When Virginia Woolf traveled to Spain

As Virginia Woolf crossed the yards and lawns of Oxbridge on a fine October morning in 1928 on her way to the library, where a guardian angel barred her way "with a flutter of black robes instead of white wings, beckoning me back: that ladies are not allowed in the library unless they are accompanied by a fellow or provided with a letter of introduction”, the British writer was already beginning to sketch the first lines of A Room of One's Own.

And just as this reference essay on feminism opened so many doors and locks to the free flight of women in the course of the 20th century, after hundreds of studies on her work, even the most passionate of Woolfian work in Spain were unaware to date of the trips intimates of the author of Mrs. Dalloway to the country. "Spain is, by far, the most splendid country I have seen in my life," said the writer, who reflected her reading of the landscapes of Andalusia or Extremadura in newspapers, letters and essays, which the Canarian publisher Itineraria, specializing in travel literature, has compiled into a book.

The book has a triple prologue by Verónica Pacheco, Ángeles Mora and Anita Botwin


Under the heading South. Travels through Spain by Virginia Woolf, the publication reconstructs Woolf's places and journeys in Spain, which she published in different texts that remained unpublished in Spanish. His chronicles describe "the hopelessly blue skies" of Madrid and the alienating heat of the Meseta, but also the smells and colors of Granada, the inns in Extremadura, the network of railway networks in Badajoz and poetic musings such as "the hat of the English man is insignificant for Sierra Nevada».

In total, Woolf (London, 1882-Sussex, 1941) traveled to Spain on three occasions: the first was in 1905, when he was only 23 years old, in the company of his brother Adrian, after a serious depression due to the death of his father; in 1912 she returned to Spain on her honeymoon with Leonard Woolf, her husband, on a trip in which they also stopped in Italy; and they returned for the last time in 1923, to the Alpujarras, to visit their friend Gerald Brenan.

Published last November 2021, Towards the south. Viajes por España by Virginia Woolf is the second book to be released under the independent label Itineraria, founded in 2018 on the island of Lanzarote by Alba Cantón and Sergio Erro, with the aim of "prolonging the journey from the story, rescuing adventures from the oblivion and propose new routes to the imagination». His previous publication is Lancelot 28º-7º: Integral Guide to an Atlantic Island, the masterpiece of Agustín Espinosa (1897-1939), where he creates a mythology for Lanzarote under his peculiar surrealist gaze on the landscape.

Both editors will unravel the keys to this editorial, traveling and woolfian journey at the Dolores Campos-Herrero Reading Club today in the El Corte Inglés Cultural Area, at 6:00 p.m. And precisely, yesterday, on the eve of this call, was the 140th anniversary of the writer's birth.

This edition of To the South. Travels through Spain by Virginia Woolf is completed with illustrations by Carmen Bueno, an illustrator and architect based in Madrid, who lends shape and color to the places that Woolf visited on her long walks through Andalusia. In addition, the edition treasures as a prelude the prologues of three writers and researchers specialized in the work of Virginia Woolf: Verónica Pacheco Costa, Ángeles Mora and Anita Botwin.

Yesterday marked the 140th anniversary of the birth of the author of 'Mrs. Dalloway


The first points out in its preface that the texts of Woolf's first trip to Spain reveal between the lines the frustration of a young Londoner in the face of "the absence of comforts to which she is accustomed", although, both in the second and, above all, , on the third trip, almost 20 years after the first, the writer observes Spain with different eyes, "amazed by the landscapes of Granada, with the freedom of wild nature," she reveals.

An inner journey to Woolf's paths of discovery in the country, to the doors that she opened and wrote inside and outside of herself, because, as Manuel Vicent wrote, "to travel is to go around oneself".

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