As part of the May package we reached out to Bella Newman who was isolating at her parents home in Pennsylvania. The choice to send Bonjour Tristesse alongside Virginia Woolf came at a time where most of us were inside our family homes, missing nature or being able to get lost in it. We wanted to send books that could capture escapism and with many of us not being able to focus during isolation on books, these books are light and easy to read.
We also printed an essay by Audre Lorde and folded it inside the pages of the books.
Kew Gardens was the first publication to propel The Hogarth Press from a dining room hobby into a publishing enterprise. Virginia and Leonard Woolf hand stitched all one hundred and fifty copies of the first edition from their house in 1919 while Virginia’s sister, Vanessa Bell, designed the original cover. Woolf was no stranger to spending long periods of time alone at home overlooking Kew Gardens, reflecting on her immediate surroundings and the natural world beyond it. Our cover artist Bella Newman, who is currently isolating at her family home in the countryside of Pennsylvania, shares both Woolf’s affinity with nature and her keen focus on women in her work. This small book remains an inspiring example of how loneliness and isolation can be transmuted into a deep connection with the universal human experience that makes writing and sharing it so timeless and powerful. The stories give a sense of interconnectedness between humans and the natural world that offers relief, solace and hope at a time when this relationship feels more fractured than ever.
We are now sold out of the full package. But to receive the small book designed by Bella Newman sign up here.