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The Charleston Bulletin Supplements (hardback)

Published Date:
June 2013
British Library Publishing
Bibliographic Details:
Hardback, 144 pages, 215x135mm, 40 colour illustrations
Virginia Woolf and Quentin Bell
Claudia Olk, preface by Professor David Bradshaw
Free UK P&P for orders over £15

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In the summer of 1923 Virginia Woolf’s nephews, Quentin and Julian Bell, started a family newspaper, The Charleston Bulletin. Quentin decided to ask his aunt Virginia for a contribution: ‘it seemed stupid to have a real author so close at hand and not have her contribute.’

Woolf joined forces with Quentin, and from 1923 until 1927 they created fully-fledged booklets of stories and drawings that were presented as Supplements. Written or dictated by Woolf and illustrated by Quentin, these Supplements present a unique collaboration between the novelist during her most prolific years and the child-painter. In Virginia Woolf, Quentin Bell not only found a professional author and an experienced journalist, but, above all, a close companion and conspirator who shared his irreverence and mischievous sense of humour. The Supplements are transcribed in full alongside around 40 of Bell’s original illustrations. Designed to tease the adults, they portray Bloomsbury eccentricities along with the foibles and mishaps of the residents and visitors at Charleston.

This is the first time the Supplements have been published since they were first written and will therefore be welcomed by admirers of Woolf and her circle.

About the editor
Claudia Olk is Chair of English and Comparative Literature at the Freie Universitat Berlin.

`Now, with the appearance of [Virginia Woolf's] last unpublished writings, her teasing collaboration with her nephew Quentin Bell, we see just how mischievous and playful she could be... They proved the perfect conspirators, and Woolf did much more than provide the occasional article... They both revelled in this opportunity for irreverence, sending up their family and the eccentricities of their Bloomsbury friends with gleeful delight, and they enjoyed the surreptitious nature of their project: ‘Please consider the summer libel,’ Woolf writes in a letter to Quentin.`
Ariane Banks, The Lady
'This cheery publication will be appreciated by devotees of Virginia Woolf and may even jump-start and interest in those who have hitherto resisted the Bloomsbury cult.'
Victoria Glendinning, The Spectator
`The Charleston Bulletin Supplements is an absolute treat, the finest masterpiece of illustrated literary snark since Mark Twain’s Advice to Little Girls.`
`... subversive and funny`
dovegreyreader scribbles
`The manuscripts present both a jovial pastiche of personal, family moments and a “unique collaboration” between a prolific author and an artist.`
Fiona Baird, The Telegraph
`Each Supplement was a mischievous form of biography.`
Alexandra Harris, The Guardian
``The Supplements are... slight but evocative, they are playful and waspish in tone, including family jokes and satirical teasing which targets not only fellow `Bloomsburies', but Queen Victoria, who had never, we read, `seen a carrot naked`.``
Matthew Dennison, Country Life
`No-one escapes the sharp wit and satire of aunt and nephew, at a time when the novelist [Virginia Woolf] was at the height of her creative output... All fans of Bloomsbury will be delighted by this evocative little volume.`
The Good Book Guide
`This is a welcome and light-hearted addition to the library of any Bloomsbury fan`
Angela Wintle, Sussex Life
`The Charleston Bulletin Supplements provide an unexpected new perspective into the lives of the core members of the Bloomsbury set.`
Colin Steele, Bayside Bulletin/ Redland Times

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