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Woolf Virginia (2017 Most Popular Book Lists)

$22.95
1. Night and Day
$9.95
2. Jacob's Room
$28.71
3. The Voyage Out
$4.99
4. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
$6.21
5. To the Lighthouse (Annotated)
$8.73
6. Mrs. Dalloway (Annotated)
$0.96
7. Orlando (Wordsworth Classics)
$8.53
8. A Room of One's Own (Annotated)
$2.72
9. The Complete Shorter Fiction of
$7.96
10. Moments of Being
$19.79
11. The Waves (Paperback)
$1.53
12. Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life
$7.99
13. Virginia Woolf: A Writer's Life
$7.98
14. Orlando (Annotated): A Biography
$13.51
15. Virginia Woolf
$10.76
16. The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Vol.
$14.82
17. The Selected Works of Virginia
$7.95
18. The Second Common Reader: Annotated
$17.50
19. The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Vol.
$7.71
20. The Voyage Out (Oxford World's

2017 buy books shipping

1. Night and Day
by Virginia Woolf
Paperback: 288 Pages (2010-03-06)
list price: US$36.65 -- used & new: US$22.95
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 1153742888
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: Young women/ Fiction; Biographers/ Fiction; Mothers and daughters/ Fiction; London (England); Mothers and daughters; Domestic fiction; Love stories; Triangles (Interpersonal relations); Young women; Biographers; Poets - Family relationships; Poets; Man-woman relationships; Fiction / Classics; Fiction / Literary; Fiction / General; ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars You will want to read this Night and Day!
A delightful edition of a masterpiece!Woolf was a profound writer and she stories are deep and complex.She wrote about the feelings that most of us have experienced at one time or another.This is why her work is considered by so many of her readers as something very special.Understood by women everywhere and a book that women should read at least once, its also a good book for men to read, to help understand women.

To understand love, read Night and Day.

Profound!

5-0 out of 5 stars A charming edition, and well recommended, a book that you must read!
Others have done a great job reviewing this wonderful book, I'll only add that I was just as happy re-reading this masterpiece.

This is a charming edition, and I loved the cover!

3-0 out of 5 stars Woolf's flawed second novel
Katherine Hilbery has everything - she is beautiful, well-born, intelligent, kind, reflective, sensitive, though not in a sentimental way, but... bored. She must find a purpose in life, other than being of a wealthy Chelsea family and the descendant of a famous poet, and she must choose between the weak-willed sophisticate William and the tempestuous Ralph. Though the love of the self-sacrificing suffragette Mary Datchet for Ralph and the upcoming law-clerk's failure to realise he is in thrall to Katherine provide a few twists and turns, such is in essence the plot of Night and Day.

All would be well if this were the psychological drama it appears to be, set in an atmospheric turn-of-the-century London. But Virginia Woolf also pursues a political message: in this novel, women answer to male stereotypes and vice versa. The women are logical and career-minded, the men coy and romantic. This might be fine, and it makes for a few good scenes, except that it doesn't quite fit the characters. Mary's ill-starred fate seems gratuitous. Katherine's interest in mathematics is too obviously a code, never properly illustrated. And her falling in love with Ralph isn't credible - she is too good for him, and it is all too sudden. It seems Night and Day can't quite choose what it is supposed to be: psychological or social comedy. It lacks the simplicity of Woolf's first novel The Voyage Out, the wistfulness of Mrs Dalloway, or the experimental complexity of her later works.

5-0 out of 5 stars a gift of virginia woolf
the gift recipient of this book was very happy with it and reads a lot of Virginia Woolf.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite books of all time.
I have read this book many times over the past 25 years at different stages in my life and I have loved it every time.Virginia Woolf is my favorite author (this and To The Lighthouse are her best works, in my opinion), and have given the book to my daughter, Katharine, for Christmas.(Guess who she's named after?)This book is an "easy" read, unlike many of Virginia Woolf's other novels, and follows a conventional style.However, there is nothing conventional about her writing; I have yet to come across another novelist with her ability to touch on everyday life with such subtlety and nuance.The characters in this book are very likeable - it's as if I have known them in my own life.Love this book! ... Read more


2. Jacob's Room
by Virginia Woolf
Paperback: 126 Pages (2010-03-28)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$9.95
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 1451578024
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
"Jacob's Room," an impressionistic novel by Virginia Woolf, was first published in 1922. Experimental in form, "Jacob's Room" centers on the character of Jacob Flanders, a lonely young man unable to synthesize his love of classical culture with the chaotic reality of contemporary society and turbulence of World War I. In "Jacob's Room," Virginia Woolf examines character development and the meaning of a life by means of a series of brief impressions and conversations, stream of consciousness, internal monologue, and Jacob's letters to his mother. The story is told mainly through the perspectives of the women in Jacob's life, including the repressed upper-middle-class Clara Durrant and the uninhibited young art student Florinda, with whom he has an affair. In zealous pursuit of classicism, Jacob studies the ancients at Cambridge and travels to Greece. Jacob's time in London forms a large part of the story, though towards the end of the novel he travels to Italy, then Greece. He either idealizes or ignores the women who admire him. Jacob eventually dies in the war and fittingly, at the end of the novel all that remains of Jacob's life are scattered objects in an abandoned room. The novel is a departure from Virginia Woolf's earlier novels, "The Voyage Out" and "Night and Day," which are more conventional in form. The work is seen as an important modernist text; its experimental form is viewed as a progression of the innovative writing style Virginia Woolf presented in her earlier collection of short fiction titled "Monday or Tuesday." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

3-0 out of 5 stars Well-written, but not for someone looking for a good story
Let me start off by saying that I read this book for a university class, and that I probably wouldn't have this book from front to back otherwise.That being said, after finishing it for the course, I think the book will appeal to some readers but seem like nonsense to others.Anyone looking for a straight-forward, clear story with a "traditional" literary storyline will be sorely dissappointed.The plot is really choppy and the "storyline" (if you can call it that) doesn't really matter.

Rather, the whole point of the book is it's prose, and Woolf's momentary glances on life and the smallest details of human living.It's also very dense, full of different narrators, and at many times difficult to follow and slow to get through.But some short moments contain brilliance.I might suggest choosing another Woolf novel to read, unless you're looking for a different type of beauty, in which case, choose this one.

3-0 out of 5 stars I love Virginia Woolfs style!
I found this book to be a pleasant read and I enjoyed Virginia Woolfs discriptive witing style.

4-0 out of 5 stars A hundred snapshots of a man who can't be seen...

In *Jacob's Room* Virginia Woolf creates a world of quiet desperation. Each character shoulders his or her share of the universal burden we're born to bear as human beings: a mutual exclusivity that cannot be breached no matter how close we get to another. We are separate, lonely creatures, each ultimately unknowable to every other.

An ominous atmosphere of alienation hangs heavily over *Jacob's Room* that is only aggravated by the unceasing attempt of Woolf's dramatis personae to understand Jacob--and Jacob's attempt to understand those trying to understand him. In spite of the best of efforts and intentions of everyone involved--it's all heartbreakingly futile.

*Jacob's Room* is basically a coming-of-age novel but told in a remote omniscient voice that takes up and drops the viewpoints of everyone in Jacob's life, including Jacob, and, ironically, the author herself, who implies that not even she knows exactly who Jacob really is. The writing is sedate, elliptical, nothing much happens in the novel, or it happens "off-stage," leaving its impression on the sediment of what we can see in the superficial mannerisms and conversations of those around us.

Woolf's narration hops around from character to character as if trying to get as many testimonies as possible, as if, in the gestalt of viewpoints, a conclusive portrait of Jacob might emerge. In the end, he's as much of an enigma as ever--and the most remarkable thing is that he's a perfectly ordinary, even rather dull, specimen of human being.

Unless you share Woolf's reflective sensibility, this can be a frustrating "so-what?" sort of book. Beautifully written, *Jacob's Room* is essentially a disquieting meditation on human life, death, and identity in the face of a cold impersonal eternity. It's a cry of despair, almost suicidal at times, neither loud, nor dramatic, and all the more powerful for its quiet certainty of the hopelessness of it all.

3-0 out of 5 stars Jacob's Nonlinear Narrated Discontented World
By far the greatest virtue of this book is Woolf's deviation from adopting a traditional narrative structure. Although Jacob is the main character of the story, the narration does not solely focus on him, or anything remotely connected to him, or for that matter proceed in a straight chronological order. At least once in the course of the story, the narration goes backwards, forward, digresses, ends abruptly, unfinished, omits transitions, constantly switches what is being narrated, addresses the reader, frequently alternates between different characters point of views, and ends ambiguously.

On the other hand, the content, of what is being narrated, falls woefully short of matching the innovative narration style Woolf adopts. Nothing of any kind of significance occurs in the book; to be quite honest, the events are rather mundane. Two incidents that happened in Jacob's childhood are described, he goes off to college, attends a couple social events, has a couple relationships with girls, travels to France and Italy, and gets into a couple of fights with his friend Bonamy.

So, since one aspect of the novel (the structure) speaks in its favor, and another aspect (the content) speaks against it, is this a book you should read?To be fair, I should mention that there is actually more content in the book, it just happens to be implicitly implied throughout most of the book, but becomes apparent towards the book's end.

