Virginia Woolf's Orlando preface, the modernist writer, and networks of cultural, financial and social capital.
The Orlando Preface draws on a long tradition of parodic prefaces such as Miguel de Cervantes's preface to Don Quixote and Laurence Sterne's preface to Tristram Shandy. In this instance, however, I take my cue from a later manipulation of the preface form or acknowledgments page by Paul Theroux. In an interview, Theroux explains that he often finds acknowledgment lists "more interesting and revealing than the books themselves-nearly often they have a plot, and a little drama" (333). Indeed, in Theroux's short story entitled "Acknowledgments" we follow the narrator-author's research trip in quest of the fictional minor West Country dialect poet Matthew Casket, his own successes and failures, as well as those of Casket, via a list of the names of the people who have helped him and in many cases the services rendered. (2) I want to read Woolf's list of names in a similar spirit, for the plot and the drama and in terms of her life as a modernist writer. With the publication of Orlando Woolf ascended into the realm of best-selling writers: "[t]he reception, as they say, surpassed expectations. Sales beyond our record for the first week," Woolf wrote of Orlando in her diary (D3 200). In this sense 1928 represented an interesting moment for Woolf to assess her career as a writer. In his book about literary celebrity Loren Glass uses Pierre Bourdieu's categories to consider Gertrude Stein's move from an autonomous to a heteronomous field of cultural production with the publication of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas in 1933. He argues that as Stein moved from a place "where the symbolic value of art is seen to derive from a resistance to economic value" to one "where the intimate relation between symbolic and economic capital is no longer disavowed," her identity as a modernist writer changed (131). Paradoxically the confidence Stein had in her genius before The Autobiography, despite little success in terms of publication, was shattered when she gained the recognition she had always felt she deserved. If we consider Orlando as marking a similar turning point in Woolf's career, the Preface represents an extraordinarily prescient statement on Woolf's part about the paradoxical and precarious status of the modernist writer whose work lost prestige as it gained popularity and financial viability. The coincidence of Orlando's success with the height of the Hogarth Press's success in terms of number of titles published suggests that Woolf was also celebrating with her Preface the freedom the publishing operation afforded her.
Woolf and Dedications
Orlando's Preface is Woolf's most elaborate acknowledgment page or preface. Suggesting that she felt indebtedness important, Woolf had dedicated many of her works previous to Orlando: The Voyage Out (1915) is dedicated to L.W. [Leonard Woolf], Night and Day (1919) to her sister Vanessa Bell ("To Vanessa Bell/but, looking for a phrase, /I found none to stand beside your name"), and the first Common Reader (1926) to Lytton Strachey, in return for his dedicating his Queen Victoria to her in 1921 (in which instance she "insisted, out of 'vanity,' on having her full name on the page" [Lee 462]). Although there is no dedication in Mrs. Dalloway (1925), Woolf's decision to send the manuscript of the novel to the dying French painter Jacques Raverat in France suggests a dedication of sorts, and Woolf's comments regarding To the Lighthouse's (1927) status as an elegy to her parents' memory the same. Woolf had considered dedicating To the Lighthouse to Roger Fry, but, doubting the quality of the work, she decided against it (Spalding, Roger Fry 259). Thanking Fry for his praise of the book, anticipating her thanking him in Orlando, saying in private what she will later have the courage to say in public, Woolf wrote:
Now I wish I had dedicated it to you. But when I read it over it seemed to me so bad that I couldn't face asking you. And then, as it happened, that very day, I met you somewhere,--was so overcome (did you guess it?) by your magnificence, splendour and purity (of intellect, not body) that I went home and was positive it was out of the question-dedicating such a book to such a man. Really therefore the not-dedication is a greater compliment than the dedication would have been-But you shall have a private copy, if you'll accept it. What I meant was (but would not have said in print) that besides all your surpassing private virtues, you have I think kept me on the right path, so far as writing goes, more than anyone-if the right path it is. (L3 385)
Similar "not-dedication[s]" exist for Jacob's Room (1922) and The Waves (1931). When completing her seventh novel, Woolf contemplated writing the name and dates of her brother "Julian Thoby Stephen 1881-1906," who had died tragically young of typhoid, on the first page, as she had done in her notebook when completing her third novel, but decided against it (D4 10; Hussey 126). In the case of The Waves, Woolf feared she was being too sentimental. Vanessa Bell responded to Woolf's concern by telling her sister, with a quotation from Hamlet, that she felt that with The Waves Woolf had "found the 'lullaby capable of singing [Thoby] to rest'" (L4 390-1 n1).
Dating the Preface
It is unclear when Woolf conceived of Orlando's Preface. The Preface is not included in the holograph draft of Orlando completed, according to Stuart Clarke, between March 17 and March 22, 1928. The holograph does contain a dedication, to "Vita from Virginia/ Dec. 6th 1928," likely added when Woolf took the bound manuscript to Sackville-West at Long Barn. This took the form of the gender neutral and more formal "To V. Sackville-West" in the published version (October 2, 1928). Woolf does mention the Preface in private letters, to her nephew Quentin Bell, to the popular novelist and her sometime antagonist Hugh Walpole and to longtime family friends Nelly Cecil and the legal scholar and recent Hogarth Press author (The Structure of Wuthering Heights 1926) C.P. Sanger, all of whom are acknowledged in the Preface. On May 6, 1928, relatively late in the writing process, Woolf wrote to the eighteen-year-old Quentin Bell, "I am scribbling away to finish my nonsense book. Have I your permission to mention you in the Preface? Because I've done it" (L3 493); she mentioned it again in a letter to Quentin on June 5. Five months later, on October 21, 1928, following publication, she responded to Walpole in a mockingly hyperbolic tone: "I am very glad that being in Orlando's preface did not annoy you. It is very good indeed of you to be so generous about it. I am deep in your debt, deeper and deeper" (L3 547). On the same day, Woolf assures Nelly Cecil "with [her] hand on [her] heart, if that is the correct position, that my motives in dragging you so impudently into my preface (Violet [Dickinson] says she doesn't like keeping such low company at all) were honourable affection, gratitude, esteem: Ought I to have asked your permission?" (L3 553). Also in October 1928, Woolf replied to Sanger in a more respectful tone than that used for Walpole: "My dear Charlie, It is very good of you to write--especially when I had taken such liberties with your venerated name (which I do seriously venerate). Orlando was meant as a joke; and I daresay it gives a view of life which is not at all my own--if it gives a view of life at all" (L3 554). (3) These letters set the stage for a reading of the preface as multi-functional: Woolf acknowledges family ties with Quentin and old friendship with Cecil and Sanger; she recognizes real intellectual and professional debts with Sanger and Quentin and, at the same time, pokes fun at the literary establishment as embodied by newer acquaintance Walpole.
Reactions to the Preface
Contemporary public reaction to the Orlando Preface was mixed. In his condemnatory review of Orlando, "A Woman's High Brow Lark," Bloomsbury antagonist Arnold Bennett wrote: "It is a very odd volume. It has a preface, in which Woolf names the names of 53 people who have helped her with it. It has, too, an index. I admit some justification for the preface, but none for the index" (Majumdar and McLaurin 232). In a review of the almost simultaneously released Elizabeth and Essex by Lytton Strachey and Woolf's Orlando for The Bookman, ally Raymond Mortimer, who is himself among those listed in the Preface, described Orlando as "a lark": "the preface is a parody of prefaces and the whole book is written in tearing high spirits" (Majumdar and McLaurin 241).
Leonard Woolf's comments in a 1966 letter to actor Robert Speaight provide support for readings of the Preface as "ironical," as a parody, as does Leonard's Hunting the Highbrow, published as part of the Hogarth Essays Second Series in March 1927 as Woolf wrote Orlando. Leonard Woolf had read in Speaight's obituary of middlebrow writer Clemence Dane that Dane saw the Orlando Preface as "'an unpardonable piece of snobbery' and as an example of the 'central heating of Bloomsbury.'" Leonard repurposes Dane's comment to assert that in fact the Preface was "a skit on the unpardonable snobbery of so many learned and unlearned writers who write prefaces spattered with well known people to whom they ladle out their thanks" (my emphasis, Spotts 543). Later literary critics have read the Preface in vastly different ways. David Daiches takes Woolf's Preface seriously, calling it "illuminating" (98). He ties Woolf's listing of literary antecedents to what he considers a central issue in the novel, that is, an "interest in the relation of the present moment to the flux of experience in general" and he understands her list of contemporaries, "friends, scholars, historians, critics," as an indication of "the seriousness with which Virginia Woolf took her job of historical reconstruction." Daiches suggests that Woolf's choice of writers is relevant to "modern writing," her "the first that come to mind" tongue in cheek (98-99). Beverly Ann Schlack acknowledges the "mock-solemn" quality of the work, but at the same time, like Daiches, asserts that the names are "more than token acknowledgement of literary debts," rather that "they are evidence of the considerable tradition out of which even so singular a work as Orlando springs" (79). J. J. Wilson, however, incredulous at Daiches' interpretation (she says she read it "with the kind of horrified fascination one feels watching someone slip on a banana skin") categorizes the "spite-full" Preface as part of the Orlando author's subversive anti-novelist arsenal: "the mask drops, the hoax is obvious; the arbitrariness and acerbity of sentiment and tone are unmistakable to anyone accustomed to the habits of the rabid anti-novelist" (176-77).
