Stapleford Granary

Course description

21 September 2019 

11.00-17.00  £90 / £80 students

Tea, coffee and light lunch provided

Reading The Waves

In partnership with Literature Cambridge


The Waves (1931) is regarded by many as Virginia Woolf’s most remarkable novel. The book traces the life stories of six friends, three women and three men, told in six voices. Woolf explores their very different experiences, looking at how their lives interweave from childhood until old age. How do we perceive ourselves as we live; how do we shape the lives of our friends? How do people experience friendship and love, inhabit their bodies, and come to understand – or not – their own sense of self?

Three leading scholars help us to understand the form and ideas of this lyrical work.

Trudi Tate, Introduction to The Waves

Claire Nicholson, Clothing in The Waves

Alison Hennegan, Six Characters in Search of a Self 


The day will finish with a round-table seminar.


Alison Hennegan is a Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, specialising in nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and in Tragedy. She has published on Oscar Wilde, Elizabeth von Arnim, First World War writings, Benjamin Britten, gay fiction, and many other topics.



Claire Nicholson is Chair of the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain. She works on Woolf’s complex relationship with clothing and fashion and teaches widely on Woolf and Bloomsbury. She is co-editor of The Women Aesthetes 1870–1900, vol. 1 and of The Voyage Out: Centenary Perspectives



Trudi Tate is a Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge and Director of Literature Cambridge. She has published books and articles on Virginia Woolf, Ford Madox Ford, Tennyson, First World War literature, and Vietnamese refugee writers. Her most recent book is A Short History of the Crimean War (I. B. Tauris, 2018). She runs Literature Cambridge’s annual summer course on Virginia Woolf.



Banner photo credit: Tim Marshall, Unsplash.