Recent Blog Posts
What's on your Hogarth shelves? Do you have stories associated with your collecting, reading, or acquiring of Hogarth Press books you would like to share? If so, please consider submitting to the forthcoming "Collecting Woolf" issue of the Virginia Woolf Miscellany, edited by Catherine Hollis. Deadline: 31 October 2018
CFP: Collecting Virginia Woolf
Who collects Virginia Woolf and Hogarth Press books? When did the demand for and economic value of Woolf’s and the Hogarth Press’s books begin in the antiquarian book trade? Are Woolf and Hogarth Press books more or less desirable than other modernist first editions? What are the emotional, haptic, and educational values of early Woolf and Hogarth Press editions for scholars, students, and common readers? What do the book collections of Virginia and Leonard Woolf tell us about their lives as readers and writers?
On April 5, 2018, Drs. Claire Battershill and Helen Southworth used Zoom (a video conferencing software) to join the Literature & Digital Humanities (DH) English department graduate seminar taught by Dr. J. Ashley Foster at California State University, Fresno, and share the creation and production of the Modernist Archives Publishing Project (MAPP). The following is a collaboratively-written account of their contribution to the class.
And in more MAPP related publications, we're happy to announce the publication of Virginia Woolf and the World of Books, edited by Nicola Wilson and Claire Battershill. A curated selection of papers inspired by last year's Virginia Woolf Conference at the University of Reading, this volume showcases new scholarship on the interventions of book history and material culture into Woolf studies. Topics include archives, craftmanship, artwork, libraries, collecting, reading, publishing, translation, reception, re-visions, editing and teaching. There is also a chapter on MAPP written by our King's University undergrad team: Sara Grimm, Rynnelle Wiebe and Tyler Johansson.
MAPP co-founders and team members Claire Battershill and Helen Southworth have both recently published well-received books focusing on the concept of biography as it relates to Leonard and Virginia Woolf’s Hogarth Press. Here is a brief introduction to both works, which epitomize the kind of rigorous historical research made possible through deep engagement with archival materials such as the ones MAPP curates on its continually-expanding site.
Surprisingly, I think I have only recently understood the full power of the bookshop. As a literature graduate and book lover it is perhaps no shock that bookshops are among my favourite places to spend time (and usually a small fortune!). I have loved many a bookshop, often in a quiet, personal way. Perhaps now more than ever, in a fast-paced and frequently impersonal society of online shopping, the almost sacred quality that bookshops can possess is particularly striking. What they offer, for me at least, is a haven of knowledge and creativity, going beyond that of a retail exploit. There is increasing academic interest in the role of the modernist bookshop at present, as shown by Huw Osborne's recent edited collection and Andrew Thacker's article in Modernist Cultures (11.3, 2016).
Beginning in that annus mirabilis of modern literature, 1922, and petering out in 1950, the letters between novelist E. M. Forster and the Hogarth Press provide a fascinating and extended glimpse of the relationship between one of England’s best novelists and his publishing agents. This trove of letters features discussions about the technical particulars of paper color and type, of distribution and copyright, but they also hint at personal details of the correspondents, most notably between Leonard Woolf and Forster, or “Morgan” as he’s addressed. Although most of the letters sent during this 28-year period focus on publishing and distribution, small details about the relationship between the two men peek through the negotiations and discussions about Forster’s book Pharos and Pharillon, published by Hogarth Press in May 1923. Both aspects of this collection are fascinating for scholars and students of modern publishing and literature.
At MAPP, we invest a lot of intense, purposeful, and rewarding group effort thinking about how literary theory and digital methodology interact in the context of shifting disciplinary pressures within modernist studies and academic humanities in general. We are always asking ourselves how archival theory and digital praxis reinforce one another, while remaining attentive to and engaging the productive tension between theory and praxis in the actual making of MAPP.
Check out this excellent recent article by Matt Huculak about these very issues, which explores how digital modernist projects have “reenergized the field.” MAPP gets a favorable mention, and the Hogarth Press door plate—portal and threshold to our own digital edifice—a pleasing show. Enjoy!
The hand must have trembled. The regular dip of the capital J turned slightly, yet noticeably, to the left as if by some interruption. I had no idea what might have startled the writer, but my mind took to creatively filling the gaps. A mother of three, she must have been deprived of sleep by a particularly late night reading to the kids about the professional horse races she had loved as a child; startled by the sudden entrance of the Welsh bagman, her pen had slipped creating, for my post-millennial eyes, that lopsided enigmatic “J”.
Author Biographies and Publisher Descriptions
We are seeking submissions for biographical entries for the authors, artists and workers of The Hogarth Press, and for MAPP's publishing house descriptions pages. MAPP is the first modernist DH project to focus exclusively on twentieth-century publishing houses. It offers a pioneering digital platform to organize, interact with, and analyze book production, reception, and distribution networks and will represent a replicable digital model for contemporary and future scholars of modernist publishing and book culture.
We are also open to student work and to pedagogical uses of MAPP. Please contact our team to discuss possible pedagogical collaborations and student writing: http://www.modernistarchives.com/contact