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01In Spain20150811Virginia Woolf, sun hat firmly in place, scrambling along the dusty footpaths of Southern Spain - an unexpected image of the very English, upright writer more commonly associated with Bloomsbury. But in 1923 Woolf and her husband Leonard made an adventurous journey by boat, train, bus and mule to the remote mountain village of Yegen, where the British writer Gerald Brenan had made his home.
In a burst of intense, exploratory friendship, Woolf walked with Brenan through a landscape of goats and asphodels, opening up to him, and opening herself to the allure of Spain. "The mind's contents break into short sentences. It is hot; the old man; the frying pan; the bottle of wine".
She wrote about riding mules, about village sounds, and as she got into the rhythm of rural Spain fantasised about a new life abroad.
Virginia Woolf was the perfect exponent of the belief that walking clears the mind, expands the soul and strengthens the leg. On the centenary of Woolf's first published novel, Woolf biographer. Alexandra Harris takes us on four walks which inspired her, shaped her writing and character, and tell her story.
In part one Harris seeks out the paths where the determined walker would have tramped - through olive groves, past tangled vines, in thrall to the smell of orange blossom. She is accompanied in this Spanish sojourn by another writer, also seduced by the beauty of the Alpujarras, Chris Stewart, of "Driving Over Lemons" fame. Stewart was inspired 27 years ago to move to the area described in 'South From Granada', Gerald Brenan's classic portrait of Andalucía, in which Virginia Woolf's visit is also described.
They scramble up hillsides, leap into pools of icy water, and are deafened by the sound of cicadas, contemplating Virginia Woolf's time, walking and writing under the Spanish sun.
Producer: Sara Jane Hall.
01In Spain2015081120151130 (R4)Virginia Woolf, sun hat firmly in place, scrambling along the dusty footpaths of Southern Spain - an unexpected image of the very English, upright writer more commonly associated with Bloomsbury. But in 1923 Woolf and her husband Leonard made an adventurous journey by boat, train, bus and mule to the remote mountain village of Yegen, where the British writer Gerald Brenan had made his home.
In a burst of intense, exploratory friendship, Woolf walked with Brenan through a landscape of goats and asphodels, opening up to him, and opening herself to the allure of Spain. "The mind's contents break into short sentences. It is hot; the old man; the frying pan; the bottle of wine".
She wrote about riding mules, about village sounds, and as she got into the rhythm of rural Spain fantasised about a new life abroad.
Virginia Woolf was the perfect exponent of the belief that walking clears the mind, expands the soul and strengthens the leg. On the centenary of Woolf's first published novel, Woolf biographer. Alexandra Harris takes us on four walks which inspired her, shaped her writing and character, and tell her story.
In part one Harris seeks out the paths where the determined walker would have tramped - through olive groves, past tangled vines, in thrall to the smell of orange blossom. She is accompanied in this Spanish sojourn by another writer, also seduced by the beauty of the Alpujarras, Chris Stewart, of "Driving Over Lemons" fame. Stewart was inspired 27 years ago to move to the area described in 'South From Granada', Gerald Brenan's classic portrait of Andalucía, in which Virginia Woolf's visit is also described.
They scramble up hillsides, leap into pools of icy water, and are deafened by the sound of cicadas, contemplating Virginia Woolf's time, walking and writing under the Spanish sun.
Producer: Sara Jane Hall.
02Kensington Gardens2015081820151201 (R4)A hundred years since the publication of Virginia Woolf's first novel, author Alexandra Harris wonders at the link between her writing and her passion for walking - this week exploring where it all began, in Kensington Gardens.
Accompanied by Woolf biographer Dame Hermione Lee - the pair set out on a walk which Virginia and would have done probably 20,000 times - from 22 Hyde Park Gate, across the busy traffic and into the park.
Re-enacting the scene, Hermione and Alex recall how - 'calling for his dog and his daughter' - Leslie Stephen, father to Virginia Woolf, set off twice daily for a constitutional walk around the park.
Passing the woman selling her "balloon of quivering airballs", the young girl entered a public world and set her imagination to work on all she encountered: people talking and shouting, skaters, statues, ranks of uniformed nannies.
All her life she would remember in vivid detail the early routines of sailing boats on the Round Pond, touching the bark of the 'Crocodile Tree', reading in the grass and starting to match words to experience.
Mike Fitt, the Royal Parks honorary historian joins them, to add his particular knowledge of Kensington Gardens to the mix.
Producer: Sara Jane Hall.
03Cornwall20150825When a new steam train connected Paddington to St Ives, Leslie Stephen, Virginia Woolf's father, decided that taking a family house at the tip of England would benefit the whole family. So, packing up the entire household - children, dogs, servants and books - the Stephens travelled West. Talland House would be their deeply loved holiday home for 3 months every year.
From Gurnard's Head to Zennor, the young Virginia learnt to stride out on ambitiously long walks over rugged gorsy cliff paths and lonely granite-strewn moors. She would never stop re-writing these landscapes of early happiness - in her novels, her diaries, her memoirs; and she would keep coming back - alone or with family and friends - 'bringing the sheaves' of her adult life back to the places of her childhood.
Woolf's walking was the counterpart to her imaginative roaming, and the rhythm of her steps would often set the pace of her prose. Alexandra Harris sets out to follow some of her paths by the sea with writer Michael Bird.
Producer: Sara Jane Hall.
03Cornwall2015082520151202 (R4)When a new steam train connected Paddington to St Ives, Leslie Stephen, Virginia Woolf's father, decided that taking a family house at the tip of England would benefit the whole family. So, packing up the entire household - children, dogs, servants and books - the Stephens travelled West. Talland House would be their deeply loved holiday home for 3 months every year.
From Gurnard's Head to Zennor, the young Virginia learnt to stride out on ambitiously long walks over rugged gorsy cliff paths and lonely granite-strewn moors. She would never stop re-writing these landscapes of early happiness - in her novels, her diaries, her memoirs; and she would keep coming back - alone or with family and friends - 'bringing the sheaves' of her adult life back to the places of her childhood.
Woolf's walking was the counterpart to her imaginative roaming, and the rhythm of her steps would often set the pace of her prose. Alexandra Harris sets out to follow some of her paths by the sea with writer Michael Bird.
Producer: Sara Jane Hall.
04Sussex20150901Alexandra Harris visits East Sussex, where Virginia Woolf lived and walked from 1911 until her death.
Asham, was the Woolf's first home - re-named 'Little Talland House' - making it the descendent of the Cornish holiday home she had loved as a child. Virginia and Leonard lived through the first world war here, and left with great sadness when the lease was up.
Their next home, Monks House was small and basic, but it was theirs. The garden was vast, with a view on to the fields and hills beyond, where Woolf loved to roam alone for hours, reciting her words to herself after a morning writing. There were almost too many possible paths: towards Charleston - the home of Woolf's sister Vanessa, or across Iford Down, or along the river to Piddinghoe.
In the company of Scarlett Baron, Alexandra Harris steps out in Woolf's footsteps to the river Ouse and Southease, the route she would have taken most often, to the post office.
Producers: Sarah Bowen and Sara Jane Hall.
04Sussex2015090120151203 (R4)Alexandra Harris visits East Sussex, where Virginia Woolf lived and walked from 1911 until her death.
Asham, was the Woolf's first home - re-named 'Little Talland House' - making it the descendent of the Cornish holiday home she had loved as a child. Virginia and Leonard lived through the first world war here, and left with great sadness when the lease was up.
Their next home, Monks House was small and basic, but it was theirs. The garden was vast, with a view on to the fields and hills beyond, where Woolf loved to roam alone for hours, reciting her words to herself after a morning writing. There were almost too many possible paths: towards Charleston - the home of Woolf's sister Vanessa, or across Iford Down, or along the river to Piddinghoe.
In the company of Scarlett Baron, Alexandra Harris steps out in Woolf's footsteps to the river Ouse and Southease, the route she would have taken most often, to the post office.
Producers: Sarah Bowen and Sara Jane Hall.
Walk of One's Own: Virginia Woolf on Foot, A01In Spain20150811
Walk of One's Own: Virginia Woolf on Foot, A02Kensington Gardens20150818A hundred years since the publication of Virginia Woolf's first novel, author Alexandra Harris wonders at the link between her writing and her passion for walking - this week exploring where it all began, in Kensington Gardens.
Accompanied by Woolf biographer Dame Hermione Lee - the pair set out on a walk which Virginia and would have done probably 20,000 times - from 22 Hyde Park Gate, across the busy traffic and into the park.

