- Virginia Woolf:Unrecorded Times Literary Supplement Reviews
In 1988 while i was checking the marked files of the Times Literary Supplement for reviews by Katherine Mansfield, I noted one by Virginia Woolf (The Rough Road by W. J. Locke, 24 October 1918) that was unrecorded in my A Bibliography of Virginia Woolf (3rd edition, Oxford: Clarendon, 1980). Realizing there could be others, I decided I must check these marked files from 1904-1941. I did this in November-December 1989 and found over forty had been overlooked.
Until 1974 only TLS staff were permitted to check files, so for the first two editions of the Bibliography I was fortunate in finding one of the staff to do this laborious work for me. Issues up to 1919 were bound with the marked files of The Times itself, three months at a time. My researcher reported that many of the early volumes were collapsing, which made checking difficult, as I found when I rechecked over thirty years later. Two checks were undertaken: initially in the 1950s and again in the mid-1960s after further material become available in the Monk's House Papers that Professor and Mrs. Quentin Bell allowed me to consult while the papers were in their possession. I was then working on the second edition of the bibliography (published 1967) and was able to identify yet more reviews. For these checks I sent for confirmation provisional lists of reviews I knew or thought were by Virginia Woolf. It now seems that in the years 1905-1908 the listed items were checked, but the issues themselves were not systematically searched; these were among the volumes in poor condition. I have a recollection of being told they were in a basement [End Page 279] and difficult of access. Given these conditions, I was not surprised to find omissions when I was allowed to check myself, especially as the TLS pages were not bound consecutively, being at right angles to those of The Times. Since the end of 1989 the situation is very different as Melanie Aspey (Group Records Manager), the present archivist, has started to revolutionize the care of these priceless records.
I checked the following archives: 1) TLS, 1904-1941—each issue where the author is named after each review; 2) The Times editorial diaries for Virginia Woolf's contributions to The Times itself, 1904-1940-authors of the leaders and the more important articles are noted, although the number of the latter varies; sometimes many of the authors are recorded although in other issues few or none are. Checking almost forty years of The Times itself, as I did for the TLS, was not only more than I could manage but was unlikely to yield many or indeed any additional contributions; it was reassuring to find that apart from the one new item (listed below), all those already recorded were noted in the diaries; 3) index slips of TLS reviewers, 1902-1916—a handlist that ceased in 1916; 1915 is incomplete; 4) The Times editorial diaries for all TLS missing issues.
The following marked issues of the TLS are not in the files and were probably omitted when they were bound: 1 April, 31 June 1904; 29 September 1905; July-September 1914; 27 January 1916; 20 November-25 December 1930. The following were present in the early 1950s when the files were first checked for me: October-December 1905; July-September 1906; July-September 1908; October-December 1912. There is no trace of them now, and Melanie Aspey thinks they were inadvertently destroyed before the set was transferred from the Library to the Archives and when the former moved to Pennington Street, Wapping in 1986. One of the results of my search was to find that the review of Petrograd: The City of Trouble, 1914-1918 by Meriel Buchanan, titled "A View of the Russian Revolution," in the issue for 19 December 1918, 636 (C135; The Essays of Virginia Woolf, 1987, Vol. 2, 338-340) is not by Virginia Woolf but by C. E. Bechhofer. It should also be noted that Jeremy Treglown in his "Literary History and the Lit. Supp.," Yearbook of English Studies...