The British Library releases Virginia Woolf’s last unpublished work providing a quirky and fascinating insight into the Bloomsbury Group and life at Charleston

Cover of The Charleston Bulletin Supplements, published by the British Library

  • Published on Wednesday 12 June 2013

This week the British Library publishes The Charleston Bulletin Supplements, Virginia Woolf’s last known unpublished work. Announced earlier this year by the Library, the Supplements reveal a unique collaboration between the celebrated writer during her most prolific years and her young nephew, Quentin Bell, in the form of a family newspaper produced between 1923 and 1927.

Like the Hyde Park Gate News, the family newspaper written by Woolf and her siblings between 1891 and 1895, this unique collaboration reveals a less familiar side to Woolf, the aunt with a relish for mischief and gossip. During these years Woolf discovered her vision and voice as a writer and a preface by David Bradshaw makes the connection between the Supplements, with their in-jokes and carefree love of the absurd, and Woolf’s well-loved novels of the period, such as Orlando.

Edited by Claudia Olk, Chair of English and Comparative Literature at the Freie Universität Berlin, this new title publishes transcriptions of Woolf’s writing and over 40 of Bell’s charming illustrations for the first time. The Supplements are send-ups of particular events at Charleston, and of particular residents such as Vanessa and Clive Bell. Designed to tease the adults, the Supplements portray Bloomsbury eccentricities along with the foibles and mishaps of the residents and visitors at Charleston.

Claudia Olk says:

“We are delighted to share these childhood newspapers from the British Library’s archives with a wider audience in a new publication. The Supplements present fantastical narrative excursions into this illustrious family’s history, evoking imaginary details and building up fictional personalities. The writer and the illustrator, aunt and nephew, are united in their dislike of seriousness and boredom and they mercilessly target shallowness and hypocrisy.”

Notes to Editors:

For review copies, extracts or images please contact evie.jeffreys@bl.uk

The Charleston Bulletin Supplements
is published on Wednesday 12 June 2013.

Text and images (c) 2013 the Estates of Virginia Woolf and Quentin Bell

The Charleston Bulletin Supplements, edited by Claudia Olk
Price: £12.99 / ISBN 9780712358910 / Hardback / 144 pages

This new title will be available from 12 June 2013 from the British Library Shop (tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7735 / bl-shop@bl.uk) and online at www.bl.uk/shop as well as other bookshops throughout the UK.

Claudia Olk will giving talks about the Charleston Bulletin Supplements at the following venues this July:

Waterstones Richmond
Thursday 4 July, 7pm
Tel: 020 8332 1600

Much Ado Books, Alfriston, East Sussex
Saturday 6 July, 2-4pm
Tel: 01323 871 222

For more information contact:


The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website - www.bl.uk - every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.  



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