Once described as the 'longest and most charming love-letter in literature', the Virginia Woolf's Orlando is edited by Brenda Lyons with an introduction and notes by Sandra M. Gilbert in Penguin Classics. Written for Virginia Woolf's intimate friend, the charismatic writer Vita Sackville-West, Orlando is a playful mock 'biography' of a chameleonic historical figure, immortal and ageless, who changes sex and identity on a whim. First masculine, then feminine, Orlando begins life as a young sixteenth-century nobleman, then gallops through three centuries to end up as a woman writer in Virginia Woolf's own time. A wry commentary on gender roles and modes of history, Orlando is also, in Woolf's own words, a light-hearted 'writer's holiday' which delights in ambiguity and capriciousness.
This is the story of the Ramsays, based on Virginia Woolf's own family. Written in the stream-of-consciousness style, the book examines family relationships, the traditional roles of the sexes, the tensions and love between husband and wife and the resentment children can feel for their parents.
Tracing the lives of a group of friends, this novel follows their development from childhood to youth and middle age. Separately and together, they query the relationship of past to present, and the meaning of life itself. The author also wrote "The Voyage Out" and "Mrs Dalloway".
Jacob Flanders is a young man passing from adolescence to adulthood in a hazy rite of passage. From his boyhood on the windswept shores of Cornwall to his days as a student at Cambridge, his elusive, chameleon-like character is gradually revealed in a stream of loosely related incidents and impressions: whether through his mother's letters, his friend's conversations, or the thoughts of the women who adore him. Then we glimpse him as a young man, caught under the glare of a London streetlamp. It is 1914, he is twenty-six, and Europe is on the brink of war ...
This tantalizing novel heralded Woolf's bold departure from the traditional methods of the novel, with its experimental play between time and reality, memory and desire.
Virginia Woolf tested the boundaries of fiction in these short stories, developing a new language of sensation, feeling and thought, and recreating in words the 'swarm and confusion of life'. Defying categorization, the stories range from the more traditional narrative style of 'Solid Objects' through the fragile impressionism of 'Kew Gardens' to the abstract exploration of consciousness in 'The Mark on the Wall'.
A Room of One's Own, based on a lecture given at Girton College Cambridge, is one of the great feminist polemics, ranging in its themes from Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte to the silent fate of Shakespeare's gifted (imaginary) sister and the effects of poverty and sexual constraint on female creativity. Three Guineas was published almost a decade later and breaks new ground in its discussion of men, militarism and women's attitudes towards war. These two pieces reveal Virginia Woolf's fiery spirit and sophisticated wit and confirm her status as a highly inspirational essayist.
Katharine Hilbery is beautiful and privileged but uncertain of her future. She must choose between becoming engaged to the oddly prosaic poet William, and her dangerous attraction to the lower-class Ralph. As she struggles to decide, the lives of two other women - women's rights activist Mary Datchet and Katharine's mother, struggling to weave together the documents, events and memories of her father's life into a biography - impinge on hers with unexpected and intriguing consequences. Virginia Woolf's light, delicate second novel is both a love story and a social comedy, yet it also subtly undermines these traditions, questioning a woman's role and the very nature of experience.
A party of English people are aboard the Euphrosyne, bound for South America. Among them is Rachel Vinrace, a young girl, innocent and wholly ignorant of the world of politics and society, books, sex, love and marriage. She is a free spirit half-caught, momentarily and passionately, by Terence Hewet, an aspiring writer who she meets in Santa Marina. But their engagement is to end abruptly, and tragically. Virginia Woolf's first novel, published in 1915, is a haunting exploration of a young woman's mind, signalling the beginning of her fascination with capturing the mysteries and complexities of the inner life.
'The Germans were over this house last night and the night before that. Here they are again. It is a queer experience, lying in the dark and listening to the zoom of a hornet, which may at any moment sting you to death. It is a sound that interrupts cool and consecutive thinking about peace. Yet it is a sound - far more than prayers and anthems - that should compel one to think about peace. Unless we can think peace into existence we - not this one body in this one bed but millions of bodies yet to be born - will lie in the same darkness and hear the same death rattle overhead.' Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.
'People should not leave looking-glasses hanging in their rooms any more than they should leave open cheque books or letters confessing some hideous crime.' 'If she concealed so much and knew so much one must prize her open with the first tool that came to hand - the imagination.' Virginia Woolf's writing tested the boundaries of modern fiction, exploring the depths of human consciousness and creating a new language of sensation and thought. Sometimes impressionistic, sometimes experimental, sometimes brutally cruel, sometimes surprisingly warm and funny, these five stories describe love lost, friendships formed and lives questioned.
