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The New York Public Library Celebrates Virginia Woolf: On Traffic Lights and Full Stops: Editing Mrs. Dalloway

October 21, 2010

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Anne Fernald, writer in residence at The New York Public Library's Wertheim Study, presents "On Traffic Lights and Full Stops: Editing Mrs. Dalloway".  Dr. Fernald gives an overview of her work while preparing a textual edition of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway for Cambridge University Press. She will discuss newly discovered historical and literary allusions, significant changes at the proof stage, and major differences between American and British editions of the novel. Woolf’s 1925 novel was at once deeply involved in the texture of post-WWI London and in literary history. Thus, Woolf’s characters comment on the lamentable congestion of London streets at precisely the moment that the traffic light was first introduced.  Mrs. Dalloway was also the first of Woolf’s novels to have simultaneous American and English publication. In correcting the separate proof sheets, Woolf introduced many (over 300) differences between the British and American editions that persist to this day. Many of these are minor but some are significant.  This illustrated talk includes discussion of manuscript material housed in the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library.

Dr. Fernald is an Associate Professor of English at Fordham University where she also directs the first-year writing and composition program on Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus. Educated at Wellesley College, she received her Ph.D. from Yale University. She is the author of Virginia Woolf: Feminism and the Reader (Palgrave 2006). She has published articles on Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, and modernism generally in Feminist Studies (2005), Modern Fiction Studies (2003), as well as in the award-winning ICLA volume, Modernism (2007). In June of 2009, she organized the 19th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, hosted at Fordham’s Lincoln Center Campus and focusing on the theme of Woolf and the City. She is currently at work on the Cambridge University Press edition of Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway.


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Fascinating! A wonderful

Fascinating! A wonderful account. Note: It was Anne Olivier Bell who unveiled the Woolf statue in London not Angelica.