Buried within the story's unspectacular content, is Woolf's discontent with society. She ridicules the writing of letters, the leaving of calling cards, gossip, and women's obsession with fashion. Jacob calls people beastly, feels disgusted at social gatherings he attends, the describes the happiest moment of his life as be completely isolated from humanity and society atop a mountain, has an interest in politics because he wants to change the world, and as war descend upon the world, he leaves his possessions behind and bids society adieu. And perhaps the most important thing to point out is that pretty much everyone that sees Jacob, comments that he is beautiful. I think that his outer appearance is a reflection of his inner self; he is beautiful because by being aloof and critical of society, he has not been tainted by it.

All this can be read as Woolf agreeing with Rousseau about the corrosive affects society has on man. Society instead of ennobling and enlightening man has quite the opposite effect; society corrupts man.

So, if breaking with tradition and discontentment are your cup of tea, then this is the book for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Fiction by Woolf - Or Close To Her Best
Virginia Woolf (1882 - 1941) was a well known writer, critic, feminist, and publisher. This was her third novel.

As background information, I read her first novel "The Voyage Out" published in 1915, skipped her second novel - which is considered to be a flop, Night and Day from 1919 - and then read "Jacob's Room," her third, then went on and read "Mrs. Dalloway," her fourth, and next read "To The Lighthouse," etc. Also, I read some of Woolf's non-fiction.

"The Voyage Out" is simple and straightforward work and it might remind the reader of a Jane Austen novel, but it set on a ship and then at a remote location. It is over 400 pages long, and has an Austen theme. After her second novel - which did not do very well - Woolf decided to be more risky and creative with the next book. She changed her style and approach to the novel and Woolf uses the stream of consciousness technique to bring a sense of the chaos and shortness of a young man's life around the time of World War I, Jacob's life, i.e.: from the pandemonium of Jacob's life as portrayed by Woolf through the use of the stream of the consciousness technique, we eventually have clarity in the novel. She carries this writing style on into the similarly chaotic story in the novel "Mrs. Dalloway."

The present story is about a young man Jacob Flanders who goes to Cambridge as a student, then he goes on a trip to Italy and Greece, and then returns and goes on to fight in World War I. Without giving away any of the critical plot elements and possibly ruining the enjoyment of reading the book, one can say that this is a bit of an odd book. It starts slowly; the reader is not certain what Woolf is trying to accomplish and where she is going with the story. But if you stay with the read one gets into the stream of consciousness feel and rythm which gives a strong feeling or sensation to what Woolf is trying to achieve.

This is an excellent novel written by Woolf at her prime and is similar to Mrs.Dalloway but covers a different subject matter. Her approach lends itself to the subject and it is quite effective as in "Mrs. Dalloway." If you want to read a conventional novel by Woolf, then I recommend her first novel, "The Voyage Out."

In any case, I enjoyed the read and recommend it as a good example of Virginia Woolf's writing.
... Read more


3. The Voyage Out
by Virginia Woolf
Paperback: 238 Pages (2010-03-06)
list price: US$31.91 -- used & new: US$28.71
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 1443220582
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: Fiction / Literary; ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

1-0 out of 5 stars Edition was unreadable!
This is a horrible edition! FULL of printing mistakes that made it absolutely unreadable. Really looks like the book was just scanned and process with OCR without anyone ever bothering to read what came out of it, not even the first page, which was just as unreadable as the rest of them.
As I had to read the book for class, I had to run over to the closest book store to buy a normal copy.
Really, a very annoying experience.

A review titled "Hideous unedited OCR garbage" by Antony W. Serio describes this edition best.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book, and great writing!
Can't say enough, this is a perfect edition, and a great book by Woolf.

It was as good, or better, than I remember.....truly wonderful

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect edition!
Perfect edition!This is a charming, and totally wonderful edition, if you are ordering the Voyage Out with the charming cover of the painting, you will be very happy.

1-0 out of 5 stars Hideous unedited OCR garbage
This review is for the General Books LLC edition of this book, and is not a critique of Virginia Woolf herself or her writing style. My neighbor made the mistake of purchasing this book on Amazon, actually thinking that it would be readable. It was not. From the looks of things, the contents of this edition were taken from an OCR scan, and just dumped on the page willy-nilly by a high speed book printer. There was not even the slightest attempt to edit the contents of this edition. No spellcheck was completed, and I doubt if anybody even looked at the contents of this edition before it was sold. I was unable to read even a few paragraphs without being forced to parse out garbage characters, odd paragraph breaks, obvious errors, and missing punctuation. In a few cases, entire sentences are illegible.

In fact, there is a disclaimer opposite the Table Of Contents which claims:

"Limit of liability, disclaimer of warranty: While the publisher and author have used their best efforts in preparing this book, they make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose." It sounds as if the publisher knows that their edition is unedited garbage.

"No warranty may be created ore extended by sales representatives or written sales materials." Note that there is a typo in the disclaimer. Does the publisher even have employees that speak English?

"We have recreated this book from the original using Optical Character Recognition software to keep the cost of the book as low as possible. Therefore, could you please forgive any spelling mistakes, missing or extraneous characters that may have resulted from worn or smudged pages? When in doubt, please consult the original scanned book which may be available from our website." Think about it. If you had the chance to read this disclaimer before purchasing this book, would you actually pay money for it?

I've dealt with raw OCR scans before, and it does take quite a bit of editing to clean them up enough to be legible. A simple spell-check would have found most of these errors. Given the raw data and PDFs of the scans, I could probably do it myself in a day or so. The problem is that this publisher didn't even make an effort to do so. In fact, I doubt if they even have one editor on their staff. The fact that they have typos in their legal boilerplate is probably proof of that theory.

I think the publisher is doing a serious disservice to Virginia Woolf, Amazon's customers, and Amazon.com itself by attempting to market this book as anything but kindling. It is a waste of paper, ink, money, and time.

5-0 out of 5 stars A powerful story of self-actualization.
A powerful story of self-actualization.Rachel is a young woman who ventures on a long journey to South America where the fact that she is long away from home, and away from past influences, she is now able to make choices for herself, and adapt to change.

This is one of the best books I have ever read, and one of the worst reviews I have ever written.Don't use it to NOT buy the book, just read it say to yourself, so lame reviewer said it was great.If I could write well, I'd write a book, as I don't write well, I enjoy wonderful and brilliant books like The Voyage Out!Enjoy! ... Read more


4. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
by Edward Albee
Paperback: 272 Pages (2006-08-01)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$4.99
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0451218590
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
"Twelve times a week," answered Uta Hagen, when asked how often she'd like to play Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Like her, neither audiences nor critics could get enough of Edward Albee's masterful play. A dark comedy, it portrays husband and wife George and Martha in a searing night of dangerous fun and games. By the evening's end, a stunning, almost unbearable revelation provides a climax that has shocked audiences for years. With the play's razor-sharp dialogue and the stripping away of social pretense, Newsweek rightly foresaw Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as "a brilliantly original work of art-an excoriating theatrical experience, surging with shocks of recognition and dramatic fire [that] will be igniting Broadway for some time to come." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (51)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ouch!
Opening in 1962, WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? blindsided audiences of the so-called "Camelot" era: everyone who saw it was shocked by its profanity, sexual content, unrelenting verbal viciousness, and its sharp and unswerving portrait of hidden disillusionment.People who dislike the play--and there are many--tend to describe it as three hours of unattractive people screaming at each other, and it is therefore tempting to think of the play as a critic's darling that lacks popular appeal.Nothing could be less true.The original production ran well over six hundred performances; had two major Broadway revivals to date; has been performed by virtually every professional, academic, and community theatre in the English-speaking world; and was translated into an extremely popular and award-winning film.If anything, WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? is even more popular today than it was when it opened fifty years ago.

The basic story is extremely well known.George is an associate college professor; his wife is the college president's daughter.They have attended a faculty party and now return home very tired and more than a little drunk.George looks forward to bed and sleep--but Martha informs him she has invited a new professor and his wife to join them for drinks.George is not enthusiastic but he agrees, although he warns Martha not to discuss their son.When Nick and Honey, also tired and more than a little drunk, they find themselves an unwilling audience to George and Martha's vicious verbal sparring.They are quickly sucked into the battle, and when Martha tells her guests about her son, George determines to put an end to their verbal games once and for all.But can Martha, their guests, even George survive the unflinching light of reality?The play is extremely, extremely funny in its dialogue, and Albee displays wit that is equal to the likes of Noel Coward and Oscar Wilde; even so, laughter is the rug that is constantly pulled out from under foot to send the characters reeling on their collision courses, and the play itself is dark and painful.

Over the years many people have complained about the play's ending, which like such recent films as THE SIXTH SENSE and MULLHOLLAND DRIVE suddenly forces the audiences to question everything they have been told over the course of the entire evening.How much of it was real?The story about the boxing match, was that true?The story about the boy who killed his parents, was that true?The play does not simply end on a note of uncertainty, it ends with a deeply disquieting sense of wonder.Who would put themselves through such a display in an effort to maintain their fantasies and illusions?Who is afraid of Virginia Woolf--afraid to look at their lives in the unflinching light of hard reality?Aren't we all, to at least some degree?

