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Virginia Woolf: ‘Madness’, War and Trauma


3 February 2018 14:15 - 15:30


Bethlem Museum of the Mind
Bethlem Royal Hospital
Monks Orchard Road
Kent BR3 3BX

What lies beneath Virginia Woolf’s fictional treatment of post-war trauma in Mrs Dalloway? What more do we discover when we read the essays she wrote during times of conflict? Biographer Lyndall Gordon explores the destructive and creative elements in what Woolf calls ‘madness’. Was it coincidence that her two worst episodes of mental illness were experienced during the two world wars?

Lyndall Gordon is the prize-winning author of six biographies, including Virginia Woolf: A Writer’s Life. Her new book, Outsiders: Five Women Writers Who Changed the World, which includes an exploration of Virginia Woolf’s outsider status, creativity and mental health, is published in Autumn 2017. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and lives in Oxford where she is a fellow of St Hilda's College.

There will be a signing after the event. Books will be available from a stall run by Beckenham Bookshop.