More recently, Caroline Webb has compared Woolf's Preface with James Joyce's list of "Irish heroes" in the Cyclops chapter of Ulysses in terms of the humor each one generates and the different "perspectives on notions of linguistic and literary authority" that result (191). Arguing, like Wilson, that the work dictates an analysis of the Preface, Webb contends that the list of names, while appearing initially "self-consistent and appropriate," shows its true parodic colors when juxtaposed with the novel, "a subversive impersonation of a ... scholarly biography" (196). Thus, for example, Webb argues that while thanking Sanger in a story about inheritance initially makes sense because of his legal expertise in this area, the throwing out of property law in the novel, with the female Orlando able to inherit the family house, negates Woolf's deference to authority (193). Running counter to Webb's reading, Susan Dick, in an analysis of the generic status of the novel itself, suggests that "the index, [fulsome] preface and illustrations contribute to the 'truth' side of the equation in this mock-biography" (63). And, in a similar vein, Karyn Z. Sproles argues that "[t]he preface and photographs are jokes that remind us that Woolf was a real person who had a life and a lover ... The preface, the photographs, and the intertextuality of the jokes intrude the real world into the fictional" (106-7).
The Preface was undoubtedly meant to amuse and to challenge, and indeed Woolf was famous for her cutting wit. However, like Daiches and Schlack and Dick and Sproles, I want to highlight the real side of it with a focus on what it says about Woolf's career as a writer. Wilson is certainly right in describing the list as acerbic; however its contents are not arbitrary. Rather, they represent a serious engagement with issues related to the importance of networks and collaboration to the modernist writer and a celebration of the diverse coteries with which Woolf was involved in 1928. In this sense, my reading extends Leonard Woolf's description of the Preface as a "skit on the unpardonable snobbery" of many of Woolf's contemporaries. While Alex Zwerdling argues that the Orlando Preface suggests a narrowness to Woolf's affiliations which was actually counter to her own and Leonard Woolf's engagement in a much "wider culture" (28), I argue that the Orlando preface actually confirms that broad cultural engagement. Departing from earlier readings that consider the Preface mostly from the perspective of Woolf's indebtedness to the past, my analysis focuses instead on what it tells us about her cultural, financial and social networks of 1928.
With her acknowledgments page Woolf was certainly poking fun on a personal level at the pretensions of her dedicatee Sackville-West. (4) Sackville-West's autobiographical Knole and the Sackvilles (1922), on which Orlando is in large part based, is prefaced with a chronological table, a table of descent and a poem (see Schlack 77-78). Sackville-West's Challenge (1923), which in its capacity as a roman a clef and as a love letter from Sackville-West to Violet Trefusis anticipates Orlando, is dedicated to Trefusis with a Romany inscription, a private language adopted by the two women. Significantly, in terms of its centrality to Orlando as model for Orlando's poem the "The Oak Tree," Sackville-West dedicated "The Land" (1926) to her friend, the socialite and literary patron Dorothy Wellesley, who also appears in the Orlando Preface. Woolf's inclusion of her own much less eminent family and friends acts as a playful response to Sackville-West's promotion of the same. Sackville-West's dedication to Woolf of her first Hogarth Press publication, Seducers in Ecuador (1924), represents a first acknowledgment of debt which Woolf's dedication of Orlando to Sackville-West (set apart from the Preface) reciprocates.
On a more public level, Woolf's Orlando Preface engages with critics and the larger literary establishment. These were people from whom she anticipated what she termed "blast[s]" in a 1928 letter to Hugh Walpole written subsequent to Orlando's publication (L3 552). Among Woolf's and Bloomsbury's most hostile critics, and the most famous "blaster" of all, was P. Wyndham Lewis; while Woolf's use of "blast[s]" cannot be definitively linked to Lewis, it is likely that she had him in mind when she deployed the term. I consider two of Lewis's pieces as examples of the kind of attacks to which Woolf's Preface responds. First, Lewis's "Bless" and "Blast" lists (Blast manifesto 1914) suggest themselves as precursors to Woolf's Orlando Preface in their deployment of similar formats and their inclusion of similar content, prompting an examination of Woolf's acknowledgments from the perspective of coterie culture. Second, Woolf's response in correspondence with T. S. Eliot to Lewis's 1924 Criterion article "Apes of God" sees her playfully engaged with an overt attack on Bloomsbury in terms that anticipate the Preface. While Lewis does not appear on Woolf's list, other similar figures are represented there. Although the two Lewis pieces discussed precede Orlando, "Apes of God" by just four years and Blast by fourteen years, they nonetheless illustrate well the frequently hostile environment in which Bloomsbury existed.
Lewis's "Bless" and "Blast" lists formed part of the Vorticist Manifesto, published in Blast 1 on June 20, 1914. They were modeled on Guillaume Apollinaire's "Mer .. de ... aux" and "Rose aux" lists (Manifeste-Synthese, L 'Antitradition Futuriste, June 29, 1913). These lists were not themselves without precedent, a possible forerunner the Pre-Raphaelites' "slightly absurd" list of "Immortals"(compiled in 1884), which included "Joan of Arc, the Prophet Isaiah, Hogarth, Cervantes, Leigh Hunt and Washington, with Jesus Christ at the head" (Windsor 86). (5) Douglas Goldring, who was with Lewis when the list was created, explains that the "blasted" names consisted of "eminent figures whose publicity was considered boringly excessive," and the "blessed" were "either members of the South Lodge circle, 'blessed' to please Ford and Violet [Hunt] or popular public figures" (68). As Michael North has suggested more recently in terms that anticipate Woolf's Preface, "Blast itself emerged from a mechanically comical duet with the public it was supposed to affront" (127). Despite its apparent lack of rationale, Lewis's list of people and things, composed amidst "knowing grins" and "irreverent giggles" according to Goldring, reflects Lewis's general scorn for networking and patronage (68). Woolf's Orlando Preface has a similar double edge; like Lewis's lists it is at once a playful skit on and a serious indictment of the contemporary literary scene.
Among those Lewis considered most guilty of the self-promotion and cliquish behavior attacked in the "Bless" and "Blast" lists were members of the Bloomsbury Group. Suggesting that it may have directly prompted Woolf's Preface, Lewis's list included Bloomsberries, as did Apollinaire's. Roger Fry was among those included under the "Rose aux" category in Apollinaire's list; Apollinaire told Fry he had been included for his "valiance d'esprit d'avant-garde" (qtd in Windsor 93). "Clan Strachey" and Bloomsbury associate Fabian Sydney [sic] Webb are on the "Blast" list; although not included on Lewis's lists, Fry was subject to his attacks elsewhere at this period after he fell out with Lewis over a misunderstanding involving Omega Workshop commissions for design work sold at the Ideal Home Exhibition of 1913 (see Bell and Chaplin).
Woolf does not mention Blast in her letters and diaries. Her comments about Lewis appear mostly after 1930, once he launched his major offensive against Bloomsbury, with his roman a clef The Apes of God published in 1930, his Men without Art in 1935, The Roaring Queen written in 1936 (published in 1973), in which Woolf figures as Rhoda Hymen, and his 1937 novel Revenge for Love, all of which appeared after Orlando. Woolf does however mention Lewis in a letter of May 1924 in which she responds to a letter from T. S. Eliot about Lewis's "Apes of God." This was the second piece of Lewis's later novel of the same name to appear in Eliot's Criterion in late April 1924. Woolf's response to Lewis sets the stage for a reading of Woolf's Preface as in dialogue with Lewis's commentary on networking, name-dropping and patronage and lends support to a consideration of it as mimicking Lewis's "Bless" and "Blast" lists.
In his second Criterion article, Lewis introduces the term "Ape of God," the moneyed aristocrat who "apes" the artist, a concept central to the later novel of the same name. Lewis categorizes different sorts of "apes"--the most dangerous being the productive ape, he or she who engages in "more than the inconsequent daubing and dabbing ... but less than the 'real thing'" (305-6). "The Ape of God proper," according to Lewis, his/her ego implicated in the production of art, is the most likely to defame and do damage to the work of real artists. While in this essay he does not name Bloomsbury explicitly, as he does in his later novel, the implication is obvious:
[In London] it [amateurism/the Ape of God art-type] has taken the form of a very select closed club. Its members consist of moneyed descendants of Victorian literary splendour, for the most part. Where they approximate to the citizens of this new Bohemia is in their substitution, to begin with, of money for talent as a qualification: in private means being the almost invariable rule: in their discouragement of too much unconservative originality: and in the tone of 'society,' of an affectation of social elegance, prevailing among them. Where they have always differed is in their all being Apes of God, in the first place--all "geniuses," before whose creations the members of the group, in an invariable ritual, would swoon with appreciation (307).
In comments that provide a framework for the Orlando Preface, Lewis goes on to attack Bloomsbury's insularity: "They naturally exercise their influence in the interests of what is virtually their club: a certain network of not very remunerative patronage extending over outsiders who are not too important" (308).
Woolf knew Eliot well by the time Lewis's piece appeared. The Hogarth Press had published Eliot's work and Eliot had printed Woolf's work in the Criterion. (6) Eliot would publish Woolf's "Character in Fiction" in June 1924, in the issue subsequent to that in which Lewis's "Apes of God" appeared. (7) Significantly in terms of establishing a link between Lewis's article and Woolf's views on patronage, Eliot also expressed regret in response to "a card" from Virginia Woolf (May 1, 1924), which seems to have been lost, that he did not publish Woolf's own discussion of literary patronage, "The Patron and the Crocus," in the Criterion: "Yes, I wished that we could have had that essay [identified in a footnote as "Patron"] in the Criterion" (Eliot, Letters 2 388). Woolf had perhaps pointed out to Eliot how germane her ideas about how to choose between the "unexampled and bewildering variety" of current patrons would have been to the issues raised by Lewis in "Apes" (212). "Patron" had instead appeared on April 12, 1924 in the Nation & Athenaeum a few weeks in advance of Lewis's piece.
