On Virginia Woolf and Mrs Dalloway

Interesting Literature

Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway was published on this day, 14 May, in 1925. In honour of this, we thought we’d offer a few little facts about this novel, and about Woolf herself.

The action of the book takes place over just one day – a ‘moment of June’ in 1923 – although there are flashbacks to events that occurred in the characters’ lives over the previous five years, in the immediate wake of WWI. The original title of the book was ‘The Hours’, a title that Michael Cunningham would go on to use for the title of his novel about Woolf, which weaves together events from Woolf’s own life and events from Mrs Dalloway. The book was filmed, in 2002, starring Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman (the latter of whom famously wore a prosthetic nose to portray Woolf).

Woolf stampMrs Dalloway wasn’t the only novel Woolf wrote the action of…

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Alice B. Toklas and Her Famous Pot Fudge

A R T L▼R K

51HIrTy5vfLOn the 7th of March 1967, Alice Babette Toklas, a longtime lover, secretary, editor, cook, and companion of the writer Gertrude Stein, died in Paris, France. An American of Polish descent, Toklas met Stein in Paris on the 8th of September 1907, and fell in love with her. The feeling was mutual, and so the pair decided to share their life together. Their relationship was very much Yin-Yang, as they complemented each other in many ways. Toklas remained a background figure in this relationship, supporting Stein in her writing career. But the later did not take it for granted, and acknowledged her partner by, for example, publishing her 1933 memoirs under the perverse title The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.

The couple’s reputation as culturally significant came largely from their wide circle of friends. Their home on 27 rue de Fleurus became a meeting place for many…

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