"ONLY THE FIRE SETS ME DREAMING—OF ALL THE THINGS I MEAN TO WRITE": FIRST EDITION OF VIRGINIA WOOLF'S WRITER'S DIARY, INSCRIBED BY VITA SACKVILLE-WEST TO BLOOMSBURY GROUP MEMBER DAVID GARNETT
(SACKVILLE-WEST, Vita) WOOLF, Virginia. A Writer's Diary. Being Extracts from the Diary of Virginia Woolf. London: Hogarth Press, 1953. Octavo, original orange cloth, original dust jacket. Housed in a custom cloth clamshell box. $4750.
First edition, containing excerpts from Woolf's diaries, edited by Leonard Woolf and published by Hogarth Press—presentation copy inscribed by Vita Sackville-West in the month of publication to close friend and prominent member of the Bloomsbury Group, David Garnett: "For Bunny with love from Vita. Nov. 2, 1953."
Virginia Woolf kept a diary from 1915 until her death in 1941. Her husband, Leonard Woolf, who edited this work, notes in his preface that her "diary gives for 27 years a consecutive record of what she did, of the people whom she saw, and particularly of what she thought about those people, about herself, about life, and about the books she was writing or hoped to write." Leonard Woolf has here excerpted his wife's diaries from 1918 through 1941, including every reference she made to her own writing. The resulting book "throws light upon Virginia Woolf's intentions, objects, and methods as a writer. It gives an unusual psychological picture of artistic production from within."
Novelist, poet, and journalist Vita Sackville-West—the model for the androgynous protagonist of Virginia Woolf's Orlando—reviewing A Writer's Diary for Encounter, noted in her own diary that it was "an event of the mind," adding, "oh, God, how I wish I could get Virginia back. Reading her diary makes me regret her so poignantly." Recipient David "Bunny" Garnett was a prominent member of the Bloomsbury Group. He received literary recognition when his novel, Lady into Fox, was awarded the 1922 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. He ran a bookshop near the British Museum with Francis Birrell during the 1920s. He also founded (with Francis Meynell) the Nonesuch Press. His novel Aspects of Love (1955) served as the basis for the Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical. With dust jacket designed by Vanessa Bell. Kirkpatrick A31a. Clipping of a 1983 review of Victoria Glendenning's biography Vita laid in.
Book clean and fine; dust jacket with toned spine and shallow wear to extremities. A wonderful association copy.