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Libraries & Collections > MRBR > Exhibitions > Online Exhibitions > A Pen and a Press of Her Own

Woolf in the World: A Pen and a Press of Her Own
Night and Day

Night and DayVirginia Woolf’s first two novels were written in the realist tradition and published by Duckworth and Company in plain dust jackets. Virginia Woolf dedicated Night and Day to her sister: “To Vanessa Bell but, looking for a phrase, I found none to stand beside your name.” As always, Woolf enjoyed Lytton Strachey’s approval of her writing: “I don’t suppose there’s anything in the way of praise that means more to me than yours.”

Virginia Woolf. Night and Day. London: Duckworth and Company, 1919.

Woolf letter to Strachey Woolf letter to Strachey Woolf letter to Strachey
Virginia Woolf. Letter to Lytton Strachey, 28 October 1919.

George H. Dorn Company of New York published the American editions of both titles in 1920. Apparently, Woolf had offers from two American publishers, Doran and Macmillan, according to her 26 November 1919 letter to Strachey. She revised the text of her novels for an American audience: “I have to send the books off on Monday & they say the more alterations the better—because of copyright. I’ve glanced between the boards and see that the whole thing must be rewritten from the beginning—and only 2 days to do it in!” According to the International Copyright Act passed by Congress in 1891, American issues of British books had to be typeset and printed in the United States; American publishers could not print from British plates. Consequently, there are variations between the British and American editions of Virginia Woolf’s publications.

Woolf letter to Strachey Woolf letter to Strachey
Virginia Woolf. Letter to Lytton Strachey, 26 November 1919.

Presented by Frances Hooper ’14
Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College

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