What is interesting in terms of the subsequent Preface is Woolf's apparent involvement in the licensing of the publication of Lewis's negative view of Bloomsbury, albeit undertaken in ignorance, and her subsequent reaction to the attack. Having received complaints about Lewis's "Apes of God," Eliot writes to Virginia Woolf reminding her that she, in her capacity as "[his] oracle and counsel in matters journalistic," "(with the supporting opinions too of Leonard and Clive as junior counsel)," had sanctioned his decision to let "one contributor say what he likes about another" in the spirit of "'the best British journalism'" (Eliot, Letters 2 412-13). However to Eliot's claim that when he had asked Virginia Woolf this question he was referring to Lewis, Woolf responds that she and Leonard thought he meant Murry, whose article appeared in the same issue as Lewis's. (8) Uncharacteristically good humored about the attack, for which she suspects Eliot will be forgiven due to the ignorance of many of those targeted, Woolf relays the reaction of some of her friends to Lewis's article: she is distracted, she says, because "everyone--that is Lytton [Strachey], Osbert Sitwell, Mary Hutchinson is claiming to be an Ape of God and identifying the rest of the pack" (L3 108). 9 That all three of those identifying themselves as "Apes" appear on Woolf's list might be explained by the fact that they were Woolf's friends and associates. However, the spirit of Woolf et al.'s reaction to Lewis's attack prompts one to consider the Orlando Preface as an extension of this "Apes of God" naming-game and as a challenge to critics like Lewis.
Woolf and the Literary Marketplace
John Carey and Sean Latham, among others, have explored the complex nature of Woolf's snobbery. As both note, Woolf favored elites and rankings, a tendency exacerbated during the tenure of her relationship with the blue-blooded Sackville-West. As her success as an author grew, Woolf found herself with a packed social calendar peppered with titled names. She frequently made disparaging remarks about the "thick dull middle class of letters": just prior to Orlando's publication, in June 1927 when Sackville-West was awarded the Hawthornden prize for her poem "The Land," Woolf calls the awards ceremony "[a] horrid show up ... chattering writers ... it was the thick dull middle class of letters that met; not the aristocracy" (D3 139-40). However, as Latham demonstrates, this arrogance was rarely unaccompanied by an awareness of the flimsiness of her own pretensions, one compounded by bouts of low self-esteem.
Highlighting the ambiguity of Woolf's relationship with the literary marketplace and the aristocracy, Latham uses letters and diaries from the late 1920s to argue that Woolf rather incongruously imagines an aesthetic autonomy for the modern writer in terms of an independence available only to the aristocracy. "Already at the very top of the social ladder and thus freed from art's anti-economy economy, [the aristocracy] alone [possesses] the material means to sustain their artistic pursuits and the self-confidence to reject either the acclaim or the dismay of the reading public" (106). Latham asserts that in embracing such a perspective Woolf "exploits the very economies of sophistication that Orlando finally escapes" (109). Reading around this assessment, I argue that the Preface, which Latham does not take into account, constitutes a different response to the literary marketplace and the reading public. Woolf's Preface celebrates community and collaboration, as opposed to autonomy, as it acknowledges the layers of infrastructure and the variety of actors required to make a bestselling book and a bestselling modern writer.
Woolf was not subject to financial humiliations such as those suffered by T. S. Eliot suggested by numerous attempts to buy him out of his Lloyds Bank day job. These buy-out efforts included Woolf and Lady Ottoline Morrell's Eliot Fellowship Fund, where Woolf, significantly, becomes the patron, and Natalie Barney and Ezra Pound's Bel Esprit (L2 590). However, Woolf knew how important material comforts were to the artist, a topic she famously took up just after Orlando in A Room of One's Own (1929). As I asserted earlier, Woolf understood the vicissitudes to which the modernist writer was subject in terms of economic and symbolic capital. Indeed, as Patrick Collier has shown, the ambiguous relationship of the author to the literary marketplace is a central theme in Orlando, as well as in Woolf's journalism of the 1920s (and in many ways this essay seconds Collier's analysis of the novel as it extends its focus to the Preface). (10) Woolf mockingly undermines the clout of her connections in the Orlando Preface, with John Maynard Keynes, for example, listed as husband of Lydia Lopokova, and with servant "Miss Nellie [sic] Boxall" placed between Sybil Colefax and Keynes, "a jokey snub to all three," according to Alison Light (174). However, Woolf simultaneously reminds us that her network was a powerful and influential one and that success was earned only with the help of a variety of people, both upstream and downstream of the book, to borrow Aaron Jaffe's terms. (11) These are Woolf's credentials; she is not afraid to lay them out for all to see. Woolf had a much better business sense than she let on, as J. H. Willis asserts in terms of the working of the Hogarth Press and as recent scholarship on Woolf and the literary marketplace affirms; this includes Jeanne Dubino's Virginia Woolf and the Literary Marketplace, which incorporates several chapters on Woolf's work for literary magazines, and my Leonard and Virginia Woolf, The Hogarth Press and the Networks of Modernism, which highlights the range of authors and work promoted by the Woolfs at their press between 1917 and 1941 (78).
In an interview just after Woolf's death, T. S. Eliot describes Woolf's centrality to what he calls a "whole pattern of culture" in terms that provide a framework for considering the Preface as a statement about networks of cultural, social and financial capital. Eliot's assessment is useful because it provides a view of Woolf's engagement with modernist literary culture from the perspective of a historical contemporary who, in his role as editor at Faber and for the Criterion, was enmeshed in the writing business. Although published over a decade after Orlando, Eliot's statement is particularly pertinent to the publication of Woolf's 1928 novel and to the Preface in that it saw her most audaciously bringing her private life into the public eye:
I am well aware that the literary-social importance which Virginia Woolf enjoyed, had its nucleus in a society which those people whose ideas about it were vague--vague even in connection with the topography of London--were wont, not always disinterestedly perhaps, to deride. The sufficient answer ad hoc--though not the final answer--would probably be that it was the only one there was: and as I believe that without Virginia Woolf at the centre of it, it would have remained formless or marginal, to call attention to its interest to the sociologist is not irrelevant to my subject. Any group will appear more uniform, and probably more intolerant and exclusive from the outside than it really is; and here, certainly, no subscription of orthodoxy was imposed. Had it, indeed, been a matter of limited membership and exclusive doctrine, it would not have attracted the exasperated attention of those who objected to it on these supposed grounds ... I only mention the matter in order to make the point that Virginia Woolf was the centre not merely of an esoteric group, but of the literary life of London ... With the death of Virginia Woolf a whole pattern of culture is broken: she may be, from one point of view, only the symbol of it; but she would not be the symbol of it if she had not been, more than anyone in her time, the maintainer of it. (Eliot in Noble 121-2)
Eliot's rarely quoted, but richly suggestive statement is important because it gets at the dilemma inherent in a desire on the part of the writer or artist to reach a broader public and the need, when one is producing radically different art, for a small, supportive group of friends (this something that Eliot believes Woolf alone has been able to negotiate successfully). As Michael Levenson has argued, using a description of a social event from Woolf's diaries to illustrate his point, clustering behavior and "[t]he circles forming around Stein, Woolf, Pound and DuBois ... were as much the condition of Modernism as any set of formal gestures" (5). Although he confirms the need for a close group of supporters, Eliot asserts that, contrary to popular opinion, the Bloomsbury Group was not closed and "no subscription of orthodoxy was imposed." (This idea is echoed later by Raymond Williams in his analysis of the "anti-system" quality of the Bloomsbury Group.) According to Eliot, Woolf functioned as a necessary "maintainer" of both "an esoteric group [and] the literary life of London," a point that the Orlando Preface illustrates clearly.
56 (or 57) Friends, the Staff of the British Museum and Record Office and an American
In the spirit of Theroux's short story, in what follows I chronicle Woolf's writing life up to 1928 and the publication of her most commercially successful novel to date by filling in the reasons for inclusion of names on the Orlando Preface. I show first how Woolf uses the multi-functionality of those listed to emphasize the interconnectedness of her personal life and her writing life: although most of those included are family and friends, they had considerable influence on her work. I highlight in particular the predominance of Hogarth Press-related names to demonstrate how densely the list is populated by professional ties. I then explore how Woolf challenges the conventions of the literary marketplace and prevailing beliefs about Bloomsbury's lack of involvement in it with the addition of numerous unexpected names to the Preface.
At the core of the Orlando Preface is Woolf's acknowledgment of debt to family and friends, prefigured by her earlier acknowledgments discussed above. Family ties constitute a large portion of the list as do close social ties, to the point that one might read past or fail to see some of the stranger inclusions as a result. However, with very few exceptions, family and friends are not just family and friends, but they represent a more complicated piece of the puzzle that is Woolf's writing life. This double role-playing is anticipated by Woolf's opening statement in which she alludes to her literary ancestors as "friends." In this way, Woolf makes a conventionally formal relationship informal before giving the informal ties of family a formal side. "Many friends," she begins, "have helped me in writing this book. Some are dead and so illustrious that I scarcely dare name them, yet no one can read or write without being perpetually in the debt of [...]" (my emphasis). By highlighting the narrow line dividing her professional from her personal life, Woolf challenges conceptions of her writing life as insular and self-focused (responding to Lewis's comments about "a very select closed club") and at the same time confirms the modernist writer's need for a tight-knit, supportive community (Eliot; Levenson). The "eccentric" quality of Woolf's literary genealogy, to borrow Maria DiBattista's term for the list of literary antecedents, asserts a freedom "to select her ancestors and to fashion an artistic lineage" unavailable to Sackville-West and many of her other more formally trained associates (liv). The list's randomness--Woolf lists "the first that come to mind"--flies in the face of those who ascribe to Woolf in her capacity as "a descendant of Victorian literary splendour" (Lewis) a more conventional and predictable literary heritage.
