Forgotten Fictions: The Wise Virgins
JBW joins forces with the Society of Authors to celebrate Persephone Press’s new edition of Leonard Woolf’s forgotten classic, The Wise Virgins. Written on the Woolfs’ honeymoon in 1912, the semi-autobiographical novel examining moral, personal and social dilemmas is discussed by founder of Persephone Books Nicola Beaumann and literary biographer Lyndall Gordon, with Anne Sebba.
Lyndall Gordon is an award-winning literary biographer of, among others, T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf, and is currently Senior Research Fellow at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. Her most recent book was Divided Lives.
Nicola Beauman is a journalist, fiction reviewer and biographer. Her books number A Very Great Profession: The Woman’s Novel 1914 – 39; Cynthia Asquith; Morgan: a biography of EM Forster; and The Other Elizabeth Taylor. Nicola Beauman founded Persephone Books in 1998 to reprint (mostly) women writers, (mostly) of the inter-war period portrayed in A Very Great Profession, and now has one hundred and twenty-five titles in print.
Anne Sebba: award winning biographer, historian and author of eleven books. Her latest book is Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy published in the UK and US in 2021. In 2016 Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940’s was the winner of the 2016 Franco-British Society book prize. Previously Anne wrote That Woman, a biography of Wallis Simpson and the scandal of the 1936 abdication crisis based on her discovery of a secret cache of letters. A former Reuters Foreign Correspondent, Anne is a broadcaster and regularly appears on television talking about her books. She is a former chair of Britain's 10,000 strong Society of Authors and lecturer who gives talks to a variety of audiences in the US and UK as well as on cruises and is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research.