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A book of Virginia Woolf’s opinions on her literary peers just sold for £21k

A book in which acclaimed novelist Virginia Woolf shared her thoughts on her contemporaries has sold for £21,000.

Titled Really and Truly: A Book of Literary Confessions, the book was only estimated to sell for £4,000 – £6,000 at the Dominic Winter Auctioneers in Gloucestershire.

It includes answers from several writers on their favourite works, as well as posing the questions on the “best/worst English novelist[s].”

virginia woolf (1)
Photo: BBC

Auctioneer Chris Albury said he “didn’t dream” that the price would rise so high, but said that he was “mentally prepared for it to reach £10,000 but never considered that it might go over £20,000.”

The irony of Virginia Woolf’s enduring appeal wasn’t lost on Albury himself, who said that “[he loves] the fact that Virginia Woolf didn’t think that any contemporary poets or prose writers would still be read 25 years after completing the questionnaire in 1924, and [it’s] a century later and she is still very much in vogue.”

Having written some of the greatest novels of the 20th century – To The Lighthouse, Orlando, anyone? – and establishing feminist power and modernism in the Western literary canon, Woolf’s mind and personal life have always been sources of inspiration for literature enthusiasts across the globe.

Speaking of the latter, Woolf’s literary love affair with Vida Sackville-West has always provided fodder for pop culture consumption, with their passionate, dazzling connection sprawled out within the spaces of their love letters. These letters have been collated into a book for all romantics to read at their pleasure. For those who prefer social media, there’s a Twitter account dedicated to the lovers themselves:

Check out Love Letters: Vita and Virginia here.