Thus, when Woolf includes family, she frequently, half-playfully, half-sincerely, includes the formal reasons for which she has chosen to thank them. Although there is a hyperbolic quality to the expressions of gratitude, and perhaps a desire to throw Lewis's accusations of nepotism back at him, most of the family members named have contributed to her growth as a writer and/or specifically to the production of Orlando. Weaving work and life, she thanks "my husband," Leonard Woolf for "the profound historical knowledge to which these pages owe whatever degree of accuracy they may attain." Woolf thanks her nephews, her niece and her brother-in-law: twenty-year old Julian for his "singularly penetrating, if severe, criticism," Quentin, then just eighteen, whom she addresses as "an old and valued collaborator in fiction," for his help making up satirical portraits of Woolf's friends (L3 292, 481), the ten-year old Angelica Bell, who had posed as Sasha for Orlando, "for a service none but she could have rendered," and Clive Bell in his capacity as "that most inspiriting of critics." While Woolf is clearly having fun here, we are reminded of her assurance to close family friend Sanger that she does seriously venerate his name, although she has taken liberties with it by including it on her list. Thus, while the specific reasons for thanking Leonard, her nephews, her niece and Bell might be cryptic or exaggerated (although in the case of Quentin and Angelica, and certainly, of course, Leonard, there is truth to her statements) there is in any case a familial debt to be acknowledged. In this same category, Woolf also thanks her brother Dr. Adrian Stephen, and Duncan Grant, father of her niece Angelica Bell, without specifying reasons, although Duncan has professional connections via the Hogarth Press. (12) Woolf thanks her sister, Vanessa Bell, again without offering a reason, suggesting a general debt and echoing her earlier dedications. (13)
A similar double debt in terms of social and cultural (intellectual) support is acknowledged with Woolf's inclusion of members of the groups, salons and clubs with which she was associated. Prominent among these is the Apostles, a Cambridge University secret society founded in 1820, which included Lytton Strachey, Saxon Sydney-Turner, Leonard Woolf, E. M. Forster, Desmond MacCarthy, Roger Fry, John Maynard Keynes and C. P. Sanger (all named). The classical scholar, Mr J. T. Sheppard, who was an Apostle, is also included. Sheppard appears to have had some direct influence on the novel. At the Keynes's house in Tilton, Sheppard acted the part of an Italian prima donna--at this same party Woolf, reports Quentin Bell, became fascinated with a press cutting about a girl who had become a boy (1.32). Woolf includes all of the Memoir Club members, in so doing acknowledging more recent affiliations: Clive and Vanessa Bell, Adrian Stephen, Duncan Grant, Maynard Keynes, Sydney-Turner, Leonard Woolf, Strachey, Fry, Forster, and Desmond and Molly MacCarthy who also made up the Old Bloomsbury thirteen. New Bloomsbury, or many of those whom Frances Partridge identifies as "fringe Bloomsbury" in a discussion not pertaining to the Preface, also figure prominently--"some from Oxford, like Raymond Mortimer [and] Eddy SackvilleWest ... some from Cambridge, like the Davidson brothers and Dadie Rylands ... Arthur Waley; the sculptor Stephen Tomlin ... young Bells, young Stracheys, young MacCarthys, Slade students and many, many more" (Partridge 90). In order to reflect the difficulties of accessing these groups in her capacity as a woman, or to suggest that these people functioned as individuals as well as members of groups, Woolf does not put the names associated with each of these groups together, but disperses them across the list.
The appearance on the list of Janet Case illustrates well the sense in which those acknowledged functioned both culturally and socially in Woolf's life. Case began teaching Woolf Greek in 1902 and later played many roles for Woolf including feminist icon and confidante. The social reason for inclusion of Case is signaled by the addition of Case's older sister, Emphie, whose appearance supports the importance of family ties. Emphie is listed separately from Janet; she sits between Lady Gerald Wellesley and Raymond Mortimer. Emphie's inclusion also indicates that this is a thank you for a visit Leonard and Virginia had made in June of 1928 to see the Case sisters in their New Forest home. On her return from the visit Woolf wrote to Janet Case thanking her for her hospitality: "Leonard and I have been saying at intervals it was one of the few week ends we enjoyed; you and Emphie are some of the only people we envy etc etc. I think instead of garden notes, (which must in time exhaust even your garden) you should write notes on how to live, for the Manchester [Guardian]" (L3 509). Woolf's response complicates the question of work and life: Case had done more than contribute to Woolf's intellectual development; she also serves as an example of how "to live."
Violet Dickinson, Woolf's somewhat conventional, but eccentric childhood friend (seventeen years her senior), falls into the same category as Case. Dickinson provided support and refuge at many important moments for the young Virginia Stephen. As Hermione Lee has suggested, "[Dickinson] became indispensable to Virginia for about five years, and played a crucial enabling part in her early writing" (166). Dickinson's response to her appearance in the Preface, where she is lodged between "the Hon. Edward Sackville-West" and Hugh Walpole (Woolf tells Nelly Cecil that Dickinson, obviously facetiously, "says she doesn't like keeping such low company at all" [L3 553]), suggests that she understood Woolf's satirical intent. Dickinson and Woolf had drifted apart long before Orlando; this indicates the temporal range of Woolf's indebtedness.
Woolf also acknowledges prestige, also a form of cultural capital, as she simultaneously recognizes friendships. Woolf includes many prominent families and a number of titled people on the list. She thanks members of the Strachey family who, according to Leonard Woolf, represented "an intellectual aristocracy of the middle class" (qtd in Hussey 275). Mme. Jacques Raverat (Gwen Darwin) represents the Darwins, and here Woolf implicitly includes via Gwen the late Jacques Raverat who had died in 1925. Some of these names would provoke the wrath of Bloomsbury critics like Lewis, and in this sense she is careful to raise the ire of opponents by including titles. Woolf also includes them as a challenge to middlebrow critics to object to the presence of people who had become essential in their role as facilitators, and frequently financial backers, in the world of art and culture.
Indeed, many people on the list are both friends and important patrons of the arts; they represent both social and financial capital. The inclusion of patrons shows Woolf engaged with the practicalities of the book business and with the controversial subject of how money dictates what gets published about which Woolf had written, most notably in "The Patron and the Crocus" (1924). Among patrons named is Ottoline Morrell, who at the time of Orlando's publication was organizing get-togethers in London, having recently moved from Garsington. During World War One, Morrell's Garsington farm provided a refuge for conscientious objectors, artists and writers, including Duncan Grant, Clive Bell, Aldous Huxley, Siegfried Sassoon and also D.H. Lawrence, for whom Morrell and husband Phillip raised funds for his passage to Florida in 1915, (Seymour 223; Hussey 167). Morrell supported young artists by finding buyers for their work, and in 1909 she joined Roger Fry and Dugald MacColl in setting up the Modern Art Association, a fund for purchasing and exhibiting the work of contemporary artists. She bought Duncan Grant's paintings and provided a studio for Henry Lamb. Frequently the butt of jokes, the eccentric Morrell did not escape the character assassinations at which Bloomsbury and others, such as Lawrence, who parodies Morrell as Hermione Roddice in Women in Love, excelled. However, she played a very significant role in the promotion of the arts in the early twentieth century.
Other patrons include Viscountess Lady Robert Cecil, Nelly, who was an old friend and, at an early stage, a collaborator for Woolf: the two women "shared a column at the Cornhill Magazine called 'The Book on the Table'" (Lee 164). Cecil was "an early supporter of [the Stephen sisters'] art, commissioning a portrait from Vanessa that was her first to be exhibited" (Hussey 54). She tried unsuccessfully to get conscientious objector status for Duncan Grant and David Garnett in World War I (Bell 2.31). Woolf's playful letter to Cecil about her inclusion in the Preface (cited above) reflects the intimacy the two women shared. Also a friend of Woolf's, Sibyl Colefax, addressed by Woolf in her preface as "Lady Colefax," was central, along with Christabel McLaren, to the "Desmond fund," money gathered in 1927 to help send Desmond and Molly MacCarthy on holiday (L3 354; D3 130, 137). Woolf describes her contradictory relationship with Colefax, socialite and London hostess, in "Am I a Snob." (14) Woolf met Lady Gerald Wellesley, Dorothy or Dottie, also listed, via Vita Sackville-West. Perhaps best known for her later relationship with W. B. Yeats, Wellesley became a Hogarth Press patron with her financing of the Press's Living Poets Series (1928-1932).
A similar overlap of the social and the financial (personal and business) sides of Woolf's life as a writer, is seen in the rarely noted predominance on Woolf's list of Hogarth Press authors, most of them active in 1928-1929. The Hogarth Press, which, beginning with Jacob's Room in 1922, published all of Virginia Woolf's books, was at its peak in 1927 in terms of output as Woolf wrote Orlando, publishing the highest number of volumes ever--38 in 1927 and 36 in 1928. Making clear Woolf's attention to the practicalities of the literary marketplace, included are press authors, artists, and workers. While many of these people were also social ties, a number were not. In this sense, Orlando's Preface constitutes a celebration of the Hogarth Press and the freedom it accorded to the Woolfs, and to a number of their friends, including the novel's dedicatee, Sackville-West, fifteen of whose books were published by the press. (15)
Among authors acknowledged we find Edward Sackville-West, whose The Apology of Arthur Rimbaud: A Dialogue was published in 1927 in the same Hogarth Essays series as Hunting the Highbrow; Harold Nicolson, whose The Development of English Biography appeared in 1928; and T. S. Eliot, whose Poems were published by the Hogarth Press in 1919, and The Waste Land in 1923. Also listed are Roger Fry, whose Twelve Original Woodcuts was published in 1921, A Sampler of Castile in 1923, Duncan Grant in 1924, and Art and Commerce as part of the first Hogarth Essays series in 1926; E. M. Forster, whose Anonymity, An Enquiry appeared in 1925; and Sanger whose Structure of Wuthering Heights appeared with the press in 1926. Fry also contributed cover artwork to the press, as did Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell. (16)
Reflecting the promotional activities of the press, while many of the authors on Woolf's list were already established, others are first timers. Newer authors include several Hogarth Press women writers such as Mrs. (Mary) Hutchinson and Dottie Wellesley. The Hogarth Press published Hutchinson's short stories, Fugitive Pieces, in 1927. The first of a number of Wellesley's poetry collections, Matrix, was published in 1928. Also listed is "Miss Hope Mirrlees"; her Paris: A Poem appeared in a 1919/1920 imprint. Mirrlees was a "favourite pupil" and collaborator of the then recently deceased classicist and Newnham lecturer and Woolf mentor Jane Harrison, who is not mentioned (L2 385). Among several Hogarth Press authors-yet-to-be appearing on the acknowledgments list is "Mrs. Stephen Tomlin," Julia Strachey, Lytton's "flamboyant and temperamental" niece whose first novella, a comedy of manners, Cheerful Weather for the Wedding, was published by the Woolfs in 1932 (Lee 615; see Willis 206-7).