Whenever I review a playscript I like to note that plays are intended to be seen, not read, and readers who have little knowledge of dramatic conventions may find it very difficult to grasp how a play works on the stage.I do not, however, find that to be the case with WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, which reads as well on the page as it plays on the stage.It remains a controversial show, and it is very much a love-it-or-hate-it play.But no one interested in American or world drama can afford to miss reading it or seeing it.Strongly recommended.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
In Memory of friend Jerry Williams

1-0 out of 5 stars Wrong Edition
I received the wrong edition of the book I ordered.I needed to buy the book again from a different store for class.You're lucky it was cheap or I would've been really pissed off.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Big Ugly Fight Was Better On-Screen.
I loved the movie Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and I've always wanted to read the play by Edward Albee. Thinking that it would be as good as the film, I was wrong. Literally, why I loved the movie is the sublime performances by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. They took the words of the play two notches above and breathed life into the rambling of the lines. The fight between then on-screen was legendary and memorable. Notice that I used the phrase "rambling of the lines"...that is what happened in the written play. It's not very interesting anymore, and it was getting useless after many pages. There is no question about the fact that the dialogues in the play are lively and high-spirited. But the momentum was dwindling down after a while after much of hysterical screaming, mindless games, and pointless arguments. There was a point that I needed to ask myself: what is truth, and what is fiction? Another question was: Does it really matter? Once that is in negative, then forget the other two questions. That is what happened to my interest. I am not all that convinced that Nick and Honey would have allowed themselves to sit there and be subject to mental and verbal abuse. They could have left the house and not worry about the future ramifications. As I understand that the issue is a childless marriage, ever heard of...adoption? And as I understand the two hate each other's guts, ever heard of...divorce? No...Edward Albee just wanted to have a play filled with a couple of animals going at each other's throats. Nonetheless, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? wasn't that terrible; I just wished there was some kind of a direction...some kind of a revelation that would send a message. I never felt the play resolved anything for the importance, so it was just an ugly, liquor-ridden fight between a husband and a wife, and I am just surprised that Nick and Honey became spectators of it. All in all, I am just glad that Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was written because if not for that, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton would have missed a chance to leave behind their legacy.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not the acting edition
This edition is not the one used by theaters. I don't know why but it is condensed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Smooth transation
Product as described, shipped quickly and arrived in a timely manner.I'd use again.Thanks! ... Read more


5. To the Lighthouse (Annotated)
by Virginia Woolf
Paperback: 312 Pages (2005-08-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$6.21
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0156030470
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****

To the Lighthouse is one of the greatest literary achievements of the twentieth century and the author's most popular novel. 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,Virginia Woolf constructs a remarkable, moving examination of the complex tensions and allegiances of family life and the conflict between male and female principles.

Annotated and with an introduction by Mark Hussey
... Read more

Customer Reviews (183)

1-0 out of 5 stars Avoid Classic House Books!!!
My issue is not with Virginia Woolf -- it is with publisher, Classic House Books. Among this book's many problems:
- It's riddled with typographical errors and plain old spelling mistakes ("furtile"???)
- No section/chapter breaks (as in the much, much better Penguin edition) -- which, given the denseness of Woolf's writing, actively impairs reading comprehension
- It's terribly designed: Random words in all caps ("BOEUF EN DAUBE"), awful typography: en dashes (-) rendered as double hyphens (--), dumb quotes (inch marks) instead of proper "educated" or "curly" quotation marks. I can't bring myself to look at the text closely, but it appears to be at least partially set in Times New Roman.
- Cheap paper stock
- Awful cover design and amateurish description on the back cover ("beautifully produced by Classic House Books" - Ha!)

Don't waste your time with this edition and encourage the proliferation of such sloppy hack jobs. Look for the Penguin edition, which is professionally put together, and features both an enlightening introduction and helpful end notes. Shame on you, Classic House Books!

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply the Best
I have now read or listened (via audio tape) to this book five times. Each time, I have enjoyed it more, and have been enabled to look deeper into it.

What I like most about this book are the interior dialogues that all the major characters - Mrs. Ramsey, Charles Ramsey, James Ramsey, Lily Briscoe, etc. - engage in.We learn about their thoughts, their reveries, their likes and dislikes, their fears and worries, their hopes, etc.

In presenting these dialogues, each of these characters moves closer to all of us readers than would ever be possible if all we had were their external actions.

Indeed, the external actions, which fall into two days separated by 10 years, while themselves totally engaging, become the vehicle for the even more engaging internal "events" which "deliver" all the major characters so satisfyingly.

What can one say except that I join the chorus of those who believe that this might be the best modern novel ever written.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply put: A masterpiece!
A deceptively simple novel that explores the meaning of life. Written in a stream-of-consciousness poetic style, this is a book that should be read slowly, not at the pace of a traditional novel, or you will miss the slow-motion explosions of beautiful insights lurking about when least expected.Her characters move like spirits in the material world.And as the reader - the voyeur transported to this other dimension - you hear and feel them brush past you like ghosts - who will sometimes pass right through your heart.Unequivocally, this is my favorite novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars slow, modernist magic
Virginia Woolf is one of the modern writers who changed writing not just in degree, but in substance. She even said explicitly (in the Common Reader) what she does, only so very few pay attention: The sentence must (I paraphrase here) imitate the same order of sensations as they fall on the human brain. This is what Flaubert did without knowing how or why, and what Hemingway did consciously (though he never explained what he was doing), and what Conrad, even Waugh (Evelyn, that is), and many others did after. But Virginia Woolf was one of the originals. Her book mixes all sorts of sensations, from a woman's PoV, so we have description, and auditory and sight and thinking, all connected thematically, leading to the soft denouement. Yes, she still operates somewhat by instinct, unlike Conrad who (I think) knew more explicitly that suppression of all sensations save one give the impression of shock, and that the sense of smell should be used sparingly, since it is it the most potent (the olfactory nerve goes straight into the brain, without any pre-processing), or Joyce (who knew exactly what's what-- see the famous girl-at-the-shore from Artist as a Young Man). But Woolf did marvels with the smattering beginnings of the modern writing technique that she could see, and Lighthouse is a marvelous example of it. Later on would come others-- just see what Flannery O'Connor does with modern technique, let alone Nabokov (in Lolita), Laxness, and other modern masters. But Woolf was at the birth of modern writing, and no one should miss her work. Warmly and wholeheartedly recommended.
AM

5-0 out of 5 stars "So much depends, she thought, upon distance; whether people are near to us or far from us"
"So much depends, she thought, upon distance; whether people are near to us or far from us".So writes Virginia Woolf of the forlorn, but love struck Lily Briscoe in To the Lighthouse.There are so many adjectives one can use to describe how truly great this novel is.To sum the action would be rather easy.It's about the Ramsay family vacationing at a Scottish beach house in the early nineteen hundreds.From the outside the action seems minimal, but Woolf constructs this novel from the inside.We glimpse the workings of the characters on this little island.We see there thoughts, weaknesses, loves, and losses.As Woolf writes so much of the novel deals with distance.Distance to time, to each other, and the perceptions we conjure in our minds.This book on the one hand is about perceptions and how we perceive each other in life.The whole novel is set as if it were in slow motion.Very few words are spoken, but the ones that are take on important meaning in the story.As I was reading I felt much the same way as Mr. Ramsay, James, and Cam thought as they journeyed to the lighthouse.I allowed Virginia Woolf's beautiful prose wash over me.Her words moved much the same as a wave does; seemingly innocent at first, but packed with a punch that could not you on your feet.There are so many beautiful characters in this story from the elegant and motherly Mrs. Ramsay to the conflicted and sexist Mr. Tansley.Perhaps my favorite part of the whole novel was the dinner scene.So many sorrowful and joyous things culminating at once.There were many times in this novel that I was almost moved to tears reading the descriptive sentences that Woolf weaves together.I will admit that this was no easy read.It may be only 200 pages, but each page lingers with the reader and begs to be slowed down; allowing the words to wash over.A modernist classic To the Lighthouse implements Woolf's stream of consciousness technique that many may find difficult or confusing to read.My advice is to slow down.You may get confused trying to decipher who's mind you are in. but after a while you begin to flow.To the Lighthouse is true classic, and highly recommend it! ... Read more


6. Mrs. Dalloway (Annotated)
by Virginia Woolf
Paperback: 304 Pages (2005-08-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.73
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0156030357
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****

Harcourt is proud to introduce new annotated editions of three Virginia Woolf classics, ideal for the college classroom and beyond. For the first time, students reading these books will have the resources at hand to help them understand the text as well as the reasons and methods behind Woolf's writing. We've commissioned the best-known Woolf scholars in the field to provide invaluable introductions, editing, critical analysis, and suggestions for further reading. These much-awaited volumes are the first of many annotated Woolf editions Harcourt plans on publishing in the coming years.

This brilliant novel explores the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a woman's life. Direct and vivid in her account of the details of Clarissa Dalloway's preparations for a party she is to give that evening,Woolf ultimately managed to reveal much more; for it is the feeling behind these daily events that gives Mrs. Dalloway its texture and richness and makes it so memorable.

