Sat, 01 Jun 2024 10:00 - Sun, 30 Jun 2024 23:00

Dalloway Day: The Inspiration of Vita Sackville-West (Online, prerecorded)

If you missed it the first time round, here's a special Dalloway Day opportunity to watch the recording of our October 2023 event celebrating Vita Sackville-West.

Vita Sackville-West was a poet, novelist, nature writer, gardener, Bloomsbury set staple, queer icon, trailblazer and London Library member. Famous for her exuberant aristocratic life, her marriage to Harold Nicolson, her passionate relationships with women and her gardens at Sissinghurst Castle, Kent, she wove her own experiences, interests and the inspiration of friends, lovers and the world around her into her work, from her narrative poem, The Land, to her best-known novels The Edwardians and All Passion Spent. In turn, she was a great inspiration to others, most notably Virginia Woolf in the creation of her ground-breaking classic, Orlando

On the 95th anniversary of that very book, we teamed up with the RSL and Curtis Brown Heritage to gather together a glorious line up of contemporary writers who are also inspired by Vita Sackville-West. Olivia LaingJuliet NicolsonCharlie Porter and Shola von Reinhold joined chair Shahidha Bari for discussion and a celebration of all that inspired Vita, all that she inspired and why her legacy still resonates today.

In partnership with the Royal Society for Literature 

Olivia Laing is a writer and critic whose books include To the River, The Trip to Echo Spring, The Lonely City, Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency, a novel, Crudo, and, most recently, Everybody: A Book About Freedom. Her new book, The Garden Against Time: In Search of a Common Paradise, an exploration of gardens and utopia, will be published in 2024.

Juliet Nicolson is a journalist, author and the granddaughter of Vita Sackville-West. Her books include histories The Great Silence: 1918–1920 Living in the Shadow of the Great War and The Perfect Summer: Dancing into Shadow in 1911, a novel, Abdication and A House Full of Daughters about seven generations of women in her extraordinary family. 

Charlie Porter is a writer, fashion critic and curator. He has written for The Financial Times, The Guardian, The New York Times, GQ, Luncheon, i-D and Fantastic Man and has been described as one of the most influential fashion journalists of his time. His books are What Artists Wear and, most recently, Bring No Clothes: Bloomsbury and the Philosophy of Fashion.

Shola von Reinhold is a Scottish writer whose debut novel LOTE is a queer literary exploration of aesthetics, beauty, the Bright Young Things of the 1920s and the obscurement of Black figures from history. Published by Jacaranda Books during the publisher's #Twentyin2020 campaign, it won the Republic of Consciousness Prize and the James Tait Memorial Prize. 

Shahidha Bari is a critic, academic and broadcaster. She presents Inside Culture on BBC Two and Free Thinking on BBC Radio 3. Her writing has appeared in publications including Art Review, The Guardian and the TLS and she is the author of Dressed: A Philosophy of Clothes and Look Again: Fashion, part of a series exploring the Tate Britain collection. She is a Professor at LCF at University of the Arts London.

The RSL, founded in 1820, is the UK’s charity for the advancement of literature, acting as a voice for the value of literature, engaging people in appreciating literature, and encouraging and honouring writers. 

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and by Fondation Jan Michalski

N.B. The link will be sent to all ticket holders on 1 June.