Discovery Films


Virginia Woolf's Godrevy Lighthouse DVD set

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Aspect ratio: 4:3 (full screen)

Classification: Exempt (E)

Colour: Yes

DVD region: 0 (all regions)

EAN: 5060104390808

Format: PAL

Genre: Documentary

Language: English

Narrated: Yes

Number of discs: 2

Product code: 1882

Release year: TBA

Running time: TBA


Virginia Woolf's Godrevy Lighthouse: The story of Godrevy Lighthouse and a look at the life story of its greatest admirer


This landmark DVD set for Discovery Films will include two discs:


  1. disc 1 will look in detail at Godrevy Lighthouse, focusing on its history and operation. We will examine the local geology, human history and the fascinating flora and fauna that exist on and around Godrevy Island and Godrevy headland. We will investigate the need for a lighthouse, the role of the RNLI in saving lives at sea, and describe several famous shipwrecks including "The Garland", which carried the possessions of King Charles I; The Nile; and the SS St Chamond (we will include underwater footage of this famous "train wreck"). In addition, the DVD will include interviews with Britain’s longest-serving lighthouse keeper and a helicopter pilot. In the DVD, we will land by helicopter to visit the lighthouse and then visit the lighthouse via boat. Also, this memorable DVD will feature stunning views of this popular lighthouse and the beautiful local coastline, both of which are popular with artists; and
  2. disc 2 will look at the life story of Virginia Woolf and how Godrevy Lighthouse influenced the writing of her acclaimed novel "To the Lighthouse". The DVD will take you on a voyage of discovery, as we follow Virginia in her footsteps, visiting the many notable homes that she lived in. We take you inside 22 Hyde Park Gate, London to the very room where Virginia was born and where her parents sadly died. In addition, the DVD will include footage inside all of the important rooms in Talland House, St Ives. Also, the DVD will include footage of Monks House in Rodmell, Sussex, from where Virginia set off to commit suicide in the River Ouse. We will show the riverbank where she tragically entered the water on that day, as well as the spot where teenagers eventually discovered her body.


We have undertaken research into the moment of Virginia’s suicide, including the actual time and tides in the tidal Ouse, together with a river engineering study to help explain what happened on that fateful day. In addition, the DVD will include footage inside the actual mortuary where Leonard Woolf sadly had to identify Virginia. This mortuary, which is now closed, has remained untouched almost since the time of Virginia’s suicide.


This DVD will be full of detail, focusing on Virginia’s London and Sussex homes, her holiday haunts, the happy times of her childhood summer holidays at Talland House and the importance of these experiences to her and how they influenced Virginia throughout her life. We have even managed to film the original and very valuable Trinity House Visitors Book for Godrevy Lighthouse, which features Virginia Stephen’s signature and details of her two trips "To the Lighthouse".


Many people and organisations have kindly helped with this DVD. These include the owners and occupants of several houses; the National Portrait Gallery; the Tate; the Royal Collection Trust; the Parliamentary Art Collection; the Estate of Patrick Heron; the British Library; the National Trust; Smith College; Houghton Library at Harvard University; the New York Public Library; Trinity House; the St Ives Archive; the Francis Frith Collection; Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre; Peter Harrington; Kensington and Chelsea Local Studies and Archives; Twelveheads Press; the Estate of Vanessa Bell, courtesy of Henrietta Garnett; the Society of Authors; the National Museums Liverpool; Random House; and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. In addition, several significant people have kindly agreed to be interviewed for our DVD. These include people who knew Virginia Woolf and notable academics and authorities on Virginia Woolf. This is the list of interviewees: Angelica Garnett, Virginia Woolf's niece; Cecil Woolf, nephew of Leonard and Virginia Woolf and publisher; Marie Bartholomew, the daughter of Leonard and Virginia Woolf’s gardener at Monks House; Professor Dame Hermione Lee, President of Wolfson College, the University of Oxford and author of acclaimed Virginia Woolf biography; Professor Leslie Hankins, the Department of English and Creative Writing, Cornell College and the a former President of the International Virginia Woolf Society; Dr Jean Moorcroft Wilson, author of several publications on Virginia Woolf, including Virginia Woolf, Life and London: A Biography of Place; and Vanessa Curtis, co-founder of the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain and author of several publications on Virginia Woolf, including The Hidden Houses of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell.


Several people have of course written biographies about Virginia Woolf. One of the intentions with our DVD is to try to create an evocative experience, one that hopefully engages viewers and takes them back to the past. We plan to do this in several ways, including by visiting Virginia’s homes and some of the places where she wrote many of her great literary works and where she spent happy or reclusive times during her eventful life. Many people who have written about Virginia Woolf have rightly focused on her remarkable writing. In addition, in several works writers have examined Virginia’s state of mind, her breakdowns, and her famous suicide. Undeniably, these factors helped to shape Virginia’s life and writing. However, Virginia also had a sense of fun of course, which we will focus on in this DVD. In addition, she certainly had a love of nature and her early years influenced her greatly. As far as possible, we hope that this DVD will help to transport you back to the time when Virginia lived so that you can experience what life was like for Virginia.


This 2-disc set should appeal to Woolfians and anyone who is interested in Godrevy Lighthouse. Where else can you go to be taken inside 22 Hyde Park Gate, Talland House, and Monks House; stand on the beach at St Ives where the young Virginia played; learn about the history and operation of Godrevy Lighthouse; visit the lighthouse by helicopter; view the lighthouse and the island after having landed on the island by boat; visit Freshwater; visit most of Virginia's London and Sussex homes; stand on the banks of the River Ouse; see and hear from notable people who knew Virginia and who are authorities on her; look at the Trinity House Visitors Book for Godrevy Lighthouse; see the original issue of the Hyde Park Gate News that mentions Virginia's trip "To the Lighthouse"; see Virginia's actual suicide letters; hear Virginia's voice; and take a boat trip "To the Lighthouse" while listening to Virginia's words from her acclaimed novel?


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