Hogarth Press workers on the list vary in their degree of social connectedness to the Woolfs. Although Apostle G. H. 'Dadie' Rylands stayed with the Woolfs for only six months, July to December of 1924, when he left for a Fellowship at King's, he returned to the press as an author. His Russet and Taffeta was published in 1925 and his Words and Poetry in 1928. It was lunch in his rooms that formed the basis of Woolf's description of lunch at an Oxbridge college in A Room of One's Own (1929)--significantly in a scene tightly tied up with questions of financial support and access to writing.
Hogarth Press workers of longer tenure acknowledged by Woolf include "Mr. Angus Davidson" and "Mrs. Cartwright." Davidson was an author, editor, and prizewinning translator and is usually identified as a member of the new Bloomsbury Group. He began work at the press in 1924 but was fired in 1927 by the notoriously difficult Leonard. Like Rylands, after leaving the press, Davidson maintained ties with the Woolfs, and thus he was still active in 1928, editing, along with Leonard Woolf, the Hogarth Lectures on Literature (1927-1933). Significantly, and lending support to the argument that Woolf is sincere in her acknowledgments, Woolf sent Davidson a check of 10 or 20 pounds in late December 1928 calling it "a small slice of Orlando, which I always feel owed a great deal to you" (L3 564). Woolf does not indicate how Davidson contributed specifically to Orlando; it is likely that she is acknowledging how his assistance at the Hogarth Press freed her up to write.
When Davidson left the press, according to Willis, the Woolfs approached another younger generation figure from the Bloomsbury peripheries, Francis (Frankie) Birrell, also acknowledged, as a possible Hogarth Press partner and helper in the establishment of a new journal provisionally titled the Hogarth Miscellany. Birrell was experienced in the literary marketplace: in the 1920s he co-owned a Bloomsbury bookstore with David Garnett, located in Taviton Street then in Gerrard Street, which sold Hogarth Press titles. The Woolfs ordered books from Birrell's and Garnett's bookstore on occasion and even considered buying it as Woolf wrote Orlando in 1927 (Hussey 33; also see Partridge). While Birrell did not ultimately join the press, the Woolfs published his work. Along with F. L. Lucas, also acknowledged by Woolf, and constituting one example among many of a collaborative relationship on the list, although one which postdates Orlando, Birrell edited The Art of Dying: An Anthology, published by the Hogarth Press in 1930; his A Letter from a Black Sheep also appeared with the Hogarth Press in 1932.
Mrs. Cartwright was the Hogarth Press office manager-secretary from late 1925 until 1930, working "[i]n the peak years of 1927 and 1928" alongside "a secretary (Peggy Belsher) and a sixteen-year-old apprentice (Richard Kennedy)" (Willis 363). In a different category than the other press workers named in that she was not otherwise connected with the Woolfs, Cartwright's inclusion confirms Woolf's acknowledgment of the professional contribution of the press to her work as a writer. Willis suggests that Cartwright might have been responsible for the more professional approach adopted by the press in the late 1920s, indicated by a shift to massive ledgers in 1926 (388). Supporting this assessment of Cartwright's contribution, when Woolf gives information to Vanessa Bell about "the basement world," a favorite topic, in a letter at the end of April 1928, she remarks that "[t]he Press has revived astonishingly with Cartwright only" (L3 490). Davidson and Cartwright are often referred to together as constitutive of the Hogarth Press; the fact that Vanessa Bell held Davidson responsible for the failures and successes of the press suggests how indispensable he was to the Woolfs' professional endeavors (Spalding, Vanessa Bell 207).
Although she was not a press employee, the inclusion of the most infamous of Woolf's servants, "Miss Nellie [sic] Boxall," underscores the material side, and the economic and practical concerns of Woolf's work. Her name reminds us that the Hogarth Press was in part a domestic operation, the printing undertaken initially at the heart of the house, in the larder and in the dining room. As Lois Cucullu has argued, this intrusion of the commercial into the domestic space represented a bold and transgressive move on the part of the Woolfs, a displacement of the ideal Victorian woman or the "Angel in the House" as Woolf called her in "Professions for Women," one central to modernist art and modernist production. The inclusion of Boxall also underscores the degree to which servants played an important role in Bloomsbury's day-to-day existence, as Ann Stephen has suggested, and as Alison Light's Mrs Woolf and the Servants confirms. "The servants of Bloomsbury were a community of their own and gossip passed from one house to another largely on the lips of charwomen" (Stephen in Noble 15). Boxall worked for the Woolfs for eighteen years; Woolf attributed some of Boxall's belligerence to Bloomsbury's influence: Nelly "[w]on't be dictated to: must do as other girls do. This is the fruit of Bloomsbury," she writes in her diary (D3 3). Suggesting the proximity in which the Woolfs and their servants lived, Woolf describes herself writing Orlando "500 words to a minute with Leonard looking on suspicious in the arm chair, Pinker [the dog] snoring and Nelly [Boxall] playing fox trots on the gramophone upstairs" (L3 430).
The appearance on the list of Boxall and Cartwright alerts the reader to several other less recognizable names. These names are unexpected in the sense that these are not people we usually consider part of Woolf's inner circle. In terms of family ties these include Cory Bell, Vanessa Bell's brother-in-law, Mrs. Sidney Woolf, Woolf's mother-in-law, and Margery Snowden, Vanessa Bell's friend and not a particular favorite of Woolf's. In terms of social connections, less obvious mentions include the actress Valerie Taylor and socialite Mary Hutchinson, mentioned above as one of those who identified herself as an "Ape of God." The inclusion of these people undercuts the notion that this is a tight family or social network and authorizes a consideration of the list as more polemical than it at first appears. As I will show, the presence on the list of Cory Bell, Mrs. Woolf, Snowden, Taylor, and Hutchinson counters conceptions of Bloomsbury as conservative and insulated from the real world as it sees Woolf engaged outside of her Bloomsbury network.
Clive Bell's older brother, "Colonel [William] Cory Bell," Unionist MP for Devizes 1918-1923, was the only member of Clive's family, according to Frances Spalding, with whom Vanessa Bell made friends. According to Spalding, Bell "was intelligent and could have succeeded in a number of professions, but he chose the life of an artilleryman as it suited his unashamedly hedonistic temperament" (Vanessa Bell 68). The pretensions of the Colonel title must have appealed to Woolf in terms of flaunting the pedigree of her connections in the Preface, as would his notorious love of pleasure. Woolf mentions Bell as an "anti-bugger," as anti-homosexual, in her diary in April 1925 in terms of her own anti-buggery (D3 10). This reference suggests that Bell was a mischievous addition as he is thrown among the liberal Bloomsbury "buggers," many of whom had been involved in homosexual relationships (a number of the couples appearing on the list). The addition of Woolf's mother-in-law, "Mrs. Sidney Woolf," with whom she had mixed relations, introduces antagonism to the list, a reminder that not all family relations are necessarily positive ones. Her inclusion may have been designed as a jab at Sackville-West's mother, Victoria or B. M. (Bonne Mama), who disapproved of Vita's lesbian liaisons and was appalled by the publicity Woolf's Orlando brought her daughter. Both Cory Bell and Mrs. Sidney Woolf show Woolf tied to families less well-connected and less eminent than her own Stephens and Thackerays, a point Woolf might have wanted to make to those who accused her of privilege resulting from her own ancestry.
Further questions of antagonism and rivalry are introduced to the list with the naming of "Margery Snowdon [sic]" (the correct spelling is Snowden), a painter, a member of the Cheltenham Group of Artists and an art school friend and correspondent of Vanessa Bell (D3 290). Woolf thanks Snowden for "indefatigable researches in the archives of Harrogate and Cheltenham ... none the less arduous for being vain." (17) Spalding describes Woolf's ambivalent feelings about Snowden "whose Harrogate background differed from that of the Stephens": "Virginia, again critical, thought her a commonplace, tragic creature and felt slightly incredulous that Vanessa should take obvious pleasure in her company" (Vanessa Bell 39). A portrait of Snowden at fifty written by Woolf in her diary in February 1930 subsequent to Orlando reveals that Snowden, who had remained in Cheltenham to care for her elderly mother, felt that her life had been impoverished as a result: "I have had no life & life is over" she tells Woolf (D3 289). Read alongside this later portrait, Woolf's description of what appears to be a made-up research trip for Snowden as "fruitless" seems unkind.
