Virginia Woolf

What Shakespeare meant to the Bloomsbury Group

6 January 2024 9:00 am

Virginia Woolf’s mind was ‘agape & red & hot’ when reading him, and he was an everyday companion to most of the Group – but what they couldn’t bear was to see the plays acted

The extraordinary life of 17th-century polymath Margaret Cavendish

9 September 2023 9:00 am

Lucy Hughes-Hallett admires the brave and wayward Duchess of Newcastle, whose idiosyncratic writings astonished 17th-century English society

A feminist finds fulfilment in derided ‘women’s work’

22 July 2023 9:00 am

Like many women in mid-life, Marina Benjamin found herself caring for the very young and the elderly – leading her to ‘a radical feminist turn’

The shock of the new in feminist art

15 July 2023 9:00 am

Laura Elkin looks at women artists from the past century onwards who boldly portray the female body from their own intimate experience

Can we know an artist by their house?

3 June 2023 9:00 am

Can we know an artist by their house, asks Laura Freeman

A vroom of one’s own: how I loved my old Mini

25 June 2022 9:00 am

Oh how I loved my old Mini

Jonathan Bate weaves a memoir around madness in English literature

23 April 2022 9:00 am

There is a trend for books in which academics write personally about their engagement with literature. Examples include Lara Feigel’s…

Arnold Bennett’s success made him loathed by other writers

16 April 2022 9:00 am

Virginia Woolf admitted to her journal: ‘I haven’t that reality gift.’ Her contemporary Arnold Bennett had it in spades. He…

Disappointingly conventional and linear: BBC radio's modernism season reviewed

29 January 2022 9:00 am

This week marks the beginning of modernism season on BBC Radio 3 and 4, which means it’s time for some…

The novels that became instant classics

15 January 2022 9:00 am

In the world of books, a modern classic is an altogether more slippery thing than a classic: it must walk…

How two literary magazines boosted morale during the Blitz

31 July 2021 9:00 am

William Loxley’s lively account of ‘Bloomsbury, the Blitz and Horizon magazine’ begins with W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood emigrating to…

The stuff of everyday life: Real Estate, by Deborah Levy, reviewed

22 May 2021 9:00 am

Real Estate is the third and concluding volume of Deborah Levy’s ground-breaking ‘Living Autobiography’. Fans of Levy’s alluring, highly allusive…

Seldom less than gripping: Banged Up podcast reviewed

8 May 2021 9:00 am

Prison-based podcast Banged Up, now in its second series, is far more uplifting — and less soapy — than its…

Five bluestockings in one Bloomsbury square

18 January 2020 9:00 am

The presiding genius of this original and erudite book is undoubtedly Virginia Woolf, whose essay ‘A Room of One’s Own’…

Portrait of the Artist’s wife, by Henry Herbert La Thangue. Credit: Bridgeman Images

Tear-stained ramblings that remained unsent

5 January 2019 9:00 am

The deserved success of Shaun Usher’s marvellous anthology Letters of Note has inspired several imitators, and Caroline Atkins’s sparkling collection…

Critical injuries: the perils of book reviews

15 December 2018 9:00 am

A decade ago, a publisher produced a set of short biographies of Britain’s 20th-century prime ministers, which I reviewed unenthusiastically.…

Adachi Museum Garden, Yasugi, Japan (From The Japanese Garden)

Nothing’s coming up roses in the garden these days

11 November 2017 9:00 am

Emotional geography is now a recognised academic subject. Is emotional botany heading the same way? This is a year for…

Romance and rejection

28 October 2017 9:00 am

‘Outsider’ ought to be an important word. To attach it to someone, particularly a writer, is to suggest that their…

In Woolf’s clothing

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Martin Amis once said that the writer’s life is half ambition and half anxiety. While one part of your brain…

The interior of the Swan Theatre, Southwark, in 1596, based on a sketch by a Dutch traveller, Johannes de Witt, and probably the best indicator of what the Globe Theatre would have looked like.

William Shakespeare: all things to all men

23 April 2016 9:00 am

The best new books celebrating Shakespeare’s centenary are full of enthusiasm and insight — but none plucks out the heart of his mystery, says Daniel Swift

Vita Sackville-West, c. 1940

More family history from Knole and Sissinghurst

16 April 2016 9:00 am

In deciding to write a book about her forebears and herself, Juliet Nicolson follows in their footsteps. Given that her…

The writer Natalie Barney and painter Romaine Brooks in Paris c. 1915

From Auden to Wilde: a roll call of gay talent

9 April 2016 9:00 am

The Comintern was the name given to the international communist network in the Soviet era, advancing the cause wherever it…

T.S. Eliot’s crisis year: exhaustion, hair loss and a wrecked marriage

12 March 2016 9:00 am

F.R. Leavis once denounced the Twickenham edition of Pope’s Dunciad for producing a meagre trickle of text through a desert…

Is this the real Queen? (Photo: Getty)

So the Queen's a Satanist cannibal? I’d still swear allegiance

30 January 2016 9:00 am

Roy was a superb mechanic, a methodical master of his trade. For an hour I respectfully watched him work to…

Hide and seek with T.S. Eliot

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Not only is this the definitive edition of T.S. Eliot’s poems, it is also the best biography of the poet we have, says Daniel Swift