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Virginia Woolf and the Book Society Limited

Wilson, N. (2016) Virginia Woolf and the Book Society Limited. In: Vandivere, J. and Hicks, M. (eds.) Virginia Woolf and her female contemporaries. Clemson University Press: Woolf Selected Papers. Liverpool University Press, Liverpool. ISBN 9781942954088

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In her polemical BBC radio debate with Leonard in July 1927, Virginia Woolf foresaw the appeal of what would shortly become the Book Society Ltd, a mail order book club modelled on the successful American Book-of-the-Month Club. Virginia Woolf worked with the Book Society and came into contact with its large membership as both publisher and author, a perhaps unlikely relationship facilitated by her friendship with Hugh Walpole (its chairman) and other members of the Selection Committee, which included Cecil Day Lewis and Edmund Blunden (both published by the Hogarth Press). Flush (1933) was a Book Society Choice and Woolf’s work regularly appeared in the club’s “recommended” reading lists. This chapter explores the suggestive links between Woolf and other successful Book Society authors including Rosamond Lehmann, as well as Sylvia Lynd’s reviews of Woolf’s writing for the Book Society News. Part of a larger book-length project, the chapter weaves together some of the suggestive links between these different writers and considers how their positioning alongside each other as popular book club authors may have influenced their contemporary reception and subsequent readership.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Literature
ID Code:47355
Publisher:Liverpool University Press


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