Woolf includes actress and screenwriter Miss Valerie Taylor (1902-1988) in her Preface. Taylor acted with Laurence Olivier and Michael Redgrave in the 1920s and 1930s and perhaps was included by Woolf as a representative of the celebrity and popular culture that was frequently condemned as middlebrow. Providing a concrete reason for including Taylor, Woolf had considered using her for her photograph of Sasha in the novel, before opting for her niece Angelica (L3 434). As Figure 1 suggests, Taylor would have made an admirable Sasha in part due to her close resemblance to Violet Trefusis on whom Sasha is based. Taylor is mentioned as the subject of gossip over and over again in Woolf's correspondence, most often in terms of Clive Bell, with whom she had an affair, in letters to Vanessa Bell or Sackville-West (L3 466, 496). Woolf characterizes Clive's relationship with Taylor in her diary as one that makes him seem "second rate," the liaison lacking "imagination, intellect, poetry" (D3 148-9). Other letters refer to Taylor's affair with another of Woolf's acknowledgments, Raymond Mortimer (L3 496). Like Snowden for Woolf, Taylor was a rival for Vanessa Bell. In her capacity as a close friend of Sackville-West Taylor also represented a rival for Virginia Woolf.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
In the same category as Valerie Taylor in terms of weaker ties and greater celebrity is Mary Hutchinson, Hogarth Press author. Like Taylor, Hutchinson had been Clive Bell's lover. According to Lee, Hutchinson was "worldly, elegantly fashionable, ugly-charming, had a wonderful taste in clothes, painting and interior decoration ... [a] lively letter-writer, a hostess and a mother, sexually adventurous and with talent for intimacy, she was not much liked by Vanessa and was a threatening and intriguing figure to Virginia" (382). Hutchinson was a cousin of the Stracheys and Duncan Grant, and was among those who identified herself as an "Ape of God." Among her close friends were the Eliots (Hutchinson collaborated with T. S. Eliot) and Lytton Strachey. Her husband, St. John (Jack) Hutchinson, also listed in the Preface, was a barrister. Mary provided Bloomsbury with access to the fashionable world; at her parties one met people who had appeared in Vogue (Lee 470). Under Dorothy Todd's editorship (1922-1926) Bloomsbury made frequent appearances in the magazine; Woolf herself was photographed by Man Ray for the magazine in 1926. When Logan Pearsall Smith criticized this engagement with Vogue and the middlebrow marketplace, Woolf responded with a defense of the liberty such outlets provided, asserting that "Duncans argument is that if Bloomsbury has real pearls, they can be scattered anywhere without harm" (L3 158). The decision to include Hutchinson and Taylor sends a similar message about the diversity of audiences Bloomsbury desired.
Another society figure and among the less obvious choices on the list is Lord Berners "whose knowledge of Elizabethan music has proved invaluable." Lord Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson Berners, fourteenth Baron, was a diplomat, composer, author, painter and eccentric. Berners' biographer Mark Amory cites Osbert Sitwell's description of him as "'a sort of missionary of the arts'" (74), whose "natural home" was "[t]he agreeable spot in English life where society and the arts met" (71). Harold Nicolson and Sackville-West met Berners in Constantinople in 1911 and they introduced him to Woolf in 1924. Berners knew Stravinsky and Diaghilev; he was tied to the Ballets Russes with which Bloomsbury became enamored after World War One. In terms of a direct connection to Orlando, he was, like Woolf's hero[ine], by all accounts a bit of a dilettante. He had an odd sense of humor: according to Amory, "[Berners] valued mockery, originality and experiment," and had had a piano installed in the back of his motorcar (74). Woolf may have included him in his capacity as a friendly rival alongside Osbert Sitwell--with whom, along with Edith and Sacheverell, he had close ties. Suggesting other ties to the networks of the list, Berners was a friend of Sibyl Colefax, and he also knew Violet Trefusis. (18) According to Amory, Berners wanted "smarter society" than Bloomsbury and he found it in the Sitwells (74). The Sitwells were somewhat at odds with the Bloomsbury Group: "the two camps regarded each other with suspicion not untouched by contempt," but Osbert counted Virginia Woolf "among his closer, though not closest, friends" (Ziegler 83-4). Osbert Sitwell's publishing relationship with Woolf's half-brother Gerald Duckworth adds a professional as well as a social aspect to his rivalry; after Duckworth published The Voyage Out in 1915 and Night and Day in 1919 Woolf, uncomfortable about her relationship with a man who she later revealed had molested her as a child, published all of her novels with the Hogarth Press.
Matching these social antagonisms, a thread of discord weaves its way through the list with the inclusion of several people who were at odds with Bloomsbury or with Woolf on a professional level. Among those in this category are fellow writers and critics, including E. M. Forster, Desmond MacCarthy, Arthur Waley, Raymond Mortimer and Hugh Walpole.
Several literary events contemporaneous with the publication of Orlando suggest that dissent reigned in Bloomsbury. Woolf did not like Strachey's biography Elizabeth and Essex, which was published alongside Orlando in 1928, and Quentin Bell describes the difficulties of the relationship Woolf shared with Forster: they admired each other and at the same time found much in each other's work to deplore (D3 234; Bell 2.132-5). In Desmond MacCarthy's review of Orlando (October 2, 1928), emphasizing again that Bloomsberries could criticize each other's work, he describes himself as a "backward and almost reluctant admirer of Mrs Woolf's fiction, though To the Lighthouse impressed me"--although he feels that in Orlando "[Woolf] finds herself more completely than ever before" (Majumdar 222). "Critics," he suggests, reflecting the norms of the marketplace, "are suspect when they praise contemporary work enthusiastically, but ruling out the judgment of the unduly literal, I have no fear in this case that praise will not be corroborated" (226). Despite, or because of these differences, Woolf acknowledged all three men, Strachey, Forster and MacCarthy.
In 1928, the year of Orlando's publication, MacCarthy became senior literary critic for the Sunday Times, replacing Edmund Gosse on whom Orlando's Nick Greene was in part based (Whitworth 598). Prior to this, MacCarthy had been literary editor at the New Statesman where he wrote the weekly column "Books in General" using the pseudonym "Affable Hawk." In this regard he is among those on the list who functioned as an arbiter of taste in the literary marketplace. MacCarthy was a member of the Bloomsbury Group and Woolf's diary entries suggest that while his views on women and contemporary literature annoyed her, she admired him (see Hussey 151-2). However, there is dispute over whether MacCarthy welcomed this designation. His son-in-law, David Cecil, quotes MacCarthy as saying "Bloomsbury has never been a spiritual home for me," and he adds "[Bloomsbury's] characteristic attitude to the world was alien to [MacCarthy]; its exclusiveness, its intellectual pride, the inability of its members to feel at ease with anyone but each other" (15).
Supporting the argument that with the inclusion of MacCarthy Woolf brings dissent to the list, MacCarthy appears not only on Woolf's acknowledgment list, but also on a list of those "Against Orlando," compiled by Bloomsbury antagonist Cyril Connolly in his diary after the appearance of Orlando; the motivation for compiling this list is unclear, but might be read as a response to the Preface (180). Alongside MacCarthy, Connolly includes other names from Woolf's list including Arthur Waley, whom he applauds for calling Orlando "tinsel" (180). Waley is acknowledged in the Orlando Preface for his "knowledge of Chinese--how great I alone can estimate." Woolf made 20 pounds for her review of Waley's translation of Tales of Genji for Vogue in 1925, thus the thank you may represent a tongue-in-cheek reference to the financial support he afforded her in a venue which Logan Pearsall Smith thought inappropriate to Bloomsbury, rather than to his expertise which has nothing to do with the novel (D3 30-1). Waley was sometimes considered Bloomsbury, sometimes not; he is associated with Connolly's Chelsea set. Further indicating his complicated status, he is targeted by Lewis in Apes of God. Several other names appear on both Woolf's and Connolly's lists: Lady Colefax, Raymond Mortimer and Francis Birrell. Woolf identifies Ethel Sands (acknowledged) as Chelsea, but Connolly does not list her as "against Orlando" (L5 119). Revealing that allegiances were fragile and temporary, on Connolly's list (but not on Woolf's) are several Hogarth Press authors, Logan Pearsall Smith (Stories from the Old Testament, 1920; The Prospects of Literature, 1927), Robert Trevelyan (eight titles between 1925 and 1941, including Poems and Fables, 1925; The Deluge and Other Poems, 1926), and Hogarth Press author-to-be Peter Quennell (A Letter to Virginia Woolf, 1932); also included are the London Mercury's John Squire, writer Maurice Baring, Vogue's Dorothy Todd and (an unidentified) Jennings (Journal 180). (19)
Woolf's antagonism to Chelsea is most evident in her interactions with Logan Pearsall Smith (listed by Connolly, but not Woolf), according to Michael Whitworth, a possible model, along with Gosse, for Orlando's Nick Greene. In a stinging 1932 letter to Pearsall Smith, Woolf provides a key to her motives for the inclusion of antagonists in her Preface. The complexity and the irony of the tone of the letter echoes that of the Orlando Preface as Woolf uses what Pearsall Smith has said against him; Pearsall Smith was very fond of aphorisms and he has suggested that he and Woolf are enemies.
