The serene and maternal Mrs. Ramsay, the tragic yet absurd Mr. Ramsay, and their children and assorted guests are on holiday on the Isle of Skye. From the seemingly trivial postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse, Woolf constructs a remarkable, moving examination of the complex tensions and allegiances of family life and the conflict between men and women.
Begun as a “joke,” Orlando is Virginia Woolf’s fantastical biography of a poet who first appears as a sixteen-year-old boy at the court of Elizabeth I, and is left at the novel’s end a married woman in the year 1928. From Orlando’s early days as a page in the Elizabethan court, through first love, heartbreak, and gender transformation, we follow Woolf’s protagonist across centuries, through adventures in Constantinople and friendship with the poet Alexander Pope. All along, Orlando pursues literary success with her long poem, The Oak Tree.
Part love letter to Vita Sackville-West, part exploration of the art of biography, Orlando is one of Woolf’s most enduringly popular and entertaining works. It has inspired a number of adaptions, including a film version starring Tilda Swinton. This new edition, annotated and with an introduction by Maria DiBattista, author of Imagining Virginia Woolf, will deepen readers’ understanding of Woolf’s brilliant creation.
JACOB’S ROOM, Virginia Woolf’s third novel, marks her first foray into Modernist experimentation. The narrative traces Jacob’s childhood in Cornwall and his education at Cambridge, culminating in an evocative portrait of his adult life in London and abroad. Jacob is romantically torn between the artistic Florinda, the upper-middle-class Clara Durrant and the beautiful, but married, Sandra Wentworth Williams. This tissue of romance, though, is torn apart by the cataclysmic events of the First World War. Woolf poignantly depicts the life of Jacob through a sequence of alternating perspectives that combine letters, fragments of dialogue and the ephemeral impressions of those nearest to him. Jacob’s voice becomes the absent centre of one of Modernism’s first great novels.
This book is published by Booklassic which brings young readers closer to classic literature globally.
Wanting to “ease [her] brain” after writing The Waves, Virginia Woolf turned to the correspondence between poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning—and found in their love letters an unexpected inspiration in their shared joy and affection for Flush, their cocker spaniel. As she put it, “the figure of their dog made me laugh so I couldn’t resist making him a Life.”
Here Flush tells his story as well as the love story of Robert Browning and his wife, complete with horrid maids, bullying fellow dogs, mysterious illnesses, and clandestine romance. Along the way, plenty of other topics are explored, including the barriers between man and animal, the miseries of London, and the oppression of women by “father and tyrants.”
Imbued with Woolf’s philosophical views about the repressive Victorian mindset, Flush is a unique and imaginative story of a dog, of what it means to love—spiritually, emotionally, and unconditionally—and of what it means to human. A unique literary treat, it is “a brilliant biographical tour de force” (The New York Times) and “a canine classic” (The Guardian).
"Mrs. Dalloway was the first novel to split the atom. If the novel before Mrs. Dalloway aspired to immensities of scope and scale, to heroic journeys across vast landscapes, with Mrs. Dalloway Virginia Woolf insisted that it could also locate the enormous within the everyday; that a life of errands and party-giving was every bit as viable a subject as any life lived anywhere; and that should any human act in any novel seem unimportant, it has merely been inadequately observed. The novel as an art form has not been the same since.
"Mrs. Dalloway also contains some of the most beautiful, complex, incisive and idiosyncratic sentences ever written in English, and that alone would be reason enough to read it. It is one of the most moving, revolutionary artworks of the twentieth century."
--Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours
From 1918 to 1941, even as she penned masterpiece upon masterpiece, Virginia Woolf kept a diary. She poured into it her thoughts, feelings, concerns, objections, interests, and disappointments—resulting in twenty-six volumes that give unprecedented insight into the mind of a genius.
Collected here are the passages most relevant to her work and writing. From exercises in the craft of writing; to locations, events, and people that might inspire scenes in her fiction; to meditations on the work of others, A Writer’s Diary takes a fascinating look at how one of the greatest novelists of the English language prepared, practiced, studied, and felt as she created literary history.
Edited by and with a preface from her husband, Leonard Woolf, A Writer’s Diary is a captivating must-read study for Woolf fans, aspiring writers, and anyone who has ever wanted a glimpse behind the curtain of brilliance.
Annotated and with an introduction by Susan Gubar
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.
"Throw it away, dear, do," she said, as they got into the road; but Jacob squirmed away from her; and the wind rising, she took out her bonnet-pin, looked at the sea, and stuck it in afresh. The wind was rising. The waves showed that uneasiness, like something alive, restive, expecting the whip, of waves before a storm. The fishing-boats were leaning to the water's brim. A pale yellow light shot across the purple sea; and shut. The lighthouse was lit. "Come along," said Betty Flanders. The sun blazed in their faces and gilded the great blackberries trembling out from the hedge which Archer tried to strip as they passed.
"Don't lag, boys. You've got nothing to change into," said Betty, pulling them along, and looking with uneasy emotion at the earth displayed so luridly, with sudden sparks of light from greenhouses in gardens, with a sort of yellow and black mutability, against this blazing sunset, this astonishing agitation and vitality of colour, which stirred Betty Flanders and made her think of responsibility and danger. She gripped Archer's hand. On she plodded up the hill.
Considered Woolf's first original and distinguished work, Jacob's Room (1922) concerns a sensitive young man, Jacob Flanders, who finds himself unable to reconcile his love of classical culture with the chaotic reality of World War I. His story unfolds in a series of brief impressions and conversations, stream-of-consciousness narratives, internal monologues, and letters.
This inexpensive edition of Woolf's intense and affecting novel offers readers a first-rate example of subtle style and innovative techniques for which the author is admired.
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.
When we meet her, Mrs. Clarissa Dalloway is preoccupied with the last-minute details of party preparation, though in her mind she is something much more than a perfect society hostess. As she readies her house, she is flooded with remembrances of faraway times. And, met with the realities of the present, Clarissa reexamines the choices that brought her there, hesitantly looking ahead to the unfamiliar work of growing old.
It is a work of art that still inspires today, leading author Michael Cunningham, for example, to write his bestseller The Hours. As Cunningham explains: “Mrs. Dalloway was the first novel to split the atom. If the novel before Mrs. Dalloway aspired to immensities of scope and scale, to heroic journeys across vast landscapes, with Mrs. Dalloway Virginia Woolf insisted that it could also locate the enormous within the everyday; that a life of errands and party-giving was every bit as viable a subject as any life lived anywhere; and that should any human act in any novel seem unimportant, it has merely been inadequately observed. The novel as an art form has not been the same since.”
This edition, annotated and introduced by Bonnie Scott, offers notes on the text as well as invaluable critical analysis, and suggestions for further reading.
The young Rachel Vinrance leaves England on her father’s ship, the Euphrosyne, on a voyage to South America. Despite being accompanied by her father and her aunt and uncle, Helen and Ridley Ambrose, the passage leads to Rachel’s awakening, both as a woman and as an individual. As the ship is wracked by storms, she finds herself romantically entangled with Richard Dalloway, an encounter that leaves her troubled and confused.
Upon arrival in Santa Marina, Rachel strikes off alone to contemplate her identity, and finds finds herself with the aspiring novelist Terence Hewet. As the emerging romance between the two is complicated by their disagreements about gender and art, another storm, and tragedy, appear on the horizon.
Annotated and with an introduction by Jane Marcus
'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.