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Virginia Woolf and the Suppressed Chapter from Dostoevsky's The Demons: Lecture and Reading


A reading of Virginia Woolf's translation of the suppressed chapter, “Stavrogin’s Confession”, from Dostoevsky’s novel Demons. The reading by Samuel Collings, who will play the role of Stavrogin in a new dramatisation of the book opening in London in October and produced by SplitMoon Theatre, will be preceded by a talk on the book and the suppressed chapter by Irina Kirillova, and a talk on Virginia Woolf's relationship with the book and Hogarth Press, by Dr Nicola Wilson. 

Stavrogin’s Confession was translated into English for the very first time by Virginia Woolf and Samuel Koteliansky. The Confession was published by Hogarth Press in 1922 together with Dostoevsky’s “The Plan of the Life of a Great Sinner”. 

The evening will be introduced by Professor Irina Kirillova (Dostoevsky) and Dr Nicola Wilson who has just curated an exhibition celebrating the Centenary of the Hogarth Press at Reading. Pushkin House will thus bring together Bloomsbury’s literary past with Russia’s literary heritage.

Samuel Collings is currently appearing in Boudica with Gina McKee at Shakespeare’s Globe, where last season he played Jesus in The Inn at Lydda. Further stage credits include Antony and Cleopatra (Royal Shakespeare Company/New York/Miami). Edward IILady Windermere’s Fan and The Lady From the Sea (Royal Exchange) as well as the stage premiere of the award-winning BBC TV comedy series Waiting For God.  He also featured in War and Peace BBC Radio 4 and was also a member of the Demons Workshop for SplitMoon at the Jerwood Space and will play Stavrogin in Demons.

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Dr Nicola Wilson is Lecturer in Book and Publishing Studies at the University of Reading. She co-organised this year's Annual International Virginia Woolf conference and curated an exhibition celebrating the centenary of the Hogarth Press at Reading. Her research focuses on twentieth-century print culture, publishers' archives, and working-class writing. Her first book is Home in British Working-Class Fiction (Ashgate, 2015) and her current book project, funded by the British Academy, is Books by Mail: The Book Society, 1929-69. She has written book chapters and articles on colonial editions, circulating libraries, publishers' archives and the Hogarth Press. She is a co-director of the Modernist Archives Publishing Project (MAPP) and General Editor of the Ethel Carnie Holdsworth series.


Irina Kirillova MA, MBE, is Fellow and Reader Emerita of Newnham College, Cambridge, where she taught Russian literature, specialising in Dostoevsky. Her book 'The Image of Christ in Dostoevsky's Writing' was published in Moscow in 2010. She has also lectured extensively on Dostoevsky in Russia. She is International Trustee of the State Library of Foreign Literature, Moscow and was a director at St. Andrew's (Ecumenical) Trust from 1999 to 2013. 


Dostoevsky’s DEMONS produced by SplitMoon Theatre plays from 25 Oct to 11 Nov 2017 in the highly atmospheric setting of St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch. This new dramatisation by Peter Sturm is based on the translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. Peter has worked on several Dostoevsky productions in Germany and Switzerland including Brothers KaramazovThe Dream of a Ridiculous Man and The Grand Inquisitor.

Please note that Pushkin House will hold the tickets of latecomers for twenty minutes following the event start time, after which unclaimed tickets will be released. 

If you are running late, please contact us in order to avoid this.