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Between 1907 and 1909 Virginia Woolf, who was not yet a world-famous writer, kept a notebook which is here published for the first time. These extremely precious pages written by a 25 year-old woman illustrate the novelist’s lifelong familiarity with classical humanities. They shed new light on Virginia Woolf’s biography and on a period of her existence which the Journal largely ignores. Under the guise of simple notes jotted down on paper, it offers an intellectual portrait of someone who, like the narrator in A Room of One’s Own, has not found her place in the academic world. Written at the time when the Bloomsbury group was developing, this text makes it possible to explore the links which Virginia Woolf, overshadowed by her dead father and brother, wove between classical humanities and contemporary literary experiments.
Mireille DUCHÊNE is teaching classical and modern literature in Dijon (University of Burgundy, ESPE, France). Examining childhood and education by her researches, she has published several studies on Virginia Stephen, the future Virginia Woolf.