Actress Christina Carty has been cast to portray Virginia Woolf on season 4 of the popular period drama Downton Abbey.
Not much is known about Woolf’s role in the new season but according to an article in The Telegraph, Lady Edith meets Woolf at a party with the Bloomsbury group while working as a newspaper columnist in London. Several stills of Carty as Woolf have recently surfaced, suggesting she appears in more than one scene.
Since season 4 of the show is set in 1922, Woolf would have been 40 years old at the time and would have just published her novel “Jacob’s Room.” Although she was well-known in literary circles at the time, Woolf didn’t become famous until the publication of her widely popular novels “Mrs. Dalloway” and To The Lighthouse in 1925 and 1927.
Despite the fact that the characters on Downton Abbey are purely fictional, Woolf did often mingle with aristocrats in real life, such as Lady Ottoline Morrell and Vita Sackville-West (although Morrell and Sackville-West were rather unconventional aristocrats for their time).
The fourth season of Downton Abbey will premiere in the UK on Sept. 22, and in the US on Jan. 15, 2014.
According to imdb.com, although Woolf was portrayed by Nicole Kidman in the Oscar award-winning film “The Hours,” she has only appeared as a character in a television series a handful of times over the years:
♦ Muchachada Nui (2010): Epsiodes #4.7, #4.11 and #4.13. Played by Joaquin Reyes
♦ London (2004): Played by Harriet Walter
♦ Art That Shook the World (2002): Episode titled “Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.” Played by Joley Richardson
♦ Tom & Viv (1994): Played by Joanna McCallum
♦ A Room of One’s Own (1991): Played by Eileen Atkins
♦ Ten Great Writers of the Modern World (1988): Episode titled Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway.” Played by Eileen Atkins
♦ Une femme, une epoque (1981): Episode titled “Virginia Woolf.” Played by Maud Rayer.
Update: Jan 6, 2014: Unfortunately, Virginia Woolf’s cameo was cut from episode one of season four of Downton Abbey. Carty, as Virginia Woolf, still appeared briefly in a scene at a literary party but she only appeared for a few seconds and had no spoken lines or introduction.
Internet Movie Database: Virginia Woolf (Character): http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0009867/
Daily Mail; Things Heat Up For Lady Edith in Season Four of Downton Abbey While Her Sister Lady Mary Still Grieves Matthew’s Death; Sept 11 2013: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2418272/Downton-Abbey-season-4-Things-heat-Lady-Edith-Lady-Mary-grieves.html
The Telegraph; Downton Abbey: “We Don’t Want Anymore Deaths”; Sept 12 2013: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/downton-abbey/10302775/Downton-Abbey-We-dont-want-any-more-deaths.html