My year of Pilgrimage

Hello, lovely bookish friends! How are you? Right now, I am surrounded by blue skies and the thin buttery sunlight of late Winter. I have four tomes and a window in front of me. Inspired by Liz , Sarah, Kaggsy and Jane, who have undertaken this journey before, I’ve been toying with the idea of reading through all thirteen novels…

Tessa Hadley

Tessa Jane Hadley (née Nichols; 28 February 1956) is a British writer. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from Clare College, University of Cambridge. She earned Master of Arts in creative writing at the Bath Spa University College, and a PhD at the University of the West of England.  She…

They had taught her to take what she wanted

Dear Vita, I came to your book Aphra Behn: the Incomparable Astrea (1927) because of this thing called Virginia. In the fourth chapter of A Room of One’s Own (1929), Woolf claims that “all women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn, (…) for it was she who earned them the right…

Vita Sackville-West

Victoria Mary Sackville-West (Lady Nicolson, 9 March 1892 – 2 June 1962) was an English writer. In 1913, Vita married the writer and diplomat Harold George Nicolson, with whom she had two children – and an open marriage. The affair for which she is most remembered was Virginia Woolf, in the late 1920s. Vita was the inspiration behind Wool’s Orlando (1928)….

and the jungle passed in on them, seeking to cover them up

Dear Rose, Your novel The World My Wilderness (1950) is a powerful depiction of the way the Second World War ravaged people’s physical, emotional and moral landscapes. Wandering from the South of France to Scotland, and mainly set in the Blitz-ruined London, during the Summer of 1946, the novel follows the seventeen-year-old Barbary, when she is sent…

Rose Macaulay

Emilie Rose Macaulay (1 August 1881 – 30 October 1958) was an English writer. She studied at Oxford High School for Girls and at Somerville College at Oxford University. During World War I, Rose worked in the British Propaganda Department, then as a nurse, and later as a civil servant in the War Office. She had…

Antonia White

Antonia White (born Eirene Botting; 1 March 1899, London – 10 April 1980) was a British writer. She attended St. Paul’s Girls’ School, but later left school, and unsuccessfully attempted to become an actress. She then began writing for magazines and worked in advertising, as well as copywriter and BBC translator. By the age of 30, she…

For she had a great variety of selves to call upon,

My dear, dearest Ginny, What stroke me the most in Orlando (1928) was the fact that you were once again so unabashedly bold – for having written a fictional novel and called it a biography; for having invented a life around a woman you had an affair with; ultimately, for having played with her body, making its…

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf (née Adeline Virginia Stephen; 25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941) was an English writer. She was a central figure in the Bloomsbury Group of intellectuals. Her parents were Sir Leslie Stephen(1832–1904) – historian, author, critic and mountaineer -, and Julia Stephen – the niece of the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. Woolf was educated by her parents at home….

He had been, she perceived, too happy for safety

Dear Margaret, I’ve been trying to write you since the beginning of June, when I read your novel The forgotten Smile (1961). It took me a while to be able to assemble my thoughts on your book, because there are so many doors to enter it! The novel is mostly set in Keritha, a mysterious…