DEBUT NOVEL FROM RENOWNED INTERNATIONAL VIRGINIA WOOLF SCHOLAR OFFERS RESOLUTION TO ONE OF THE 21st CENTURY’S GREATEST LITERARY MYSTERIES!
Talland House By Maggie Humm
Set between 1900 and 1919 in picturesque Cornwall and war-blasted London, Talland House takes Lily Briscoe from the pages of Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse and tells her story outside the confines of Woolf's novel -- as a student in 1900, as a young woman becoming a professional artist, her loves and friendships, mourning her dead mother, and solving the mystery of her friend Mrs. Ramsay's sudden death.
An engaging and original work of romantic historical fiction and the debut novel from renowned international Virginia Woolf scholar and Emeritus Professor at the University of East London Maggie Humm, Talland House is both a story for our present time, exploring the tensions women experience between their public careers and private loves, and a story of a specific moment in our past -- a time when women first began to be truly independent.
REVIEW by LAWonder10:
Talland House begins as a story of a young girl's new adventures in life as an artist, and continues into her middle age years. The loss of her mother has a long lasting, intense impact in her life. She cherishes the memories and is obsessed in remembering the passion of art she enjoyed with her mother. Her father is very understanding and supportive. Although she pursues her art abroad, she is still mindful and dedicated in seeing her father is taken care of.
After learning techniques in Paris, she is accepted to a prestigious art instruction in St. Ives. There she experiences bitter-sweet art study. However, it s here she, also, meets individuals who will forever have a profound significance throughout the rest of her life.
This novel is divided into sections, representing different time periods. One time period does not seem to fit into the original introduction. It is a little confusing. However, although very slow moving, the author is very descriptive of each scene and event. The characters seem very realistic.
I felt the ending was weak.
I offer a Three and a Half Stars rating for this book
*This book was gifted me with no pressure for a positive review. This is my honest review.
One of Virginia Woolf’s best known and most beloved novels, To the Lighthouse has been
the subject of much praise, criticism and debate in the nearly hundred years since it was first
published in 1927. A groundbreaking work of introspective fiction which Woolf herself described as “easily the best of my books,” the setting of To the Lighthouse was formed by the author in imitation of Talland House - a property in St. Ives, Cornwall where she spent many summers with her family - and its plot and themes were centered on autobiographical details as well; specifically, Woolf’s loss of her mother at a young age, and her evolution - and ultimately, perspective - as an artist.
On August 18, 2020, Talland House will be released with She Writes Press, establishing
internationally renowned Virginia Woolf scholar Maggie Humm as the first author to interweave the people, places and events from Woolf’s life with a character from one of her best-read novels, and to tell that character’s life outside the confines of Woolf’s work.
Centering on Lily Briscoe’s coming-of-age and offering a plausible resolution to one of the
twenty-first century’s greatest literary mysteries - the sudden death of Mrs. Ramsay - Talland House partly follows the time structure of Woolf’s novel, but weaves into this frame a prequel, and many fictions of Woolf’s life including her family, the artists and friends she knew, and Lily’s fictionalized life and career outside of the novel.
The culmination of decades of scholarship, years of dedication to creative writing craft, and a lifelong passion for To the Lighthouse, Talland House is an engaging and original work of romantic historical fiction which also contains an uncanny personal connection.
“They always say write about what you know and I know a good deal about Virginia Woolf,”
Humm shares. “My mother died at forty-nine when I was thirteen; the exact ages of Woolf’s mother and Woolf when Woolf’s mother died. So, Woolf’s depiction of her mother as Mrs. Ramsay in To the Lighthouse meant so much to me. I had to discover how Mrs. Ramsay died!”
“I have carried this novel inside me throughout my academic career as a Virginia Woolf
expert,” she continues. “Following retirement, a Creative Writing Diploma gave me the freedom and skills to realise my story.”
Shortlisted for the Impress Prize, Fresher Fiction Prize, Retreat West Prize and Eyelands
Prize and longlisted for the 2019 Historical Writers’ Association / Sharpe Books Unpublished Novel Award, Talland House is already being buzzed-about throughout the industry as one of 2020’s must-read historical fiction debuts, with endorsements from Lauren Elkin (award-winning author of Flâneuse), Annabel Abbs (author of the award-winning The Joyce Girl and Frieda), the Historical Writers Association, and more.
To promote Talland House’s August 2020 release, Maggie Humm has select availability for
interviews and article commissions and can speak to a range of topics, including:
● The timely and timeless feminist themes that sit at the heart of Talland House, and
her career as an academic specializing in feminist theory
● How Virginia Woolf has been an ongoing source of inspiration and fascination for her
● The experience of losing her mother as a young girl, and the unique bond this creates
with other women who have experienced the same
● Starting over: the process of transitioning to fiction writing after a successful career in
academia and non-fiction, and what it’s been like to earn a diploma in Creative
Writing and enter a mentorship program in her retirement
● What she wants readers to know about Virginia Woolf and take away from reading
About the Author:
Maggie Humm is an Emeritus Professor, University of East London, UK. An international Virginia Woolf
scholar and the author/editor of fourteen books (the last three focused on Woolf and the arts), Humm is a former Co-Chair of the British Women’s Studies Association, founded the first full-time undergraduate UK Women’s Studies degree, and was a judge of the Fawcett Society book prize. To transition to creative writing, she earned a diploma in Creative Writing from the prestigious programme launched by the University of East Anglia in partnership with the Guardian, followed by mentorship with The Literary Consultancy. She
contributed a programme note for the ‘Woolf Works’ ballet at the Royal Opera House and a catalog essay for the major Woolf exhibition at the Tate St Ives, as well as speaking there at a conference.
Talland House is Humm’s debut novel. Shortlisted for the Impress and Fresher Fiction prizes (as Who Killed Mrs. Ramsay?) and Retreat West and Eyelands prizes, and longlisted for the Lucy Cavendish and Historical Writers’ Association / Sharpe Books Unpublished Novel Awards, Talland House is set for official release in August 2020 with She Writes Press.
She lives in London and is currently writing Rodin’s Mistress about the tumultuous love affair of the artists Gwen John and Rodin.
Find Maggie Humm on: Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads ~ Website
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