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February 18, 2013

No need to be afraid after all as Woolf’s lighter side revealed

A previously unpublished series of hand-written Virginia Woolf (L) manuscripts that she wrote for The Charleston Bulletin, a mock newspaper created by her young nephews, Julian and Quentin Bell

A previously unpublished series of hand-written Virginia Woolf (L) manuscripts that she wrote for The Charleston Bulletin, a mock newspaper created by her young nephews, Julian and Quentin Bell

She was renowned as a serious, modernist novelist but Virginia Woolf also had a mischievous side, the author’s last unpublished work has suggested.

By Andrew Hough

The Charleston Bulletin was a family newspaper founded by the English writer’s nephews, Quentin and Julian Bell, almost 90 years ago.

While she wrote weighty classics such as Mrs Dalloway and To The Lighthouse, Woolf agreed to contribute a series of works to the newspaper at the same time.

The lighter side of the novelist is revealed in unpublished sketches, published alongside her works, in which she lampooned family, household staff and members of the Bloomsbury Group and their escapades, antics and characters.

The author, considered one of the leading modernists of the 20th Century, wrote or dictated the supplements between 1923 and 1927, while Quentin, the son of Clive Bell and her sister Vanessa Bell, illustrated the pieces.

The British Library will publish the Charleston Bulletin Supplements (BSC), edited by Claudia Olk, for the first time in the summer after acquiring the documents in 2003.

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