.

- - - . A Room of One's Own. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

- - - . Selected Short Stories. London; New York: Penguin Books, 1993.

- - - . Three Guineas. New York and London: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1966.

- - - . The Voyage Out. London; New York: Penguin Books, 1992.

- - - . Women & fiction: the manuscript versions of A Room of One's Own. Oxford, Uk: Published for the Shakespeare Head Press by Blackwell Publishers; Cambridge, Mass., USA, 1992.

- - - . The Years. London: Published by L. and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, 1937.
Color facsimile of cover by Vanessa Bell made from original in Special Collections.


The Hogarth Press was founded in 1917 by Virginia and Leonard Woolf. Virginia (1882-1941) had episodes of severe depression, and Leonard thought manual work would provide relief from the stress of writing. Publication by their own press also allowed Virginia to develop her writing style without fear of publishers' rejections. Their first publication combined stories by Leonard and Virginia with woodcuts by Dora Carrington (Two Stories, 1917). The business was small, with limited press-runs and marginal profits. Early books were hand printed, and Virginia set type and stitched copies. Professional-quality printing was less important to them than the freedom to choose what to print.

Hogarth Press publications reflected the interests of the Bloomsbury group in poetry, fiction, and criticism. Essays endorsed the rights of women and denounced fascism and war. Authors included E. M. Forster, T. S. Eliot, Katherine Mansfield, Gertrude Stein, H.G. Wells, Roger Fry, Vita Sackville-West, Edwin and Willa Muir, and Robert Graves. Series publications, including Hogarth Essays and Sixpenny Pamphlets, provided an affordable format for shorter works, and Hogarth translations brought Russian and German works by Dostoevsky, Freud, and others to English readers.

Forster, E. M. (Edward Morgan), 1879-1970.
What I believe. London: The Hogarth Press, 1939.

Fry, Roger Eliot, 1866-1934.
The artist and psycho-analysis. London: L. and V. Woolf, 1924.

Kennedy, Richard.
A Boy at the Hogarth Press. London: Whittington Press, 1972.

Lehman, John, 1907-.
Thrown to the Woolfs. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, c1978.

Muir, Edwin, 1887-1959.
The Marionette. London: Published by L. & V. Woolf at the Hogarth Press, 1927.

Muir, Willa, 1890-.
Women: An Inquiry. London: Leonard & Virginia Woolf at The Hogarth Press, 1925.

Rhein, Donna E. (Donna Elizabeth), 1943-.
The handprinted books of Leonard and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, 1917-1932. Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI Research Press, c1985.

Sackville-West, V. (Victoria), 1892-1962.
Joan of Arc. London: L. and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth press, 1937.

Wells, H. G. (Herbert George), 1866-1946.
The common sense of world peace ... An address delivered in the Reichstag at Berlin, on Monday, April 15th, 1929. London: Published by Leonard & Virginia Woolf at The Hogarth Press, 1929.


At the end of the twentieth century, interest in Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) is stronger than ever. Numerous books and other works related to Woolf and the Bloomsbury group have appeared in the last several years, inspiring a New York Times cartoon about the flood of new publications. Several major biographies of Virginia Woolf have appeared in recent years, and her life and works continue to inspire creative reinterpretations. Two of her works have been adapted recently for film: Orlando (1994) and Mrs. Dalloway (1998). Reading her journals prompted Emily Saliers of The Indigo Girls to include a song about her on Rites of Passage (1992). The Hours, a novel by Michael Cunningham based on Woolf's novel Mrs. Dalloway, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1999. Literary scholars continue to explore aspects of Virginia Woolf's work, publishing research in books, journals, and documentary videotapes. Using digital archives on CD-rom, researchers can read Woolf's notes in her own handwriting and use key-word searches for information on specific topics.

A Room of One's Own.
New York, NY: Arthur Cantor Films, 198?.

Cunningham, Michael (1952- ).
The Hours. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1998.

Indigo Girls.
"Virginia Woolf." Rites of Passage, 1992.

Lee, Hermione.
Virginia Woolf. London: Chatto & Windus, 1996.

Mrs. Dalloway. New York: BMG Video, c1998.

O'Brien, Edna.
Virginia: a Play. London: Hogarth Press, 1981.

Searle, Ronald. "Bloomorama! Bloomania! Bloomsburiana!" New York Times Book Review. December 21, 1997, p. 27.
Reproduction of Searle's cartoon illustrating an article by Bruce McCall.

The War Within: A Portrait of Virginia Woolf.
New York, NY: Arthur Cantor Films, c1995.

Woolf Studies Annual.
Volume 4. New York: Pace University Press, 1998.

Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941.
A passionate apprentice: the early journals, 1897-1909. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, c1990.

Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941.
Works. 1997 Virginia Woolf . Woodbridge, CT: Primary Source Media, c1997.
Computer file on CD-ROM. Exhibited with reproduction of a page of Virginia Woolf's holograph reading notes on Dorothy Wordsworth.


Special Collections holds over 400 Hogarth Press imprints in its Hogarth Press Collection. The following selections are currently on display in the Special Collections reading room.

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor, 1821-1881.
Stravrogin's confession; and, the plan of The life of a great sinner. Richmond, England: Published by L. and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, 1922.
Translated from the Russian by Virginia Woolf and S. S. Koteliansky.

Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965.
The Waste land. Richmond, Surrey: L. and V. Woolfe, 1923.
Woolf noted in a letter (July 8, 1923) that she had set T. S. Eliot's poem with her "own hands."

Fry, Roger Eliot, 1866-1934.
Twelve Original Woodcuts. Richmond: Printed and published by Leonard & Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, 1921.
Virginia Woolf helped assemble and stitch copies.

Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941.
Kew Gardens. Richmond, Eng.: Hogarth Press, 1919.
Story by Virginia Woolf with woodcuts by Vanessa Bell. First Hogarth success.

- - - . Jacob's Room.
Richmond, Eng.: Published by L. & Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, 1922.
The first of Woolf's novels to be published by Hogarth Press. Dust jacket by Vanessa Bell.

- - - . Mrs. Dalloway. London: L. & V. Woolf at the Hogarth Press, 1925.
Dust jacket by Vanessa Bell.

- - - . A Room of One's Own. London: Published by Leonard and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, 1931.
Dust jacket by Vanessa Bell.

- - - . Three Guineas. London: Hogarth Press, 1938.
Dust jacket by Vanessa Bell.

- - - . Two stories. Richmond, Eng.: Hogarth Press, 1917.
First Hogarth Press publication.

Go to Seventy Years at the Hogarth Press for a more extensive virtual exhibition of materials from the Hogarth Press collection at the University of Delaware Library.
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