A book in which acclaimed novelist Virginia Woolf shared her thoughts on her contemporaries has sold for £21,000.
It includes answers from several writers on their favourite works, as well as posing the questions on the “best/worst English novelist[s].”
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.”
Dominic Winter Auctioneers in the UK yesterday sold a 1936 Bodley Head Ulysses for £840, above the high estimate but still a bargain. Really and Truly: A Book of Literary Confessions, with Virginia Woolf’s handwritten views on other writers, sold for a whopping £21,000. pic.twitter.com/dmNjn7L02c
— Glenn Johnston (@johnstonglenn) January 22, 2021
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.”
Virginia Woolf: Book of literary confessions sells for £21k – https://t.co/tJGl0EhMoJ
The book, contributed to by Virginia Woolf and others, had been valued at between £4,000 to £6,000.
— Eric Thompson (@isearch247) January 23, 2021
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.
19 August, 1924
I enjoyed your intimate letter from the Dolomites. It gave me a great deal of pain– which is I’ve no doubt the first stage of intimacy– no friends, no heart, only an indifferent head. Never mind– I enjoyed your abuse very much.
— Vita & Virginia Bot (@VitaVirginiaBot) February 6, 2021
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:
vita writing “a sudden longing for virginia” in her diary months after her death pic.twitter.com/LazPeExGlG
— violet-weaving 🏹 (@darlinglushka) February 3, 2021
Check out Love Letters: Vita and Virginia here.