I agree with you that one can admire a set or group and at the same time indulge a malicious desire to laugh at it. Am I not just as guilty as you are? Only of course I laugh at Chelsea whereas you laugh at Bloomsbury. And I feel great admiration and respect for Chelsea as you do for Bloomsbury--indeed I can't see any reason for you to prefer Bloomsbury, as you intimate that you do--but then, alas, so much of what you say is ironical. And I too have often thought and I have often said (to quote you again) to the great annoyance of people like Lady Desborough and Mrs [Alice] Keppell (you know what great ladies are) [who] sometimes sneer at Chelsea--that in my opinion it is full of delightful people and brilliant gatherings. How could it not be? I need only mention, besides yourself, Desmond, Maurice Baring, Ethel Sands, Bob and Hilda Trevelyan, Mr. Connolly, Mrs. Hammersley, and then theres Sibyl Colefax round the corner. How can you, even out of politeness, put us in Bloomsbury above you? I'm sure you dont. Its only your fun. But much though I admire Chelsea, I freely admit that I have mocked at you all because mockery is 'my favorite pastime,' just as it is yours. And I may have made up a story or two about you into the bargain. (L5 118-19)
Significantly the holograph manuscript of Orlando reveals that the antagonism between Bloomsbury and Chelsea was on Woolf's mind as she wrote the novel. In the margin of the page at the moment when Orlando begins to break with the gypsies in Turkey, Woolf wrote "it is not love of truth but love of conquest that animates the Labour party & the Tory party sets [Bloomsbury?] against [gap] Chelsea and Chelsea against Mayfair: We are all engaged in a war for our [incomplete]" (Clarke 119). While the first comparison made it into the final version, the second did not.
When Hugh Walpole, popular novelist, shameless self-promoter and, as his popularity grew, generous patron of the arts, appears in Woolf's letters and diaries, it is as a figure of mockery, as a prime representation of the "unpardonable snobbery" Leonard Woolf contended Virginia Woolf attacked with her Preface (in his letter to Speaight mentioned above). A review of Walpole's recent acquaintance with Woolf in 1928 confirms that the target of the Orlando Preface, in which he oddly appears and then disappears, is the contemporary world of writing and ill-conceived ideas about Bloomsbury's integration into that world.
At their first meeting, at a luncheon organized by Sibyl Colefax in November 1923, Woolf is unsparing in her character assassination of Walpole who represents to her all of the misconceptions and narcissism of the contemporary literary scene. She is "in rather a fritter," too much so to read Euripides:
Indeed, I've been talking to Hugh Walpole--not an impressive man--a man who protests too much; an uneasy, prosperous vain man, who harbours some grudge against clever intellectuals & yet respects them, would like to be one. He has the look of a kindly solicitor or banker; red cheeks; very small bright eyes; a genial, but not profound or cordial manner. We talked of contemporary fame. He dwelt a good deal on the different sets & critics, & how no book was good in the same parish. Somehow it all referred to him. (D2 275)
When Woolf encountered Walpole five years later in May of 1928 he was officiating at the ceremony for the Femina-Vie Heureuse prize awarded to Woolf for To the Lighthouse. In her diary Woolf decried the pretensions of the literary event and of Walpole, describing the "function" as "dull stupid horror" and Walpole's speech as one in which he said "how much he disliked my books; rather, how much he feared for his own" (D3 183). Subsequent to the award ceremony, Walpole apologized to Woolf for what he characterized in his own diary as "a rotten speech" at "a frightful occasion" (L3 492 n.1). A Press photo of the event captures the awkwardness both Woolf and Walpole felt (see Lee 515).
Later the same month, Woolf is back to mocking Walpole, having dined with him and Lydia Lopokova, reporting this time the prolific writer's dismay at his success in America and his horror at his popular readership. Walpole produced one to two books per year beginning in 1911:
But Hugh stayed on til 12.30--pouring out his sorrows, which are that he can never sell less than 20,000 of his books, but nobody of any intelligence can bear them. It cuts him to the heart when his chauffeur praises them--He has 10 letters every day from enthusiastic Americans. But Bloomsbury sees that he is a fake, and he now sees it too. It all comes from being the son of a Bishop and so taught to tell lies from his infancy. He gave us a long analysis of his soul and his lies and his popularity which was very amusing--considering I'd only met him at the prize giving. (L3 499)
When Walpole subsequently reached out to Woolf with a positive review of Orlando in the Morning Post, pretentiously titling it "On a Certain New Book" and omitting any mention of either the title or the author of the book with an assertion that neither would need an introduction to future readers, Woolf responded with a teasing letter. The review appeared on October 25, four days after Woolf wrote to Walpole informing him he had made the Preface:
A certain article on a Certain new book faces me. Dare I add certain letters to your O-? Can I take to myself so much praise? I know I've no right to it, yet I admit I have wrapped myself round it, and refuse to be robbed of it. I wear it like an ermine fleece to protect me from the blast. But (except for Squire) they have been rather nice--the blast, I mean; only not so nice as you. How so rapid and various, and generally gifted and busy and successful a man can yet be so generous on such a large scale, I cant conceive. Seriously I am more than grateful and very proud into the bargain. Dont you, after all, share my passion for Waverley?--and lots of other things. (L3 552)
The Woolfs had further fun with Walpole as they took his review out into the marketplace using it in an advertisement for Orlando (Figure 2). The Times advertisement, which Woolf sent to Vita Sackville-West for her amusement, read "' Orlando is 'another masterpiece in English letters,' says Hugh Walpole," followed by a series of "Orlando is" and other positive quotes, the last: "Orlando is published by THE
HOGARTH PRESS" (Sackville-West 293).
In a beautiful closing strike at Walpole's snobbery, Woolf wrote him a last letter about Orlando to acknowledge how his review had contributed to her financial situation. She and Leonard, she tells Walpole, are planning an addition to Monk's House:
This room will be called Orlando, and one window will be dedicated to St Hugh. It is financed by Orlando; and without St Hugh, should I have sold ten copies? But this reminds me of the--well I wont mention names since doubtless they are friends of yours: people of blameless character, good fathers, devoted husbands, who talk about royalties and sales; which in Bloomsbury, as you used to think, we don't. (L3 567)
[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]
Woolf's mockery of Walpole's snobbery and her playful assertion of her materialism, a challenge to the conception that Bloomsbury is not or should not be concerned with sales, sums up beautifully the purpose of the Orlando Preface: that is, to assert a knowledge of how the market functioned and to challenge misconceptions about Bloomsbury insularity.
Adding another curious twist to Walpole's inclusion, while he appears in the British edition (between John Maynard Keynes and Violet Dickinson), he is not included in the American editions. Orlando came out first in the United States on October 2, 1928, in a limited edition of 861 copies published by Crosby Gaige. The Hogarth Press edition, in which Walpole is named, appeared on October 11 and the American Harcourt Brace edition on October 18. Perhaps simply an editing error, it is tempting to read his excision as deliberate on Woolf's part, a playful honoring of Walpole's desire not to be quite so famous in America. (20) Walpole's inclusion/ exclusion also provides an alternative reading of Woolf's last acknowledgment, to an unidentified "gentleman in America." Woolf closes her Preface by thanking this reader, whose name and address she has mislaid, for correcting "the punctuation, the botany, the entomology, the geography, and the chronology of previous works of mine," a service she hopes he will provide for Orlando. This is certainly meant sarcastically and is likely motivated by a not new anti-American sentiment on Woolf's part. However, it also reads as Woolf's exaggerated submission to the American reader and the wealth he promises as a means to show up the hypocrisy of Walpole's embarrassment at his substantial American public.
Lists, Literary History and Modernist Writing
The Orlando Preface merits particular attention because it provided Woolf's public in 1928 a rare glimpse of her social circle, her intellectual life and her professional activities--one that would not really come into view until the publication of her letters and diaries in the 1970s. Woolf's acknowledgment list represents one of the most detailed (if occluded) statements she made about the material conditions under which modernism operated. The publication of Orlando captures Woolf at a rare moment of self-assurance, one she would never again experience at such a pitch. In none of her later books would she so explicitly identify the machinery behind her work as a writer. After Orlando, Woolf did not dedicate any of her major works, although she did, as mentioned earlier, consider dedicating The Waves to brother Thoby; and suggesting an additional dedication, Three Guineas (1938) was in many respects meant to commemorate the death of nephew Julian Bell in the Spanish Civil War.
With its focus on the material circumstances of Woolf's life and work, this analysis demonstrates how literary history contributes to an understanding of the development of a key modernist text. Methodologically, it shows the importance of lists and the links and network connections they reveal. It suggests an approach that might usefully be applied to other such lists available to Woolf scholars, both in print and in the archive. The lists of Three Guineas correspondents or Hogarth Press early subscribers, for example, have the potential to reveal much more about Woolf's networks of cultural, social, and financial capital and her engagement in the business of modernist writing.
Amory, Mark. Lord Berners: The Last Eccentric. London: Pimlico, 1999. Print.
Apollinaire, Guillaume. "L'Anti-tradition futuriste." Oeuvres en prose completes, vol.2. Paris: Gallimard, 1991.
Bell, Quentin. Virginia Woolf: A Biography. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1972. Print.
--. and Stephen Chaplin. "Ideal Home Rumpus." In S. P. Rosenbaum, ed. The Bloomsbury Group: A Collection of Memoirs and Commentary. London: Toronto UP, 1995. Print.
Carey, John. The Intellectuals and the Masses: Pride and Prejudice Among the Literary Intelligensia 1880-1939. London: Faber and Faber, 1992. Print.
Cecil, David. "Introduction." Desmond MacCarthy, the Man and his Writing. London: Constable, 1984. Print.
Clarke, Stuart.Transcriber/Editor. Virginia Woolf's Orlando, The Holograph Draft. London: Stuart Clarke, 1993. Print.
Collier, Patrick. "Virginia Woolf in the Pay of Booksellers: Commerce, Privacy, Professionalism, Orlando!" Twentieth Century Literature 48.4 (Winter 2002): 363-92. Print.
Connolly, Cyril. Journal and Memoir. Ed. David Pryce-Jones. London: Collins, 1983. Print.
Cucullu, Lois. "Retailing the Female Intellectual." differences 9.2 (Summer 1997): 25-68. EBSCO. Web. 13 Jan. 2012.
