Eva Green and Gemma Arterton will star in drama Vita & Virginia, based on the true story of the love affair and friendship between literary icon Virginia Woolf and author Vita Sackville-West.
The film will be directed by British helmer Chanya Button (Burn, Burn, Burn) from a script by Eileen Atkins based on her own play of the same name, which debuted in 1992.
Virginia Stephen married Leonard Woolf in 1912, and then met socialite and author Vita Sackville-West, wife of Harold Nicolson, in 1922. They began a sexual relationship that lasted nearly a decade, as shown in their various letters and diary entries. After their affair ended, they remained friends until Woolf’s death in 1941. Green will play Woolf while Arterton will play Sackville-West.
The signs as letters between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West
"Do you really love me? Much? Passionately not reasonably?"
"But I do adore you — every part of you from heel to hair. Never will you shake me off, try as you may."
"I always have such need to merely talk to you. Even when I have nothing to talk about — with you I just seem to go right ahead and sort of invent it."
"I wish I didn’t love you so much. No I don’t though; that’s not true. I am glad I do. I don’t know what to say to you except that it tore the heart out of my body saying goodbye to you."
"Yes, I am glad you miss me, even if it is ‘damned unpleasant.'"
"You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don’t love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defenses. And I really don’t resent it."
"The flowers have come and are adorable, dusky, tortured, passionate like you—"
"I wish you could live in my brain for a week. It is washed with the most violent waves of emotion."
"You may have discovered entire new countries in your own soul."
"I find I get more and more disagreeably solitary; In fact I foresee the day when I shall have gone too far into myself that there will no longer be anything to be seen of me at all. Will you, please, remember to pull away the coverings from time to time?"
"I like the unreality of your mind; the whole thing is very splendid and voluptuous and absurd."
"I suppose it is good for the soul to be hurt and perplexed perpetually. I know at least that I miss you damnably: that is a good fixed star."
Was your telegram intended to convey a command or merely a message? I mean, should it be written “Love Virginia!” - an imperative, - or “Love. Virginia.”? Whichever way you read it, it was very nice and unexpected, and if a command it has been obeyed.
Tell me who you’ve been seeing; even if I have never heard of them–that will be all the better. I try to invent you for myself, but find I really have only 2 twigs and 3 straws to do it with. I can get the sensation of seeing you–hair, lips, colour, height, even, now and then, the eyes and hands, but I find you going off, to walk in the garden, to play tennis, to dig, to sit smoking and talking, and then I can’t invent a thing you say–This proves, what I could write reams about–how little we know anyone, only movements and gestures, nothing connected, continuous, profound.
Virginia Woolf in a letter to Vita Sackville-West, 7 September 1925