WOOLF (VIRGINIA) To The Lighthouse
Lot 138
WOOLF (VIRGINIA)
To The Lighthouse
Sold for £12,000 (US$ 16,020) inc. premium

Lot Details
WOOLF (VIRGINIA)
To The Lighthouse, first edition, author's presentation copy, inscribed "For Lady Sackville from Virginia Woolf", some notes and underlinings in pencil, occasional spotting, a few contemporary newspaper reviews tipped-in on endpapers and half-title, bookplate of Lady Sackville, publisher's blue cloth, light dampstain to lower fore-corners of covers [Kirkpatrick A10], 8vo, Hogarth Press, 1927

Footnotes

  • AN EVOCATIVE PRESENTATION COPY TO THE MOTHER OF "ORLANDO". Lady Victoria Sackville was the mother of Vita Sackville-West. First meeting in 1922, Vita and Virginia quickly developed a friendship which had blossomed into intimacy and a fully-fledged affair by 1925, Vita being the inspiration for Woolf's Orlando, described by Nigel Nicholson as "the longest love letter in the world".

    At the time To the Lighthouse was published Woolf and Vita's mother were seemingly on good terms, but Lady Sackville was appalled by Orlando. "She defaced her copy, scarring it with comments, underlinings, and exclamation marks" (Virginia Glendinning, Vita), and described Virginia as "a mad woman... I loathe this woman for having changed my Vita and taken her away from me". On reading Pepita, Vita's memoirs of her mother and grandmother, in 1937 Woolf wrote "I detest Lady Sackville... an insipid, selfish, rather stupid housemaid of amorous propensities jumped up into the peerage... the vanity, the illiteracy, and the magpie's claws".

    There are several pencil annotations in the margins, including "a beautiful paragraph" (p.64), "like Vita" (p.64, describing Mrs. Ramsay as bearing "the torch of her beauty"), "lovely" (p.103, "she had known happiness, exquisite happiness, intense happiness"), "This repetition of names is boring! to me at least. 10 Times" (p.106, repeating of the name Ramsay).

    To the Lighthouse, which won the Femina Prize, includes, in the character of Mrs. Ramsay, a portrayal of Virginia's own mother.
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