WOOLF, Virginia (1882-1941) and Vanessa BELL (1879-1961, artist). Monday or Tuesday. Richmond, Surrey: F.T. McDermott at The Prompt Press for Leonard and Virginia Woolf at The Hogarth Press, 1921.
8° (185 x 122mm). 4 full-page woodcut illustrations by and after Bell. (Lightly browned, offsetting from illustrations onto text.) Original cloth-backed paper-covered boards, the upper board with a woodcut design by and after Bell (light discoloration on boards, extremities lightly rubbed). Provenance: The Holliday Bookshop, New York (bookseller's label).
FIRST EDITION, ONE OF 1,000 COPIES. Monday or Tuesday contained eight stories by Woolf, of which five--'A Haunted House', 'A Society', 'Monday or Tuesday', 'The String Quartet', and 'Blue & Green'--were first published here, and another ('The Mark on the Wall' which first appeared in Two Stories (Richmond: 1917)), which was revised for this work. The volume was printed for the Woolfs by McDermott (who had previously advised them on the technical aspects of printing) 'with Leonard's help and anguish' (Woolmer p.xxvi). McDermott's efforts were not well received by the author however; on 1 March 1921 Virginia recorded that, 'My book is back from the printer, who has added the final eyesore--a brown back. There it is in masses, & I can't read it, for fear of howlers, printers as well as writers' (V. Woolf The Diary (London: 1978), II, p.96), and in April 1921 she wrote to Violet Dickinson, 'We are much ashamed of the printing of [Monday or Tuesday]. We were persuaded to let a little printer here try his hand at it, and he has produced an odious object, which leaves black stains wherever it touches' (V. Woolf The Letters (London: 1976), II, p.466). Despite these objections, the book's reception amongst literary circles was positive: 'L[eonard]. met me at tea & dropped into my ear the astonishing news that Lytton [Strachey] thinks the String Quartet ''marvellous''. This came through Ralph, who doesn't exaggerate, to whom Lytton need not lie; & did for a moment flood every nerve with pleasure, so much so that I forgot to buy my coffee and walked over Hungerford Bridge twanging & vibrating [...] And then there was Roger [Fry] who thinks that I'm on the track of real discoveries, & certainly not a fake [...] What I had feared was that I was dismissed as negligible' (The Diary II, p.109). Further recognition of the book's importance was to come in August 1921: '[T.S.] Eliot astounded me by praising Monday & Tuesday! This really delighted me. He picked out the String Quartet, especially the end of it. ''Very good'' he said, & meant it, I think. The Unwritten Novel he thought not successful: Haunted House ''extremely interesting'' ' (The Diary II, p.125). The early sales were promising--300 copies to 15 April 1921--but by March 1924 only 343 further copies had been sold (cf. Willis Leonard and Virginia Woolf as Publishers (Charlottesville and London: 1992), p.53). Kirkpatrick Virginia Woolf (1997) A5a; Woolmer The Hogarth Press 1917-1946 (1986) 17.