Lives & Letters from the Fitz archives

Lives & Letters from the Fitz archives


Hello I’m Suzanne Reynolds Assistant Keeper of Manuscripts and Printed Books at the Fitzwilliam Museum and I’ve curated a display for explore your archives week on some of our greatest literary treasures which will be running in Gallery 3 from the 21 November to 7 January I’ve designed the display to try and tell the story of how texts come into being from the first moment of inspiration through a writers public and private agonising right through to the moment of publication My two favourite pieces in the display are the autograph manuscript by Virginia Woolf of women and fiction which became a Room of One’s Own and a letter by Charlotte Brontë the Woolf manuscript is amazing it’s written in purple ink at top speed and shows her barely able to keep up with her ideas she said writing it was as if she were a water bottle that had been turned upside down and the Brontë letter is such an intriguing fragment why was she so anxious about her publisher’s response to the third part of Villette why did he pay her so little for it it’s a wonderful example of how a letter leads you in so many different directions

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