Re-enacting the scene, Hermione and Alex recall how - 'calling for his dog and his daughter' - Leslie Stephen, father to Virginia Woolf, set off twice daily for a constitutional walk around the park.

Passing the woman selling her "balloon of quivering airballs", the young girl entered a public world and set her imagination to work on all she encountered: people talking and shouting, skaters, statues, ranks of uniformed nannies.

All her life she would remember in vivid detail the early routines of sailing boats on the Round Pond, touching the bark of the 'Crocodile Tree', reading in the grass and starting to match words to experience.

Mike Fitt, the Royal Parks honorary historian joins them, to add his particular knowledge of Kensington Gardens to the mix.

Producer: Sara Jane Hall.
Walk of One's Own: Virginia Woolf on Foot, A02Kensington Gardens20150818A hundred years since the publication of Virginia Woolf's first novel, author Alexandra Harris wonders at the link between her writing and her passion for walking - this week exploring where it all began, in Kensington Gardens.
Accompanied by Woolf biographer Dame Hermione Lee - the pair set out on a walk which Virginia and would have done probably 20,000 times - from 22 Hyde Park Gate, across the busy traffic and into the park.

Re-enacting the scene, Hermione and Alex recall how - 'calling for his dog and his daughter' - Leslie Stephen, father to Virginia Woolf, set off twice daily for a constitutional walk around the park.

Passing the woman selling her "balloon of quivering airballs", the young girl entered a public world and set her imagination to work on all she encountered: people talking and shouting, skaters, statues, ranks of uniformed nannies.

All her life she would remember in vivid detail the early routines of sailing boats on the Round Pond, touching the bark of the 'Crocodile Tree', reading in the grass and starting to match words to experience.

Mike Fitt, the Royal Parks honorary historian joins them, to add his particular knowledge of Kensington Gardens to the mix.

Producer: Sara Jane Hall.
Walk of One's Own: Virginia Woolf on Foot, A02Kensington Gardens20150818
Walk of One's Own: Virginia Woolf on Foot, A02Kensington Gardens20150818
Walk of One's Own: Virginia Woolf on Foot, A03Cornwall20150825
Walk of One's Own: Virginia Woolf on Foot, A04Sussex20150901

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Genre

  • Documentaries / Factual / Arts / Culture and the Media

Duration

  • 15 Minutes

Genre

  • Genre: Documentaries, Factual, Arts, Culture & the Media, Factual