Daiches, David. Virginia Woolf. 1942. New York: New Directions, 1963. Print.
DiBattista, Maria. "Introduction." Orlando. New York: Harvest, 2006. Print.
Dick, Susan. "Literary Realism in Mrs Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Orlando and The Waves. " Cambridge Companion to Virginia Woolf. Ed. Sue Roe and Susan Sellers. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000. 50-71. Print.
Dubino, Jeanne, ed. Virginia Woolf and the Literary Marketplace. New York: Palgrave, 2010. Print.
Eliot, T. S. The Letters of T. S. Eliot, Vols. 1 & 2. Ed. Valerie Eliot. London: Faber & Faber, 1988, 2009. Print.
Glass, Loren. Authors Inc.: Literary Celebrity in the Modern United States 1880-1980. New York: NYU Press, 2004. Print.
Goldring, Douglas. South Lodge. London: Constable and Company, 1943. Print.
Hussey, Mark. Virginia Woolf A-Z. New York: Facts on File, 1995. Print.
Jaffe, Aaron. Modernism and the Culture of Celebrity. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2005. Print.
Latham, Sean. Am I a Snob? Modernism and the Novel. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2003. Print.
Lee, Hermione. Virginia Woolf. London: Chatto and Windus, 1996. Print.
Levenson, Michael, ed. (Ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Modernism. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999. Print.
Lewis, Percy Wyndham. "Apes of God." Criterion, April 1924. Print.
Light, Alison. Mrs Woolf and the Servants: The Hidden Heart of Domestic Service. London: Penguin, 2007. Print.
Majumdar, Robin and Allen McLaurin, eds. Virginia Woolf: The Critical Heritage. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975. Print.
Noble, Joan Russell, ed. Recollections of Virginia Woolf. New York: W. Morrow, 1972. Print.
North, Michael. Machine-Age Comedy. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. Print.
Partridge, Frances. Memories. London: V. Gollancz, 1981.Print.
Sackville-West, Vita. Letters of Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Woolf. Eds ... Louise de Salvo and Mitchell A. Leaska. New York: Morrow, 1985. Print.
Schlack, Beverly Ann. Continuing Presences: Virginia Woolf's Use of Literary Allusion. University Park: Pennsylvania State UP, 1979. Print.
Seymour, Miranda. Ottoline Morrell: Life on a Great Scale. London: Faber, 2008. Print.
Southworth, Helen, ed. Leonard and Virginia Woolf, The Hogarth Press and the Networks of Modernism. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2010. Print.
Spalding, Frances. Vanessa Bell. San Diego: HBJ, 1983. Print.
--. Roger Fry: Art and Life. Berkeley: U of California P., 1980. Print.
Spotts, Frederic, ed. The Letters of Leonard Woolf. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989. Print.
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(1) I would like to thank the following people for help with the research for and writing of this paper: Stephen Barkway, Caleb Southworth, Darlene Southworth, Alice Staveley, Carmen Konigsreuther Socknat, Barry Eigen, Amy Elkin, Trevor Bond, Stuart Clarke, Toral Gajarawala, and several astute anonymous reviewers.
(2) An extract from Theroux's story reveals similarities. "Special thanks must go to the staff of Broomhill Hospital, Old Sarum, and particularly to Miss Francine Kelversedge, S.R.N., for encouraging me in my project during a much needed rest from exhausting weeks of research. Colonel and Mrs. Hapgood Chalke came to my rescue at a turning point in my Broomhill sojourn; to them I owe more than I can adequately convey, and to their dear daughter, Tamsin, my keenest thanks for guiding my hand and for her resourcefulness providing explanations when they were in short supply" (Theroux 34).
(3) This is backed up in a second letter to Sanger's wife, Dora, who had written to say she liked Orlando: "I hope Charlie didn't mind my using his name--it was a great support to me ..." (L3 554).
(4) Another possible source is Leslie Stephen's preface to his biography of his brother James Stephen. Here Leslie Stephen thanks family members and experts and deploys a similarly self-deprecating tone to that used by Woolf. The fact that Leslie Stephen's work is a piece of family history suggests Woolf is signaling Orlando as such.
(5) Another comparison (although published simultaneously with Orlando) might be made with Louis Zukofsky's poem "Poem Beginning 'The'" in Ezra Pound's magazine The Exile (no. 3, Spring 1928) in which Zukofsky includes an acknowledgments page that lists Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway.
(6) Eliot had published S. S. Koteliansky's translations from the Russian and Woolf's short story "In the Orchard."
(7) Here we see the degree to which the Criterion functioned as an arena for dialogue among modernist writers and artists, among whom Bloomsbury was well represented.
(8) Eliot claims that he did not have time to read the article before publication "there being only twenty-four hours in a day." Letters to Lewis, however, suggest Eliot had in fact read the article. On March 19, 1924, Eliot tells Lewis that he has "surpassed [him]self and everything. It is worthwhile running the Criterion just to publish these" (Letters 2 344). On April 6, he writes to Schiff: "If I find that I am 'reproached' with having published such a justifiable article as Wyndham Lewis's 'Apes of God', I fancy that I shall know from what sources the trouble has sprung. Had I been in London, I do not imagine that there would have been such a hue and cry set up about it. In fact, my absence from London at this moment has given the most excellent opportunity to all those people who bear a grudge for one reason or another, to gather together and vent their spleen in a cause which, being impersonal, will seem to them to conceal their personal malice. In short, I have played into the hands of my London 'friends' and given them the opportunity to display the hostility to the Criterion which without exception they have most obviously felt since it first made its appearance. Fortunately I am editing the paper for a woman of the world and a cosmopolitan, who is not interested in petty tribal vendettas, and whose idea of a quarterly is of one which will appeal not only to London but to England, to America and perhaps to other countries" (356-7).
(9) As early as 1925, Virginia Woolf expresses her suspicions of Eliot. While Eliot is asking Woolf to contribute to his quarterly, Woolf says he is too cowardly to admit that he is having Faber & Gwyer reprint The Waste Land instead of the Hogarth Press. "The Underworld-the dodges & desires of the Underworld, its shifts & cabals are at bottom of it. He intends to get on by the methods of that world; & my world is really not the underworld. However, there is a kind of fun in unraveling the twists and obliquities of this remarkable man" (D3 41).
(10) "[Orlando] puts into play the opposing impulses of the longing for cultural centrality--'as large and miscellaneous an audience as possible' (Eliot, Prose 94) and the desire to write a radical language that stretches or subverts the boundaries of signification and whose inaccessibility to most readers can be claimed as a mark of its authenticity. Orlando raises the tension between the urge to decry the institutions of the literary marketplace and the need to master and manipulate those institutions, for prestige and cultural capital if not for popularity per se--between the writer's wish to be heard and her desire to remain true to her artistic ambition, expressed in Orlando as the wish to refine language into an instrument so efficient, capable of conveying such a dense load of meaning, that it can be understood only by the writer herself and a few select others" (Collier 376).
(11) Jaffe defines the "upstream" and the "downstream work" involved in modernist literary production respectively as "composition, editing, and collaboration" (90) and "critical and journalistic essays, autobiographies, pensees, and memoirs as well as setting up bookshops, publishing houses, little magazines, and artistic salons" (161).
(12) Adrian also published with the Hogarth Press, but his The "Dreadnought"Hoax (1936) postdates Orlando.
(13) In an interesting twist, marking perhaps a deliberate, because counterintuitive, break from Bloomsbury circles, Orlando's cover is one of only two covers of Woolf's Hogarth Press novels not designed by Vanessa Bell; the other is Flush.
(14) For an excellent analysis of the relationship of Woolf and Colefax, see Stephen Barkway's "'I'm a bat and your [sic] a butterfly': Sybil Colefax and Virginia Woolf" presented at the 21st Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf in Glasgow (June 2011).
(15) Stephen Barkway's chapter on Sackville-West's professional relationship with the Woolfs at the Hogarth Press (in Southworth) illustrates the way the Woolfs' social life overlapped with their professional lives.
(16) Fry's presence on the list is particularly important when it is read in terms of Lewis (as is Eliot's). Lewis disparaged Fry as an art critic after the Ideal Home Rumpus and therefore to praise him in particular for his knowledge of painting constitutes a jab at Lewis. Furthermore, Woolf did seriously venerate Fry (as she did Sanger) as her "not dedication" of To the Lighthouse reveals.
(17) Prior to Woolf's conception of Orlando in October 1927, in a letter to Vanessa Bell dated 14 April 1927 written in Sicily, Woolf does mention that she has received a letter "from that old lady at Cheltenham, whom Snow has been to see." It's unclear if this has any relationship with the acknowledgment.
(18) In the early 1930s, Berners published a roman a clef called The Girls of Radcliff Hall based on The Well of Loneliness, Radclyffe Hall's lesbian novel published just before Orlando. Famously, while Hall's novel was banned for its portrayal of a homosexual relationship, Orlando escaped the censors.
(19) In her diary of July 1926, under the heading "Writing by living people," Woolf writes that while "[she] scarcely ever read[s] it" she is reading "C by M. Baring" because he has given her a copy.
(20) We might also read Walpole's (dis)appearance as a comment about how quickly one can be shut out by one's peers, with a stroke of the pen. In fact Walpole would suffer such a plight at the hands of his friend Somerset Maugham who parodied Walpole in his roman a clef Cakes and Ale (1930). Walpole based a character on Woolf in his Hans Frost (1929). Walpole's The Historical Novel was announced as forthcoming in the Hogarth Lectures on Literature in 1930, but never appeared. In 1932, the Hogarth Press published his Letter to a Modern Novelist.
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|Publication:||Woolf Studies Annual|
|Article Type:||Critical essay|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2012|
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