Annotated and with an introduction by Bonnie Scott
Amazon.com Review
As Clarissa Dalloway walks through London on a fine June morning, a sky-writing plane captures her attention. Crowds stare upwards to decipherthe message while the plane turns and loops, leaving off one letter,picking up another. Like the airplane's swooping path, Virginia Woolf'sMrs. Dalloway follows Clarissa and those whose lives brushhers--from Peter Walsh, whom she spurned years ago, to her daughterElizabeth, the girl's angry teacher, Doris Kilman, and war-shocked SeptimusWarren Smith, who is sinking into madness.

As Mrs. Dalloway prepares for the party she is giving that evening, a series of events intrudes on her composure. Her husband is invited, withouther, to lunch with Lady Bruton (who, Clarissa notes anxiously, gives themost amusing luncheons). Meanwhile, Peter Walsh appears, recently fromIndia, to criticize and confide in her. His sudden arrival evokes memoriesof a distant past, the choices she made then, and her wistful friendshipwith Sally Seton.

Woolf then explores the relationships between women and men, and betweenwomen, as Clarissa muses, "It was something central which permeated;something warm which broke up surfaces and rippled the cold contact of manand woman, or of women together.... Her relation in the old days with SallySeton. Had not that, after all, been love?"While Clarissa is transportedto past afternoons with Sally, and as she sits mending her green dress,Warren Smith catapults desperately into his delusions. Although histroubles form a tangent to Clarissa's web, they undeniably touch it, andthe strands connecting all these characters draw tighter as eveningdeepens. As she immerses us in each inner life, Virginia Woolf offersexquisite, painful images of the past bleeding into the present, of desireoverwhelmed by society's demands. --Joannie Kervran Stangeland ... Read more

Customer Reviews (174)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Service!
I received my book within a few days and my order was perfect. Definitely recommend this seller :)

4-0 out of 5 stars Stylish Prose Gaudily Frames a Day-Long Character Study Emphasizing Self Talk
"Wealth makes many friends,
But the poor is separated from his friend." -- Proverbs 19:4 (NKJV)

Think of Mrs. Dalloway as being the anti-Ulysses (the James Joyce's masterpiece). The concepts for the novels are similar, but the styles are polar opposites. I recommend becoming familiar with both works in order to appreciate the different ways that character studies can be developed during a day by relying extensively on thought life. Both are brilliant, but in much different ways.

Mrs. Dalloway is English, delicate, fussy, ornate, and feminine. Ulysses is Irish, crude, unrestrained, common, and masculine.

What stands out the most about Mrs. Dalloway are the many original descriptive sentences and phrases that look as though they went through 200 rewritings to be so polished and complete. Their expressions overwhelm the story at time because the reader is left gasping at a stunning turn of phrase or an idea. In writing, you can sit and admire and forget to read on.

A blessing of listening to the excellent reading by Virginia Leishman is that the brilliant writing is better integrated into the story by forcing you to keep going. I enjoyed the experience. I don't want to discourage you from reading the book first, but I believe you will appreciate the overall craft more if you listen before reading. It's the same advice I provide for William Faulkner's books. There's a beauty in the oral expression that is otherwise lost.

I found the story to feel a little dated. I also found myself not being terribly engaged by Mrs. Dalloway or her husband. That's a pretty big problem to have when listening to or reading a novel. Someone today who wrote historical fiction about this period would do it differently.

Naturally, if I were only rating the marvelous ornate writing, this would be five stars. Most writers can only sit back in awe of such writing. On my best day, I wouldn't be worthy of holding a candle for Virginia Woolf.

Enjoy!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good looking edition, useful notes
A good-looking edition with notes that will prove most useful to those new to Mrs. D and England in general.

5-0 out of 5 stars Everything I asked for.
I have been in search for an Everyman's Library edition of the novel Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, with the blue cloth binding. At first, I settled for a more modern edition, not at all what I truly wanted. But, when I decided to browse on Amazon, I found exactly what I was looking for. After purchasing it, I got the novel in the mail within four days of my purchase I am very pleased to have bought from Amazon and Restaurant of the Mind. Thank you again and I highly recommend them if ever they have a book or whatever you wish to buy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful classic
Mrs. Dalloway is not quite what I was expecting.It was so short and beautiful, and yes it was very stream of conscious, and it definitely helped that I had read and seen The Hours, which is based on Mrs. Dalloway.There are some things that I probably would have missed if I hadn't had a basic knowledge of the plot, because many things are carefully veiled beneath Woolf's beautiful language.There were times when I got lost in the prose, but at the very least it was always beautiful to read. She had such a wonderful eye for things and her descriptions are really unlike anything I've ever read before.I loved thisnovel and I'm sure that I will be reading it again one day. ... Read more


7. Orlando (Wordsworth Classics)
by Virginia Woolf
Paperback: 192 Pages (1999-12-05)
list price: US$4.99 -- used & new: US$0.96
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 1853262390
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
Virginia Woolf's Orlando 'The longest and most charming love letter in literature', playfully constructs the figure of Orlando as the fictional embodiment of Woolf's close friend and lover, Vita Sackville-West. Spanning three centuries, the novel opens as Orlando, a young nobleman in Elizabeth's England, awaits a visit from the Queen and traces his experience with first love as England under James I lies locked in the embrace of the Great Frost. At the midpoint of the novel, Orlando, now an ambassador in Costantinople, awakes to find that he is a woman, and the novel indulges in farce and irony to consider the roles of women in the 18th and 19th centuries. As the novel ends in 1928, a year consonant with full suffrage for women. Orlando, now a wife and mother, stands poised at the brink of a future that holds new hope and promise for women.Amazon.com Review
In 1928, way before everyone else was talking aboutgender-bending and way, way before the terrific movie with Tilda Swinton,Virginia Woolf wrote her comic masterpiece, a fantastic, fanciful loveletter disguised as a biography, to Vita Sackville-West. Orlandoenters the book as an Elizabethan nobleman and leaves the book threecenturies and one change of gender later as a liberated woman of the1920s. Along the way this most rambunctious of Woolf's charactersengages in sword fights, trades barbs with 18th century wits, has ababy, and drives a car. This is a deliriously written,breathless-making book and a classic both of lesbian literature andthe Western canon. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (50)

5-0 out of 5 stars I shall dream wild dreams
No lover in the world ever wrote a valentine more exquisite than Virginia Woolf's tribute to her lover Vita Sackville-West. That tribute was "Orlando: A Biography," a magical-realism tale about a perpetually youthful, charming hero/ine who traverses three centuries and both genders -- and Woolf's writing reaches a new peak as she explores the hauntingly sensuous world of Orlando.

Orlando was born a young aristocratic man in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, and when the dying monarch visited his home she became his new court favorite (and briefly lover). His passionate, curious personality attracted many other women over the years -- until he fell in love with Sasha, a mercurial but faithless Russian princess (supposedly based on Sackville-West's ex-girlfriend). Bereft of true love, he devoted himself to poetry and entertainment.

But then he's assigned to be an ambassador to Constantinople, and something strange happens -- while a bloody revolution rages, he sleeps for a full week... and wakes newly metamorphosed into a woman. With the same mind and soul but a female body, Orlando sets out on a new life -- and discovers that women aren't quite as different from men as she once thought.

"Orlando: A Biography" is a very weird book, and was even more so when it was written since "magical realism" didn't exist as a literary style in 1928. Virginia Woolf makes no explanations about Orlando's immortality or unexpected gender switch. It's simply accepted that once he was a man, and then she became a woman, and that s/he has lived from the Elizabethan era until at least the 1920s (and who knows, maybe Orlando still wanders among us?).

And Woolf's writing is at its peak here. Her prose is soaked in luxurious descriptions that constantly tease the senses -- silver and gold, frozen flowers, crystalline ice, starlight and the exquisite expanses of nature's beauty. At times the sensual writing seems almost feverish, and Woolf adds an almost mythic quality by inserting spirits of feminine virtues (Modesty, Purity and Chastity appear to try to hide Orlando's feminine body), and by having her hero/ine encounter great poets, queens and men of the sea.

And Orlando him/herself is a truly fascinating character -- s/he can be sweet, passionate, romantic, wild and melancholy, and s/he has an almost magnetic charisma. He starts off the story as an elusive romantic teenager, suffers a heartbreak that matures him as an artist, and post-metamorphosis she becomes a woman of the modern world. Both in mind and body, Orlando is a very different woman at the end than the boy s/he began as.

"Orlando: A Biography" is a truly spellbinding book -- Virginia Woolf's prose enthralls the senses while her main character explores the boundaries of gender. A must-read, for everyone.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful atmosphere, fascinating character, occasional eye-rolling
Virginia Woolf caught a break in the publishing world, which is comparable to a 365-bedroom estate. But like Orlando, Woolf needed more than that. As a member of the working class, I found myself thinking 'nice that you have so much time to pontificate on life'. Is Orlando one of the rich and bored? One who dishes out but can't take it?

Take Sasha for instance. He calls her faithless when he's bedded every wench in town and is engaged to marry someone else when he meets her. Hard to sympathize with the guy. It's only a tragedy when he's the one hurting. Throughout Orlando's lives, he/she strikes me as a spoiled rich kid who wants to be useful and good but can't help being a punk sometimes. Very true to real life.

