Wednesday, 29 July 2015


I wasn't intending total immersion in Bloomsbury, but it seems to have crept up on me since my recent visit to Charleston and Monk's House. And despite my lukewarm enthusiam for the new BBC series Life in Squares, of course I stuck it out to the end ... getting mildly bored with all that loving in triangles and getting my Grants and Garnetts in a twist - but it certainly looked lovely (and there isn't anything  else on).

I made a stalwart effort once at Hermione Lee's hefty biography of VW but 900-and-odd pages is simply too much, about anyone. I was enjoying Alexandra Harris's much brisker effort until I got over ambitious. I should put it aside. I thought, until I filled in the gaps and read The Voyage Out and The Waves and The Years ... and I really meant to but, of course, I didn't. And so Alexandra Harris got poked between the banisters on the landing which is where books gather dust when I really, honestly, intend to return to them. (Hmmm, I see Hermione Lee on Edith Wharton is there, too.)

But last week I went back to the beginning and read Alexandra Harris's book in a couple of days. Two hundred pages of biography is just right ... Life is too short for long lives.

Of course, I still have good intentions of reading The Waves etc etc - currently high on the list of books I always meant to get round to.

6 comments:

callmemadam said...

You are not alone; I didn't finish Hermione Lee's book either. As for the TV series, I wished I could have watched it with someone else so we could have had a good laugh together over it.

mary said...

Yes, would have much more fun with a sarky companion.
A 'source' close to Charleston - okay, somebody who works there - told me they watching with their head in their hands!

Cosy Books said...

I was pondering books on my shelves today and read a few lines of Mrs Dalloway. I keep wanting to read it but always seem to fall short of committing. Part of the problem is that it's a Wordsworth copy...tiny print.

mary said...

I think you'd like Mrs Dalloway, Darlene. It's very much a London book. No bigger print edition in the library?

lyn said...

I loved AH's book too. I also enjoyed Lee's biographies of Woolf & Wharton but the level of detail was overwhelming at times. I always want to read more of VW's fiction when I've been reading about her life but I just can't warm to it. I've read quite a few of the novels but I can't enthuse about them as others do. I prefer the letters & diaries & biographies of her & the Bloomsberries.

mary said...

I enjoyed her diaries, Lyn - but like you, I don't think I'll ever be a number one fan of her novels. I teeter on the brink, enjoying her when she's least experimental!