Virginia Woolf’s literary burn book has just sold for £21k.
Last month, we learned of the existence of a book of very strong literary takes by Virginia Woolf, Rebecca West, Hillaire Belloc, and 36 other 20th-century writers. Really and Truly: A Book of Literary Confessions featured handwritten answers to a set of quiz questions like, “Who is the worst living poet?” and “Who is a deceased man of letters whose character you most dislike?” (So, the Literary Twitter version of 36 Questions that Lead to Love.) The volume was originally estimated to sell for £4000-6000, but at auction this week it went for a whopping £21k.
Two unsurprising takeaways: people love Woolf, and people love gossip. It makes me wonder how much a contemporary volume would be worth—of course, if the contents were kept secret until a century later. Maybe that can be Ocean Vuong’s Future Library manuscript.
Take a look at Woolf’s answers below.