Woolf takes the reader through history fantastically; every scent and sense is unique to the years. Her observation on clothes being related to the person within is great. And even though people put a homosexual spin on the subject, I felt it was more about what a person is capable of and why a 'man' or 'woman' label is slapped on certain traits and abilities. If a woman is mechanically inclined, does she have to give up being feminine? If a man has a fashion sense, must he forfeit his masculinity?

In the end, I found myself wondering how Orlando would have turned out if he/she weren't so rich. Maybe it's my working-class distaste for pampered complainers that made we want to smack Orlando. But as a non-traditional woman, I also heard my thoughts echoed in Orlando's, especially when she 'yielded to the spirit of the age' and got married. That entire description of the pressure to marry was brilliant because it comes from without and within.

All in all, there are perks and drawbacks to being male or female. But Orlando shows we're not the only one who finds our talents stretch beyond what is considered a man's job or a woman's. Did Orlando have to become a woman to know love? Did his maleness make him a better ambassador? Nowadays we say 'of course not'. But Orlando personifies those questions, makes the reader aware of the chains of tradition. And just like Orlando's ancestry, are they anchors or dead weight? Or both?

4-0 out of 5 stars A man, a woman... or both (though not at the same time)? 4 1/2 stars
"He -- for there could be no doubt of his sex, though the fashion of the time did something to disguise it..."

Late-Elizabeth fashions were so flamboyant that you couldn't sometimes tell who was male and who was female. And that time frame sets the perfect tone for this witty and strange gender-bender. Orlando was sixteen at the time, and his boyish good looks made him quite popular at Queen Elizabeth's court. But his poetic sensibilities cannot handle heartbreak very well. A deceitful Russian princess has left quite an impression on him, and he broods over the fickleness and faithlessness in women. So time goes by, Elizabeth is followed by King James, and as generations pass Orlando becomes not only a nobleman of high rank, but he's also courtier, then an ambassador -- until he leaves it all behind when he becomes a woman. The new gender brings confusion. All of the things Orlando once took for granted -- his freedom, his power, his lands and rank -- are all jeopardized. But at the same time, she -- for now it is she -- discovers other pleasures and joys, and sometimes boredom, in the eighteenth century parties with celebrated noblemen and writers, and in Victorian times, when she experiences her first night with a man. After many centuries, it is in 1928, when this immortal being realizes that she is essentially the same person she has always been.

It is impossible to summarize this novel. Written in the form of a biography, Orlando covers quite a number of themes and discussions, and you'd have to read the book in order to appreciate it. You'll have to read it not only once, but several times. I think I will have to reread this in the near future in order to completely get it. This is a unique gender-bender, with feminist undertones, and a voice full of satire and magic realism for great measure. There are some wonderful passages here, full of humor. Take this one, for example:

"All of her estates are put in Chancery and her titles pronounced in abeyance while the suits were under litigation. Thus it was in a highly ambiguous condition, uncertain whether she was alive or dead, man or woman, Duke or nonentity, that she posted down to her country seat, where, pending the legal judgment, she had the Law's condition to reside in a state of incognito or incognita as the case might turn out to be."

The "incognito or incognita" is what made me laugh. Virginia Woolf was a great writer. I had once read To the Lighthouse and was indifferent about it. However, Orlando has compelled me to read other books by Woolf. Her wit, combined with the passage of time and historical references, made this an absolute delight to read. The one thing I do find confusing is the passage of time. For example, Orlando opens her window and stares out into the courtyard and beyond in the year 1712. After a series of descriptions and whatnot, the chapter ends with, "The Eighteenth century was over; the Nineteenth century had begun." And that is more or less how it occurs every time. In one sentence, it is still Victorian times, then it's Edwardian the next. Also, the whole gender change is too complicated to describe. As said earlier, you will have to read and reread the book in order to understand it. Some people don't get this book at all and hate it; others might enjoy Woolf's take on society norms and love it. I'm the latter. Orlando is a must-read if you're into some rather thought provoking and somewhat complicated literature.

3-0 out of 5 stars The freedom to write what she liked
This book proves that Virginia Woolf could write what she damned well pleased - she had a family publishing house that published all her work (is that the same as self-published these days?) and a literary salon that the who's-who of literature at the time frequented. An enviable position to be in and not have to risk the inevitable rejection letter from a publisher who wanted more of the same that sold. At one point she even celebrates the unpublished or self-published writer by saying "while fame impedes and constricts, obscurity lets the mind take its way unimpeded."

That said, Orlando is, in my mind, Woolf herself, taking a bold romp through history, spanning the centuries from Elizabethan to Edwardian times, free of the limitations of thinking in a particular sex, yet being bound by the conventions of his/her times depending on when Orlando was either a man or a woman - all the while letting us experience life in those particular times through the lenses of Orlando's thougths and through his/her biographer's descriptions and ruminations. Woolf's descriptioons of changing landscapes (London going from a clump of derelict buildings and muddy streets in Elizabethan England to a modern metropolis during the Restoration), political systems, customs (wearing a ring and being married became prominent during Victorian times), food ( crumpets and muffins were invented in the 19th century), women's sizes ("slim was in" in Edwardian London),speech (evasive conversation was espoused in Victorian England) are told in rich flowing prose that does not stint in its use of dashes and semicolons.

Time transitions take place during sleep, while thinking or while on a long voyage at sea, where our hero(ine)remains unaged (albeit, at times sex changed) as the world changes around her.

The pompous biographer that Woolf chooses as her device for rendering the story is also a free spirit, free to comment, jump from place to place, ruminate and sidebar - all needed in order to deliver a story of this vast time sweep.

I wouldn't read this novel for entertainment, but rather as a study of what experimental fiction must have been in Woolf's day.

My one regret is that with all this going for her ( no rejection slips, write whatever she wanted) our dear Virginia had to load herself up with stones and drown herself in a river. Oh, if she would only know the travails of the writer, let alone the experimental one, of today! Should we strap boulders to our necks and jump off cliffs, or like Orlando, should we just flit back ( or forward) in time to when writers were treated with more respect and given such freedom to experiment?

[...]

5-0 out of 5 stars A fun read
Orlando is adventure, comedy, gender study and literary commentary all rolled into one. The titular character lived through four centuries. During that time he served the Queen, fell in love with a Russian princess and lost her, entertained annoying guests, spent a century roaming in his estate, sailed out to exotic places where he became a she, and came back to find that her old love had grown fat.

A host of memorable characters populated the story, gifting it with eccentric moments: the pizza was toasted in the fireplace and the rug nearby was burned, the countess sneaked in the garden and "cackled and gaffled", and the sea captain was lured to chivalry by Orlando the lady's legs. The narrative is not as experimental as Woolf's earlier novels, but the prose is still intelligent and evocative. Woolf's laid-back style also makes the novel an easy, comforting read when you simply want some light entertainment.

... Read more


8. A Room of One's Own (Annotated)
by Virginia Woolf
Paperback: 216 Pages (2005-08-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.53
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0156030411
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****

In A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf imagines that Shakespeare had a sister: a sister equal to Shakespeare in talent, equal in genius, but whose legacy is radically different.This imaginary woman never writes a word and dies by her own hand, her genius unexpressed. But if only she had found the means to create, urges Woolf, she would have reached the same heights as her immortal sibling. In this classic essay,Virginia Woolf takes on the establishment, using her gift of language to dissect the world around her and give a voice to those who have none. Her message is simple: A woman must have a fixed income and a room of her own in order to have the freedom to create.

Annotated and with an introduction by Susan Gubar
... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing, life changing book
One of the most important books written in the last century! A life changer and a book every woman should own.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great for female writers and those who love/live with them
Familiar with Virginia Woolf only from reputation, I picked up a copy of this book at an antique store. It sat on my nightstand for over a year before I opened the very short essay. Written almost 100 years ago, I related so well to her words, it's one of the few books I know I'll read again, and again. I've actually underlined sections - something I never do! Great for female writers and those who love them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Essay On Women
There is no mistaking Woolf's writing style: intricate, introspective, convoluted and then again portraying ideas and situations with brilliant clarity and insight. She ponders the plight of women during her time and through history. Her main question asks why women, despite even those with exceptional talents of intelligence and character, have been abused and dominated by men and relegated to roles as mothers and servants to the men around them. Why are there not great female financiers, writers, academics, etc.? Or why are there too few of them? She searches in many corners such as history books and makes deplorable discoveries: early teen marriages, beatings, restrictions of all sorts, and despicable opinions of women in general by academics and men in other stations. In one instance she compares the plight of Shakespeare and his sister, both equally talented, and you can imagine the results. Her musings are gripping and interesting and at the same time she paints the quality of her physical surroundings quite vividly. This is a favorite book.

