Following its highly acclaimed TV premiere on the Sky Arts channel in 2019, the new documentary What Was Virginia Woolf Afraid Of? receives its DVD release on 16th November 2020. Exploring her life and work, drawing upon key biographers, literary critics and psychologists, the programme seeks to understand her remarkable but deeply troubled and disturbed life.
From 1915, when she published her first novel The Voyage Out, Virginia Woolf maintained an astonishing output of fiction, literary criticism, essays, letters, diaries and biography. In 1912 she married Leonard Woolf, and in 1917 they founded the Hogarth Press. The programme draws out the remarkable character and commitment of her husband Leonard and the guardian of Virginia Woolf’s life during their marriage. It explores Virginia Woolf’s overwhelming desire for individuality with its lesbian affairs, most notably with Vita Sackville-West; her mix of snobbery and anti-Semitism with radicalism; and her eventual suicide, when she feared that she would be unable to manage her incipient move towards forms of unbearable insanity.
What Was Virginia Woolf Afraid Of? is produced and directed by Adrian Munsey and Vance Goodwin, it features contributions from Bill Goldstein, Lyndall Gordon, Nicole Ward, Dame Hermione Lee, Edward Mendelson and there is a stunning original score written by Adrian Munsey.
This documentary is part of a series of Odyssey programmes about writers, which includes The Pity of War: Poets at the Front (out now), as well as E.M. Forster: His Longest Journey and Rudyard Kipling: A Secret Life both coming out on DVD later this Autumn.