New series of Virginia Woolf Talks in Cambridge

A new series of Virginia Woolf Talks begins in January 2017, starting with a lecture by Dame Gillian Beer, on Reading The Waves Across a Lifetime. Gillian will revisit the issues she discussed in her lecture for the Literature Cambridge summer course, reflecting upon the experience of reading Woolf's most poetic novel over many years. Some readers find The Waves (1931) rather challenging; some find it almost unreadable. Others find it one of the most exciting reading experiences of a lifetime. The talk will be of interest to anyone teaching or writing about Woolf, and also to the 'common readers' so valued by Woolf herself.

Gillian Beer's lecture takes place on Woolf's birthday.

Wednesday 25 January 2017, 1.00 pm
Wolfson Room, Lucy Cavendish College
Cambridge CB3 0BU
01223 332190

The second talk is by Nanette O'Brien, DPhil student at Wolfson College, Oxford, who is doing new research into the significance of food in modernist writings by Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, and Ford Madox Ford.

In A Room of One's Own (1929) Woolf memorably describes a luxurious lunch at a distinguished old college for men, then recalls the somewhat skimpy supper at one of the women's colleges. What did they actually eat in colleges when Woolf visited in the late 1920s? Nanette has been looking at the menus in the college archives. She will report upon her findings, and will discuss how they might influence our reading of A Room of One's Own.

Friday 3 March 2017, 1.00 pm
Library Seminar Room,  Lucy Cavendish College (note venue)
Cambridge CB3 0BU
01223 332190

If you would like to be added to the mailing list for these talks, or would like to offer a paper, please email the organiser, Dr Trudi Tate: trudi.tate [at]

The Virginia Woolf Talks are free and open to all, town and gown. A-level students and their teachers are welcome to attend but please email us first to check for space.

The talks are supported by Lucy Cavendish College and Literature Cambridge, and organised by Trudi Tate and Isobel Maddison.