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Kew Gardens

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  206 ratings  ·  10 reviews
In 1927, at The Hogarth Press, Virginia Woolf produced and published a limited edition of what was to become one of her best-loved stories. The book's jacket design and page illustrations were by her sister, artist Vanessa Bell.

More than sixty years later, The Hogarth Press at Chatto & Windus has published a lovely facsimile of that prized edition of 'Kew Gardens'.

Hardcover, 23 pages
Published 1978 by Norwood Editions (first published 1919)
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This is a perfect moment of the sublime, a freeze-frame of just a few minutes of the pristine setting of Kew Gardens, London. It is simply incredible of Woolf to contain so much, so much emotion, beautiful imagery and brilliantly developed characters in so few pages. It’s one of those books that you can envisage in the back of your eyelids when you close your eyes mid-way through reading, feeling as if the vivid blue and reds of the flowers are making their beautiful impressions on your mind.

It's incredible how such a short story can make you realise about daily-life stuff. Especially loved the way she described nature. "Yellow and black, pink and snow white, shapes of all these colours, men, women, and children were spotted for a second upon the horizon, and then, seeing the breadth of yellow that lay upon the grass, they wavered and sought shade beneath the trees, dissolving like drops of water in the yellow and green atmosphere, staining it faintly with red and blue."
Aileen Bernadette Urquhart
Elegant descriptions and lovely little cameos of the strollers.
Kew Gardens was originally published with illustrations by Vanessa Bell, Virginia Woolf's sister. I'd love to read that edition (or a reproduction, something that doesn't cost a hundred dollars). I imagine it would add another layer to this interesting slice-of-life story. Kew Gardens is very fluid, but I suppose that is just part of the Stream of Consciousness style. I think you have to be in the mood to read Stream of Consciousness/Virginia Woolf. She is not a writer you can casually pick up, ...more
She writes beautifully. She writes about life and its ordinary perplexity. I guess I'm just used to a little more dynamics.

"..these short insignificant words also expressed something, words with short wings for their heavy body of meaning.."
The Buffalo library has a copy of Kew Gardens, a limited edition book of which there are only 500 copies in existence. It is a short tale set out almost in a children's storybook style, and is illustrated with hand drawn pictures by Virginia's sister. It is a wonderful, concise distillation of Virginia's style.
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Only read it because it is so short!

And I don't remember any of it!
Marts  (Thinker)
Woolf expounds on the state of affairs on a July day at Kew Gardens...
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(Adeline) Virginia Woolf was an English novelist and essayist regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century.

During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury Group. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), and Orlando (1928), and the book-length es
More about Virginia Woolf...
Mrs. Dalloway To the Lighthouse A Room of One's Own Orlando The Waves

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