This book includes The Lady in the Looking Glass, A Society, The Mark on the Wall, Solid Objects and Lappin and Lapinova.
A Room of One's Own, based on a lecture given at Girton College Cambridge, is one of the great feminist polemics. Woolf's blazing polemic on female creativity, the role of the writer, and the silent fate of Shakespeare's imaginary sister remains a powerful reminder of a woman's need for financial independence and intellectual freedom.
The text in this edition is accompanied by explanatory footnotes.
Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are.
'Things are not simple but complex. If he bit Mr. Browning he bit her too. Hatred is not hatred; hatred is also love.'Virginia Woolf's delightful biography of the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning's spaniel, which asks what it means to be human - and to be dog.One of 46 new books in the bestselling Little Black Classics series, to celebrate the first ever Penguin Classic in 1946. Each book gives readers a taste of the Classics' huge range and diversity, with works from around the world and across the centuries - including fables, decadence, heartbreak, tall tales, satire, ghosts, battles and elephants.
Outwardly a novel about life in a country-house in whose grounds there is to be a pageant, Between the Acts is also a striking evocation of English experience in the months leading up to the Second World War.
Through dialogue, humour and the passionate musings of the characters, Virginia Woolf explores how a community is formed (and scattered) over time. The pageant, a series of scenes from English history, and the private dramas that go on between the acts, are closely interlinked. Through the figure of Miss La Trobe, and author of the pageant, Virginia Woolf questions imperialist assumptions and, at the same time, re-creates the elusive role of the artist.
On a June morning in 1923, Clarissa Dalloway is preparing for a party and remembering her past. Elsewhere in London, Septimus Smith is suffering from shell-shock and on the brink of madness. Their days interweave and their lives converge as the party reaches its glittering climax. Here, Virginia Woolf perfected the interior monologue and the novel's lyricism and accessibility have made it one of her most popular works.
This edition is based on the original British edition, and is edited by Stella McNichol with an introduction and notes by Elaine Showalter. Contains a map, explanatory footnotes, suggestions for further reading of acclaimed criticisms and references, as well as a discussion of the textual notes and substantive emendations in the appendix.
This novel is an extraordinarily poignant evocation of a lost happiness that lives on in the memory. For years now the Ramsays have spent every summer in their holiday home in Scotland, and they expect these summers will go on forever.
In this, her most autobiographical novel, Virginia Woolf captures the intensity of childhood longing and delight, and the shifting complexity of adult relationships. From an acute awareness of transcience, she creates an enduring work of art.
This edition is based on the original British edition published by Hogarth Press in 1927, and is edited by Stella McNichol with an introduction and notes by Hermione Lee. Contains explanatory footnotes, suggestions for further reading of acclaimed criticisms and references, as well as a discussion of the substantive emendations and variant readings in the appendix.
Orlando has always been an outsider...
His longing for passion, adventure and fulfilment takes him out of his own time. Chasing a dream through the centuries, he bounds from Elizabethan England amd imperial Turkey to the modern world.
Will he find happiness with the exotic Russian Princess Sasha? Or is the dashing explorer Shelmerdine the ideal man? And what form will Orlando take on the journey - a nobleman, traveller, writer? Man or... woman?
This edition is based on the original British (Hogarth) edition, and is edited by Brenda Lyons with an introduction and notes by Sandra M. Gilbert. Contains illustrations, explanatory footnotes, an index, suggestions for further reading of acclaimed criticisms and references, as well as a discussion of the textual notes and substantive emendations in the appendix.
THE MOST POPULAR OF WOOLF'S NOVELS DURING HER LIFETIME, THE YEARS IS AT ONCE THESTORY OF THREE GENERATIONS OF A FAMILY, THE PARGITERS, AND A SAVAGE INDICTMENT OF BRITISH SOCIETY AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY. A WORK OF FLUID AND DAZZLING LUCIDITY, THE NOVEL DOES NOT FOLLOW A SIMPLE LINE OF DEVELOPMENT BUT IS VARIED AND CONSTANTLY CHANGING, EMPHASIZING ITS NARRATIVE DISCONTINUITY. AS THE CHARACTERS FOLLOW THEIR DAILY RITUALS THEY STRUGGLE TO UNDERSTAND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THEIR OWN LIVES AND EXPERIENCES IN RELATION TO EACH OTHER AND TOTHE HISTORICAL EVENTS GOING ON AROUND THEM. THERE IS OFTEN FAILURE YET THERE IS ALSO HOPE IN THE RECOGNITION THAT THE FUTURE CAN BE DIFFERENT FROM THE PAST.