Some thoughts on other people's attachment to books - and my own
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Byrne, Anne. (2019). Some thoughts on other people's attachment to books - and my own. Virginia Woolf Miscellany, 95 (Spring-Summer), 36-37.
For Nancy Nolan reading was more than a pastime. She was an ardent collector of Virginia Woolf s novels and biographies and she devoured Virginia s essays. Evening Over Sussex: Reflections in a Motor Car was a favorite. Nancy sought out reviews of Virginia s novels and essays. Having read a review of The Death of the Moth she wrote to Leonard about the essay Street Haunting: A London Adventure in particular. She was staggered that Desmond MacCarthy, an important critic, did not understand Woolf s portrayal of the fugitive, transient nature of beauty or womanhood (NN to LW no date 1943). Nancy enjoyed MacCarthy s reviews but in this instance she felt he was careless and for her the review was spoilt (NN to LW no date 1943). For Nancy, A Room of One s Own was closest to her heart: It s a delight to read and very stimulating. I love the quick, flashing turns from one point to another, and her way of being puckish when she is being most sedate (NN to LW 17 April 1943). Nancy reread The Waves and The Years one after another. For her, The Waves has a charm of its own (NN to LW 17 April 1943). She was disappointed in The Years, finding that Mrs. Woolf is not herself. The characters are dulled and although it is good, other people could have written it (NN to LW 2 March 1943). She was concerned that Mrs. Woolf s vitality was diminished (NN to LW 2 March 1943). Because of her long correspondences with Leonard (1943-1969), she and her family received regular gifts of Hogarth Press books from him as well as his review copies from other publishers. His first gift to her was a copy of Mrs. Dalloway. One of her final requests of Leonard was to ask if he would sign her newly purchased copy of the fourth volume of his autobiography, Downhill All the Way, which he duly did (LW to NN 28 April 1967).
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