Bard College Berlin News
Laura Scuriatti, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, publishes article on family newspapers of Virginia Woolf and other major literary figures
The Hyde Park Gate News was a humorous publication which displays examples of Woolf's budding feminism, as exemplified in the parodies on the marriage market and on the rituals of education for girls. Scuriatti’s piece also briefly discusses the family newspapers of the Austen and Brontë families, and those written by Lewis Carroll and Stephen King and his brother.
A translated passage from the article reads, “One of the funniest sections of Hyde Park Gate News is the one including advice to readers, wedding announcements, and letters exchanged by loving couples, inspired by what Virginia and her siblings read in Titbits, a popular magazine of the time. Here, Virginia, Vanessa, and Thoby have a lot of fun showing that the moralistic attitudes of the Victorians on love and the sacrality of marriage in fact obscured the reality of an enormous market: "My own Tom," writes a deeply enthused Nora to her fiancé, "I love you with that fervent passion with which my father regards roast beef." Roger, instead, a real gentleman, asks his "angelic Annie:" "Will you let me tie the true love knot that shall bind our hearts together till Eternity. ... [as for] my pecuniary matters ... I have numerous aunts to die [at] any moment for my benefit. So you never fear poverty in my hands." In Hyde Park Gate News the combative and critical esprit of Virginia and Vanessa found its outlet in parody, which led later to radical life choices when, after their father's death, the two sisters decided to have an independent life, both as women and as artists.”
Scuriatti’s article, written in Italian, is available in the March 5, 2023 print edition of La Lettura.
Post Date: 03-23-2023