Reading Mrs Dalloway

Saturday 16 September 2017, 11.00 am to 5.00 pm
Price: £90.00 / £75.00 students. Light lunch and tea and coffee provided.
Venue: Stapleford Granary, Bury Road, Stapleford, Cambridge CB22 5BP

Virginia Woolf.jpg

This course has now finished. Warm thanks to our lecturers for a terrific day of lectures. Thanks to the students for joining in a very interesting seminar after the lectures. We all learned more about this endlessly fascinating novel. Extracts from two of the lectures can be found on our Blog pages, 20 September 2017.

Mrs Dalloway (1925) is one of Woolf’s best-known novels. But how well do we understand it today? What is the novel really saying about the First World War, about shell shock, about love, gender and family relations? We will explore the historical context of this intriguing, lyrical novel about two inhabitants of London – a society hostess and a shell-shocked soldier – whose lives overlap but who never meet.

Set on a single day in 1923, Mrs Dalloway has a very sharp eye for the issues of its day, and has things to say to us in our time.

Three leading Woolf scholars give lectures which are both informed and accessible to a wide audience. The day ends with a seminar in which participants are encouraged to ask questions and join in the discussion. Price includes a light lunch.

Lecture topics
Susan Sellers, Writing Mrs Dalloway
Trudi Tate, Mrs Dalloway: Peace and Betrayal, 1923
Claire Nicholson, Mrs Dalloway's Dresses


Susan Sellers

Susan Sellers (left) is one of the General Editors of the Cambridge University Press edition of Virginia Woolf. Her books include The Cambridge Companion to Virginia Woolf and a novel, Vanessa and Virginia, about Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell. Website here.

Trudi Tate

Trudi Tate (right) is a Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge, and Director of Literature Cambridge. Her books include Modernism, History and the First World War, The Listening Watch: Memories of Viet Nam and The Silent Morning: Culture and Memory After the Armistice. Website here.

Claire Nicholson

Claire Nicholson has taught women's writing at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, and is a member of the Executive Council of the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain. Her publications include The Voyage Out: Centenary Perspectives and The Women Aesthetes 1870–1900, vol. I. She has a particular interest in Woolf's interest in aesthetics and clothing.

Lecture topic: Mrs Dalloway's Dresses

Woolf's contemporaries often commented that Woolf seemed to care little for her sartorial appearance. Yet her private diary shows a strong desire to come to terms with her ‘clothes complex’. In her fiction she employs images of clothing to evoke character in terms of tension between surface and depth, or appearance and reality. What role does clothing play in Mrs Dalloway? And how does this compare with clothing in Woolf’s other novels?