One of the greatest and most complicated love stories of all time is finally being made into a feature film. Famed writer Virginia Woolf has had many on-screen portrayals (including The Hours) of her life and death, but they often leave out the fact that she was bisexual and had a long-term relationship with another writer, Vita Sackville-West. Thankfully, British director Chanya Button (Burn Burn Burn) has come on board a new film about their romance called Vita & Virginia.
Vita Sackville-WestPhoto by Lenare/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Based on a play by Dame Eileen Atkins, the feature will follow “the romance and friendship” between the two women, who were both married to men and had various other partners throughout their lives. The 1992 BBC Two mini-series Portrait of a Marriage touched upon Vita’s relationship with another lover, Violet Trefusis, but placed the focus largely on Vita’s marriage to Harold Nicholson, as he wrote the book on which the series was based.
Janet McTeer as Vita (right) and Cathryn Harrison (left) as Violet Trefusis
One of Virginia Woolf’s most beloved novels, Orlando, was a veiled look at her time with Vita, and it is remains one of the best and earliest gender-bending tales of our time. First published in 1928, a film adaptation starring Tilda Swinton in the titular role was well-received. And considering that perfect casting, we can only hope the same will be true for Vita & Virginia.
Virginia WoolfPhoto by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images
If you can’t wait to hear more about these women, there are several books you can check out that detail their romance, including Vita and Virginia: The Work and Friendship of V. Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf by Suzanne Raitt, Desiring Women: The Partnership of Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West by Karyn Z. Sproles and The Letters of Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Woolf. I highly recommend the latter, as it’s the two of them in their own words. Lesbian drama transcends time!