Virginia Woolf

A trip to the National Portrait Gallery to hear Catherine Goodman in conversation with Rachel Campbell-Johnston gave me an opportunity to see the exhibition of Virginia Woolf portraits, not a wholly easy subject because there are not so many of them, mostly photographs, the best of them (and best known) taken when she was 20 by George Beresford, supplemented by studio portraits by Man Ray in 1934 and Gisèle Freund in 1939.   But Frances Spalding has done a good job in giving a sense of her life as a whole, her family and friends, all of them intellectual and intense, dominated by Virginia herself with her fragile beauty and thyroid eyes.

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