5-0 out of 5 stars I really liked this item
The product is fine, but the sipping was a little slow. Very nice book, new, in good conditions. The communication with the store was fine.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gubar & Woolf: an excellent combination
Susan Gubar writes the excellent introduction to this lovely annotated version of Woolf's A Room of One's Own. Even those who have read this book before will enjoy reading a scholarly annotated edition--the notes and introduction provide valuable insight into Woolf's life and times, and the specific conditions against which she rebelled. ... Read more


9. The Complete Shorter Fiction of Virginia Woolf: Second Edition
by Virginia Woolf
Paperback: 360 Pages (1989-06-01)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$2.72
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0156212501
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****

Woolf continually used stories and sketches to experiment with narrative models and themes for her novels. This collection of nearly fifty pieces brings together the contents of two published volumes, A Haunted House and Mrs. Dalloway’s Party; a number of uncollected stories; and several previously unpublished pieces. Edited and with an Introduction by Susan Dick.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars What can I say, Virginia Woolf is Virginia Woolk.
What can I say, Virginia Woolf is Virginia Woolf no matter what she writes.Her writing is luminous, her plots are so common as to be mystical, and her characters are so real they sit next to you as you read.I have only read three stories as I am savoring them for those times when the non-fiction I normally read gets me down.I love her novels, too, of course, but these short jewels of fiction are my favorites.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Short" fiction
Her novels could be made into chick flicks; teas, house parties, domestic days. She loved the phrasing, words.He thought, with these stories, Woolf had ADD. Its all good.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great read!
Virginia Woolf's novels, with the exception of Orlando, are magnificent.Her shorter work does not disappoint.

5-0 out of 5 stars A GENIUS. Period.
I'm not the kind of person that uses the concept/word "genius" that often, but Virginia Woolf's talent to create Orchestral Manouvers in the Mind and Heart, weaving beautiful webs of ideas, feelings, emotions, thoughts and perceptions turned her texts into something to behold in a mixture of awe and joy. Each of her short stories is like an exquisite scent for the mind to process and delight at but never be able to define. This lady's words make her texts more real than reality itself. This is TALENT at its highest. This lady was - is -, obviously, a genius.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just as Enjoyable as her Novels
This book is great if you have read all of her novels or have yet to pick up one. It can introduce you to Woolf's style or if you already know what a wonderful writer she is, it will continue to entertain you. These short stories also let you see how she developed some of her novels as well as her style throughout her life. She was unbelievably dedicated to her writing, and this book makes her efforts clear. ... Read more


10. Moments of Being
by Virginia Woolf
Paperback: 240 Pages (1985-08-23)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.96
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0156619180
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****

Moments of Being contains Virginia Woolf’s only autobiographical writing: “By far the most important book about Virginia Woolf...that has appeared since her death” [Angus Wilson, Observer (London)]. Edited and with an Introduction by Jeanne Schulkind; Index.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating passages.I Love the way she writes!
I just finished reading another biography, and so I asked my husband to give me another book - a biography to read.She gave me Virginia Woolf - Moments of Being, edited by Jeanne Schulkind, A Harvest Book.

This is the first book I've ever read written by Virginia Woolf.I have always enjoyed reading biographies, and this book I very much enjoyed.

Reading the introduction was a bit difficult.So I skipped most of it, and started reading the first chapter.And once I started, I couldn't put the book down.I loved the way she wrote her memoirs.I loved her words; her writing voice.I usually couldn't understand metaphors, but the way Ms. Woolf used them were fascinating and understandable.

I plan to re-read this book, after I finish Mrs. Dalloway.

5-0 out of 5 stars definitely a page turner
This book kept me reading from day to night. I really got caught up in the life of Virginia Woolf. It was a very realistic look at the life of the author in her own words. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for Woolf readers
This biographical work is essential in understanding the author's greatest works. She discusses "scene making" and how it relates to memory. After reading this I plan to reread "To the Lighthouse" and "Mrs. Dalloway."

5-0 out of 5 stars Moments of Being by Virginia Woolf
This collection of autobiographical essays was not published until 1976. They do not supplement the Diaries, but stand on their own as indispensable to an understanding of the novels and thinking of this revolutionary writer. They articulate - as the Diaries do not in an explicit way - her philosophy, and this alone makes the book essentail reading for anyone interested in Woolf or, indeed, modern fiction. But these essays offer more than that. They detail sensitive and at times painful background memories of her death-ridden childhood and adolescence, of the physical abuse by her half-brother, Gerald Duckworth.
To read 'Moments of Being' is not an exercise in the prurient, but to gain an understanding of the inner life of an extraoprdinary artist and human being.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Great Memoirs of the 20th century
Virginia Woolf's Moments of Being is one of the great artifacts of literary modernism -- and it also possesses the virtue of being superbly written; few writers are of the caliber of Woolf when it comes to documenting the subtle nuances of human emotion and thought.Her voice is unwavering and clear; it is analytic and critical without every sacrificing its self-effacing quality and humility - and the clarity of its emotional tone.She handles the pain and loss in her life with a kind of imaginative double barreled shotgun: she destroys those that have inflicted pain on her, while exalting those that loved her.But as she hacks away at one and beatifies the other she always places both in very real, very human terms.There are also sparks of real humor here that cannot be overlooked,like the moment in the essay "Old Bloomsbury" when Lytton Strachey walks into the room and seeing a stain on Vanessa's white dressed pronounces "Semen?" and with one word ushers in the 20th centuries fixation with discussing sexual matters.We are to believe that one word carelessly said becomes the hallmark of an entire century. ... Read more


11. The Waves (Paperback)
by Virginia Woolf
Paperback: 174 Pages (2010-04-23)
list price: US$21.99 -- used & new: US$19.79
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 1849027781
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
Set against the vivid backdrop of the sea, six characters grapple with the death of a beloved friend, Percival. The characters are subtly revealed through the accumulation of their reflections on themselves and each other. Regarded by many as Virginia Woolf’s masterpiece, The Waves was partially written in order to exorcise her private ghosts, as the character of Percival represents her brother who died in 1906. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Ripple of Satisfaction
"How queer to have so many selves," said Virginia Woolf.And we each do.This "playpoem" is an intense and meticulous examination of self and being.It is driven by psychology rather than plot or even character.Six characters (Bernard, Louis, Neville, Rhoda, Jinny, and Susan) out of the main seven provide the interior dialogue which constitutes the novel.The seventh, Percival, is central to the novel, but only discovered and revealed through the thoughts of the other six.The point of view shifts almost seemlessly from one character to another, the only indication being "said Bernard", "said Jinny", etc.

The book is dense.Woolf blends the characters until it is not always clear whether they are a single individual with different aspects or whether they constitute a single social organism.I, and I think most, readers will take some time (pages) to become accustomed to the style.

Things are confused at first.But then, I think that is part of the effect Woolf was trying to generate.The world is a confusing place to young children and so perhaps a novel should be when the thoughts of young children who are not confident of their fit in the world are the medium.I found that the book became more comprehensible and the meaning clearer the further into the book I went.By the end, with the seven primary characters aged or dead, I felt I knew each intimately.

This book rewards careful reading, patience, and faith in the author.The gems abound:

"Beneath my eyes opens -- a book; I see to the bottom; the heart -- I see to the depths.I know what loves are trembling into fire; how jealousy shoots its green flashes hither and thither; how intricately love crosses love; love makes knots; love brutally tears them apart.I have been knotted; I have been torn apart."

"I have a little dagger of contempt and severity hidden up my sleeve."

Woolf writes a sentence as well as anyone and THE WAVES is full of well-crafted sentences.What you will not find is an intricate or traditional plot.The psychology of the characters takes center stage.Know that is what the book is about and you will not be disappointed.THE WAVES is not my favorite of her books.TO THE LIGHTHOUSE is more accessible and, I think, more enjoyable.THE WAVES, however, has a depth seductive.

5-0 out of 5 stars Woolf's response to Plato
Before reading "The Waves": 1) develop your own understanding of Virginia Woolf by reading two or three biographies of her; 2) read "To the Lighthouse" and "Mrs Dalloway" --- note the poetry and the biographical relevance; and 3) then read Plato's "The Symposium," or at least read Cliff's notes to get the gist of his symposium, or even a Wikipedia synopsis of "The Symposium."

Virginia Woolf was haunted by the Greek classical writers throughout her life. You first see those references in "Mrs Dalloway" (through Septimus). "The Waves" was Virginia Woolf's response to "Symposium." Whereas Plato limited his symposium to meaning of love, Woolf expanded the discussion to the meaning of life.

5-0 out of 5 stars A glorious book
If I were allowed to recommend only one book to other readers for the rest of my life, it would be The Waves.This exquisite novel showcases Woolf at the height of her genius (it's often considered her masterpiece); in it, she's taken the English language in all its messy, adjective-laden glory and used it to its full potential, producing a uniquely structured book of grace, beauty, and powerful compassion.When I first picked up The Waves, I had no idea what I was in for - believing that To the Lighthouse was Woolf's best book, I was prepared to enjoy myself but didn't expect anything spectacular.The Waves proceeded to make my jaw drop in shock at its beauty, and by the time I finished, my life felt altered.Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse may be Woolf's most famous novels, but The Waves is her greatest achievement.

The Waves has a reputation as a difficult and sometimes frustrating book, but don't let that turn you away!Its sentences are some of the most grammatically comprehensible in all Woolf's fiction, and she sticks to traditional paragraphs.If you drop kick your preconceived notions of what narratives and characters should do out the window before starting The Waves, it's not that bad.Trust Woolf's decisions, even if they seem odd - she knows what she's doing.

