Woolf Week

There are times when booksellers' catalogues are more like limited editions, and such is the case with Glenn Horowitz's new catalogue, Virginia Woolf: The Flight of Time. And with good reason--this beautiful new catalogue chronicles the superb collection of William B. Beekman that is being offered en bloc for $4.5 million. An exhibition of the collection goes up tomorrow at the Forbes Galleries in New York City and will remain there open to the public until January 14.

The breadth of the collection is certain to appeal to Woolf enthusiasts. Beekman built this collection over forty years, and the highlights include an early, apparently unpublished photograph of thirteen-year-old Virginia, many of her letters, two unpublished poems by Vita Sackville-West written for Woolf ("Your darkened windowns numb my darkened heart" is intriguing...), plus inscribed editions of the books she wrote and published and books from her own library. Vanessa Bell's preliminary sketch for the 1930 limited edition of Woolf's On Being Ill, is particularly interesting to see, as is the dedication copy of The Village in the Jungle, from Leonard to Virginia.

The 134-page catalogue was printed in a limited trade edition of 500, featuring photography by David Levinthal. Twenty-five deluxe editions are specially slipcased with a signed print by David Levinthal. Levinthal's prints are delightful historical tableaux. For example, a setting of doll furniture with the Complete Catalogue of the Hogarth Press or Woolf's passport photograph against a black background with a old-fashioned camera in the distance.
If you cannot be contented with that incredible collection, or don't have the millions necessary to purchase it, Bonhams London is auctioning three Woolf items on Tuesday of this week. One that is garnering attention is the Trinity House Visitors Book for Godrevy Lighthouse recording two visits by Virginia Stephen aged ten and twelve (pictured here; estimate £3,000-5,000). It seems Virginia did indeed go to the lighthouse!

At the same auction, an als from 1924 from Woolf to Mrs. Clifford (estimate £600-800) will be offered, as well as a typescript of her essay, "Thoughts on Peace during an Air Raid" signed by Woolf with emendations in her hand (estimate of £8,000-12,000).