Margo Jefferson and Virginia Nicholson – Woolf’s Diaries
This is a recording of a live event held at the British Library on 31 May; exclusively released online via the RSL to celebrate Dalloway Day on 14 June. Sign up to recieve the recording direct to your inbox to watch at any time.
On the publication of new, unexpurgated editions of the diaries of Virginia Woolf, Rathbones Folio and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Margo Jefferson discusses her long standing admiration for Woolf, and how the diaries reveal a unique mind, and a rich insight into her life and times.
She is joined by author and RSL Fellow Virginia Nicholson, the great-niece of Virginia Woolf, who has also contributed to the new editions of the diaries. This conversation will be chaired by Dr Patrick Hayes
Margo Jefferson was a theatre and book critic for Newsweek and the New York Times. Her Pulitzer Prize-winning writing has appeared in, among other publications, Vogue, New York magazine and New Republic. She is a professor of writing at Columbia University School of the Arts and the author of Negroland – which was shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize and winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award – On Michael Jackson; and Constructing a Nervous System her wildly innovative 2022 memoir, was recently announced as the winner of the 2023 Rathbones Folio Prize.
Virginia Nicholson is the author of the acclaimed social histories How Was It For You?: Women, Sex, Love and Power in the 1960s, Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900-1939, Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived without Men After the First World War, Millions Like Us: Women's Lives in the Second World War and Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes: The Story of Women in the 1950s. She is the daughter of the art historian and writer Quentin Bell, acclaimed for his biography of his aunt Virginia Woolf. Her mother, Anne Olivier Bell, edited the original five volumes of Virginia Woolf’s Diaries.
Dr Patrick Hayes is the author of several books, including J.M. Coetzee and the Novel, Philip Roth: Fiction and Power, and Beyond the Ancient Quarrel —a collection of essays by contemporary philosophers and literary critics, which borrows its title from the claim Socrates makes in the Republic that ‘there is an ancient quarrel between poetry and philosophy’. Patrick’s most recent book is The Oxford History of Life-Writing: Postwar to Contemporary, 1945-2020. He is Associate Professor and Tutorial Fellow at St John’s College, Oxford.