The Marginalian
The Marginalian

Beautiful 1921 Woodcuts by Virginia Woolf’s Sister

It has been argued that music had a profound influence on Virginia Woolf’s work, her growing feminism, and her understanding of social class, sexuality, and pacifism.

The original edition of Woolf’s collection Monday or Tuesday (public library), published by Hogarth Press in 1921 in a limited run of 1,000 copies, featured stunning full-page black-and-white woodcut illustrations for Woolf’s short story “A String Quartet” by her artistically gifted sister, the acclaimed Bloomsbury painter Vanessa Bell.

The short story collection owes its title to a passage in a chapter titled “Modern Fiction” from Woolf’s classic 1919 treatise The Common Reader, where the beloved author contemplates the heart of storytelling:

Examine for a moment an ordinary mind on an ordinary day. The mind receives a myriad impressions — trivial, fantastic, evanescent, or engraved with the sharpness of steel. From all sides they come, an incessant shower of innumerable atoms; and as they fall, as they shape themselves into the life of Monday or Tuesday.

Though lacking Bell’s beautiful woodcuts, a standard, text-only version of Monday or Tuesday is available as a free Kindle download.

Published January 16, 2013




Filed Under

View Full Site

The Marginalian participates in the and affiliate programs, designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to books. In more human terms, this means that whenever you buy a book from a link here, I receive a small percentage of its price, which goes straight back into my own colossal biblioexpenses. Privacy policy. (TLDR: You're safe — there are no nefarious "third parties" lurking on my watch or shedding crumbs of the "cookies" the rest of the internet uses.)