1-0 out of 5 stars less expensive editions
The one star rating refers not to Woolf's novel--which receives a five-star rating--but to this particular edition.There are less expensive editions of this novel.The "annotations" of this edition are not new--and the editor makes no secret that the annotations are available elsewhere.The "introduction" is interesting, but it also offers nothing particularly new for Woolf scholars and nothing particularly enlightening for non-academic readers that they could not easily find on any number of online sources.

2-0 out of 5 stars A toughie.
Considered by many who should know (e.g., E. M. Forester)to be Woolf's most brilliant work of genius, The Waves is a challenging book to read for many reasons, not the least of which is the style she has adopted. More like an extended Greek chorus than anything else, the six characters, whose "voices" sound identical to one another, speak their life stories in short, alternating monologues.Although the writing is very poetic, it is also very dense and very distancing. We never really warm up to any of the characters or get involved in their stories.

I had to read this book for a class and, though I'm glad I made it through to the end, it was difficult going and I know I never would have finished it (or even gotten through ten pages of it) if I hadn't had the carrot of a grade hanging over it. We had to read the whole thing in a week which is really not a good way to tackle this book. Best read in small segments, leisurely, absorbing each moment Woolf choses to highlight. Definitely not a plane or beach book!

If you haven't read Woolf before, this is not the book to start with.Mrs. Dalloway is, in my opinion, the best and most accessible of Woolf's experimental fictions and a good starting place for access into this great 20th century author's works. Then, if your brave, move onto "To the Lighthouse" and then, shudder, "The Waves." ... Read more


12. Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life
by Dr. Julia Briggs
Paperback: 544 Pages (2006-11-06)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$1.53
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0156032295
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****

Virginia Woolf is one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century literature. She was original, passionate, vivid, dedicated to her art. Yet most writing about her still revolves around her social life and the Bloomsbury set. 
 
In this fresh, absorbing book, Julia Briggs puts the writing back at the center of Woolf’s life, reads that life through her work, and mines the novels themselves to create a compelling new form of biography. Analyzing Woolf’s own commen­tary on the creative process through her letters, diaries, and essays, Julia Briggs has produced a book that is a convincing, moving portrait of an artist, as well as a profound meditation on the nature of creativity.


(20051120) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Va. Woolf: An Inner Life
Intimate and detailed look at Virginia Woolf's life and writing process. I liked the details.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hard to pigeon-hole
this book as a biography or as a series of critical essays of Virginia Woolf's novels and other works.I lumped this book with the other three biographies of VW that I have read this past year (Quentin Bell's, Hermione Lee's, and James King's) but Julia Brigg's "biography" is actually quite different, and probably should stand alone, not be compared with the other three.Each of Briggs' fourteen chapters covers one specific work by VW.For example, chapter 4 is "Jacob's Room"; chapter 5 is "The Common Reader"; chapter 6 is "Mrs Dalloway"; and, chapter 13 is "Roger Fry."Briggs provides an exhaustive look and interpretation (sometimes, almost too exhaustive) of each of VW's works, and uses these works to explore VW's psyche.VW was intensely interested in psychoanalysis (as was Gertrude Stein) and one could argue that Briggs has used VW's works as a way to psychoanalyze her.Briggs is well qualified in this endeavor:for many years she was professor of Woolf studies at Hereford College, Oxford, and is currently the editor of the Penguin UK reprint series of Woolf's novels.

4-0 out of 5 stars Don't Be Afraid of Virginia Woolf --Briggs bio is amazing...
Julie Briggs is an amazing author and biographer. She is an ENglish prof at DeMontfant University in Leicester, England. She was the general editor for the Penguin UK reprint series of Woolf's novels so knows Virginia's work very well...I think this knowledge of the work and the structure of the work makes this rather indepth analysis of the famous author's motivation for writing the novels, personal circumstances surrounding the writing, her marriage, her friendships and her ever-declining health and mental problems is what makes this book so fascinating...It's no ordinary bio-- it concentrates on the work and the impetus for the work. Reading this book is like being allowed inside the writer's head and her 'office' while and after she creates her many volumes. Don't I wish I had read this book in college-- it really makes you understand not only writer motivations but the implosion the world around makes on the writer and his/her works. Great for any Woolf fan or for use in teaching Woolf or for any writer or would-be writer. Fabulous for use in women's studies programs...and fascinating for anyone struggling with their own creativity or stifled dreams/goals.

5-0 out of 5 stars Satisfying
Briggs biography of Virginia Woolf follows a form that makes perfect sense for a biography of a writer. That is, it is a "biography" of her books as much as it is a biography of Virginia Woolf herself.

Not a great deal of time is spent going into Woolf's pre-natal background and infant years. The text quickly gets to the task of looking at the formative influences of Woolf the writer, and the circumstances and stimuli that influenced the creation and formation of each of her books.

A chronological approach is followed. We begin with the first efforts of writing, the first novel, and proceed sequentially through each of her books. A full chapter is given to the period in which each book was written and published. Each chapter concludes with details on the actual book, including such items as the novel's original cover illustration (usually done by her artist sister Vanessa), the size of the print runs, the critics responses, and how the book fared over the years, even up into the 1990s. Honestly, I found information like this very interesting. For one, it was interesting to see how first print runs increased as Woolf gradually grew in popularity.

What I most like about Brigg's approach is that you come away with key insights that any appreciator of Woolf should cherish. One learns a great deal about the process that Woolf went through in creating her works as well as about the life of Woolf herself. ... Read more


13. Virginia Woolf: A Writer's Life
by Lyndall Gordon
Paperback: 360 Pages (2001-07)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$7.99
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 039332205X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
This "original, intuitive, and even exciting" (The New Yorker) portrait highlights the experiences that shaped Virginia Woolf's life and art—her childhood, her relationships with her father and sister, her marriage, and her descents into madness. Black-and-white photographs. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars When A Masterpiece May Need An Advocate
This paperback-only book is a Masterpiece, and frankly one of the best books written about Virginia Woolf. Certainly, books abound about her - but they were not written by this author and insider with vast connections to both Virginia and Leonard Woolf. Also, aside from the substantive content, the book is truly a labor of love. I've never "advocated" for a book before but Virginia Woolf surely is still "with us" as one of the most masterful and popular authors of all time. If she cannot literally speak for herself (although her own writings do that exceedingly well), I believe it is our responsibility to go-tell-it-on-the-mountain when a gem-of-a-book about one of the greatest female-genius-writers is about to go down for the count. Oh, and the front cover photo of VW alone is worth almost as much as the book itself for VW was never again photographed with her guard down in quite this way. The book tells you why. ... Read more


14. Orlando (Annotated): A Biography
by Virginia Woolf
Paperback: 384 Pages (2006-07-03)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$7.98
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0156031515
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****

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. Part love letter to Vita Sackville-West, part exploration of the art of biography, Orlando is one of Woolf's most popular and entertaining works. This new annotated edition will deepen readers' understanding of Woolf's brilliant creation.

Annotated and with an introduction by Maria DiBattista
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars I shall dream wild dreams
No lover in the world ever wrote a valentine more exquisite than Virginia Woolf's tribute to her lover Vita Sackville-West. That tribute was "Orlando: A Biography," a magical-realism tale about a perpetually youthful, charming hero/ine who traverses three centuries and both genders -- and Woolf's writing reaches a new peak as she explores the hauntingly sensuous world of Orlando.

Orlando was born a young aristocratic man in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, and when the dying monarch visited his home she became his new court favorite (and briefly lover). His passionate, curious personality attracted many other women over the years -- until he fell in love with Sasha, a mercurial but faithless Russian princess (supposedly based on Sackville-West's ex-girlfriend). Bereft of true love, he devoted himself to poetry and entertainment.

But then he's assigned to be an ambassador to Constantinople, and something strange happens -- while a bloody revolution rages, he sleeps for a full week... and wakes newly metamorphosed into a woman. With the same mind and soul but a female body, Orlando sets out on a new life -- and discovers that women aren't quite as different from men as she once thought.

"Orlando: A Biography" is a very weird book, and was even more so when it was written since "magical realism" didn't exist as a literary style in 1928. Virginia Woolf makes no explanations about Orlando's immortality or unexpected gender switch. It's simply accepted that once he was a man, and then she became a woman, and that s/he has lived from the Elizabethan era until at least the 1920s (and who knows, maybe Orlando still wanders among us?).

And Woolf's writing is at its peak here. Her prose is soaked in luxurious descriptions that constantly tease the senses -- silver and gold, frozen flowers, crystalline ice, starlight and the exquisite expanses of nature's beauty. At times the sensual writing seems almost feverish, and Woolf adds an almost mythic quality by inserting spirits of feminine virtues (Modesty, Purity and Chastity appear to try to hide Orlando's feminine body), and by having her hero/ine encounter great poets, queens and men of the sea.

And Orlando him/herself is a truly fascinating character -- s/he can be sweet, passionate, romantic, wild and melancholy, and s/he has an almost magnetic charisma. He starts off the story as an elusive romantic teenager, suffers a heartbreak that matures him as an artist, and post-metamorphosis she becomes a woman of the modern world. Both in mind and body, Orlando is a very different woman at the end than the boy s/he began as.

