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Sussex archives consulted for the film ‘The Hours’

* 18 March 2003 *

Sussex archives consulted for the film ‘The Hours’

The film 'The Hours' - which is up for nine Oscars this Sunday (23 March) - was aided by research using archives on Virginia Woolf held at the University of Sussex.

Paramount Pictures consulted the archives for background information on the Hogarth Press, which was co-run by Virginia and her husband Leonard.

"We have an unrivalled collection of papers relating to the lives of Leonard and Virginia," says Dorothy Sheridan, Special Collections Manager. "People come from all over the world to use them."

The assistant art director working on the film that stars Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore visited the archive in April 2001.

Included in the archive are the Monks House Papers, a collection of Virginia Woolf's letters, manuscripts and press cuttings.

They contain handwritten notes for Mrs Dalloway, the novel which links the characters in 'The Hours'. Fragments in the notebook include, "he had a mind, before he met Mrs Dalloway" and "really he preferred Daisy."

A collection of the condolence letters sent to Leonard after Virginia's death is currently being edited by Sybil Oldfield, Research Reader in English at the University of Sussex.

"From the moment I discovered among the Monks House Papers the condolence letters written to Leonard Woolf on the death of Virginia, I realised that here was a treasure trove," says Oldfield.

There are further connections between the film and the University of Sussex. Quentin Bell, Virginia's nephew who is portrayed in the film as a child, was a Professor of the History and Theory of Art at Sussex from 1967-1975. Papers concerning the biography he wrote of his aunt are also held in the library special collection.

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University of Sussex,
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Fax 01273 877456,
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