"Orlando: A Biography" is a truly spellbinding book -- Virginia Woolf's prose enthralls the senses while her main character explores the boundaries of gender. A must-read, for everyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars A delightful joke
This novel is Woolf's literary joke, where she pokes fun at herself and all her literary predecessors. The story follows Orlando, who begins life as a young man in 16th century desperately striving for love and affection. About midway through, however, he becomes a stunning literary embodiment of Woolf's lover, Rita Sackville-West. Woolf's constant references to herself and her constant fun with other others make reading the book a bit like a treasure hunt, but it's certainly a joy to read even if you aren't searching for literary clues and connections. Reading Orlando is like sinking into a warm bathtub up to your neck and just enjoying the sensation and the blissful silence when you put your ears underwater.

5-0 out of 5 stars "The very fabric of life was magic."
In her most playful and exuberant novel, Virginia Woolf writes the "historical biography" of Orlando, a young boy of nobility during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. A wild ride through four centuries, the novel shows Orlando aging, magically, only thirty-six years between 1588 and 1928. Even more magically, he also changes from a man to a woman. As she explores Orlando's life, Woolf also explores the differing roles of men and women in society during various periods, ultimately concluding that one's role as a man or woman is determined by society, rather than by birth.

From the Elizabethan period, during which Orlando works as a steward for the queen and also serves as her lover, he progresses to the reign of James I, experiencing a profound love for a Russian princess, Sasha, who is herself exploring the role of a man. When the relationship ends, he retreats, devastated, to his estate, with its 365 rooms and 52 staircases, which he redecorates over the next few years. An interlude in which he is wooed by the Archduchess Harriet/Archduke Harry leads to his ambassadorship to Constantinople, a period spent with the gypsies, and his eventual return to England--as a woman. New experiences and observations await her there.

Throughout the novel, Woolf matches her prose style to the literary style of the period in which Orlando lives, creating always-changing moods and sheer delight for the reader. Some constants continue throughout the four centuries of Orlando's life. Orlando is always a writer, always recording his thoughts, and always adding to a poem he has begun as a child entitled "The Oak Tree." He is always returning to his 365-room house whenever he needs to recuperate from his experiences, and some characters repeat through time. (Orlando is betrayed by Nick Greene during the reign of James I, but he is encouraged by Nicholas Greene in the Victorian period.)

Literary historians make much of the fact that Woolf modeled Orlando on Vita Sackville-West, Woolf's lover, and that this study of gender roles was an early exploration of lesbianism, bisexuality, cross-dressing, and transgender identities. The novel is pure fun to read, however, and though it raises serious and thoughtful questions about sexuality and the ways that it controls our lives, there is no sense that Woolf wrote the novel specifically to make a public statement or prove a point. Her themes of gender and its relation to social expectations, of imagination and its relation to reality, of the importance of history in our lives, and of the unlimited potential of all humans, regardless of their sex, transcend the specific circumstances under which Woolf may have written the book. A playful and delightful novel, which broke new ground with its publication.Mary Whipple

Mrs. Dalloway
To The Lighthouse
A Room of One's Own (Annotated)
Jacob's Room
Flush: A Biography

... Read more


15. Virginia Woolf
by Hermione Lee
Paperback: 944 Pages (1999-10-05)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$13.51
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0375701362
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
"A majestic literary biography, a truly new, surprisingly fresh portrait. --
Newsday

A New York Times Book ReviewEditors' Choice
National Book Critics Circle Award finalist

"A biography wholly worthy of the brilliant woman it chronicles. . . . It rediscovers Virginia Woolf afresh."
--The Philadelphia Inquirer


While Virginia Woolf--one of our century's most brilliant and mercurial writers--has had no shortage of biographers, none has seemed as naturally suited to the task as Hermione Lee. Subscribing to Virginia Woolf's own belief in the fluidity and elusiveness of identity, Lee comes at her subject from a multitude of perspectives, producing a richly layered portrait of the writer and the woman that leaves all of her complexities and contradictions intact.Such issues as sexual abuse, mental illness, and suicide are brought into balance with the immensity of her literary achievement, her heroic commitment to her work, her generosity and wit,and her sanity and strength.

It is not often that biography offers the satisfactions of great fiction--but this is clearly what Hermione Lee has achieved. Accessible, intelligent, and deeply pleasurable to read, her Virginia Woolf will undoubtedly take its place as the standard biography for years to come.

"One of the most impressive biographies of the decade: moving, eloquent, powerful as both literary and social history."
--Financial Times

"The most distinguished study of Woolf yet."--The New RepublicAmazon.com Review
"Woolf's story is reformulated by each generation,"writes Hermione Lee, a professor of English literature.But herrichly human portrait, so respectful of the complexities of hersubject's life, seems unlikely to be surpassed. Lee extricatesVirginia Woolf (1882-1941) from clichés about madness andmodernism to reveal a vigorous artist whose work is politicallyprobing as well as psychologically delicate. She makes brilliant useof the formidable Woolf archives to let the writer speak directly tous, then comments shrewdly on her words' hiddensignificances. Biographies don't get much better than this. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Model Literary Biography
Literary biography is a tough genre to master, but Hermione Lee has tackled one of the toughest subjects imaginable and emerged triumphant. Even those who have never picked up even an essay or short story by Virginia Woolf feel somehow familiar with her work; Michael Cunningham's The Hours: A Noveland the film based on that has taken her story and turned it into part of pop culture (albeit at a very high level.) That makes the task of producing an unbiased evaluation of Woolf's literary contributions and a balanced view of her life (both subjects of heated debate among her admirers) far more difficult than penning a standard literary biography.
Far from being scared off, Hermione Lee rises to the occasion and delves deeply into every primary source on which she can lay her hands. The result is a triumph. She is able to weave these into a compelling narrative, never allowing the vast mass of detail to distract her or bog down the pace of the book (quite an accomplishment, given the 800-900 or so pages...)Whenever the reader is poised to ask of Lee how she reaches a given conclusion, within a paragraph the answer is presented, deftly and effortlessly.
The result is a highly accomplished biography and one that should serve as a model for any other aspiring literary biographer. The Woolf that emerges is one that stands apart from the existing biographies, all of which have their own flaws (written by a family member, with all the flaws that brings; written to demonstrate that Woolf was first and foremost a victim of sexual abuse, etc.) Lee's Woolf is an independent woman who constructed a life that suited her, however little understood it may have been by those around her. Even her suicide, the darkest days of World War II, make sense in the framework of Lee's narrative, which deals with her previous mental breakdowns, her experiences during the Great War and her fear of being trapped forever in a half-world unable to write.
Even for those not familiar with Woolf's novels or the Bloomsbury Group, this is a very accessible book. Indeed, I'd recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the entire period in English literature (which saw a dramatic changing of the guard, from the oeuvres of Tennyson, Hardy and Yeats to those of Woolf, Joyce and T.S. Eliot). It can only help the novice reader approach Woolf's own works with greater understanding and confidence.

5-0 out of 5 stars I have to agree,
this is the best biography of Virginia Woolf to date.The book is broken into four parts based on four broad periods in VW's life:1882 - 1904; 1904 -1919; 1919 - 1929; and 1929 - 1941. The chapters, however, are theme-based; for example, Chapter 15 is "Bloomsbury"; Chapter 19 is "War"; Chapter 24 is "Monk's House"; and Chapter 37 is "Fascism".This then serves as a wonderful reference book to go back to read about specific events (war) or themes ("Bloomsbury") without having to search through an index for disjointed entries.Of the four biographies I have read of VW (Quentin Bell's, Hermione Lee's, Julia Brigg's, and James King) I recommend this biography as the one to start.King, 1994, was willing to write more about her personal relationships (read, "sexual") and is a good follow-on.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exhaustively researched, crisply written, judicious
Of the many literary biographies I've read, only Peter Ackroyd's "Dickens" seems to me as "definitive" as Ms. Lee's terrifically compelling book. One finishes it with the sense, however illusory (see Janet Malcolm's extraordinary "The Silent Woman" for a convincing argument that it must be), that the Virginia Woolf found in its pages is essentially identical to the actual woman who lived and wrote and died. Anyone with even a slight interest in her must consider this book essential reading. I found it a real page-turner throughout its considerable length despite being unconvinced of Woolf's literary eminence (except for her sparkling correspondence) and finding her character unattractive (i.e. snobbish, frigid, a false friend, etc.) even by the usual standard for writers.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best so far
Probably the best bio of Woolf we are likely to see for some time. Lee has succeeded brilliantly and gracefully in that most elusive and troublesome task of capturing the "spirit" of another human being and thenconveying that without simplification or reduction. What is most moving isthat Lee allows Woolf her complexity and contradictions, her courage andcowardice, her generosity and meaness, without indulging in a sort ofinconoclastic glee in smashing received images of Woolf as victim orfeminist icon (or any other of the several and various "Woolfs"to be found these days.) Lee's bio is a stunning feat of sympatheticimagination and rational scholarship which ranks with the other"best" bio of the last 20 years or so, Deirdre Bair's marvelousand beautiful "Simone de Beauvoir." I am grateful to both ofthese writers.

5-0 out of 5 stars I don't want it to end
I am taking this book slowly and am nearing the end. It is terrific and I find, on the days I take off from reading it, that I miss Virginia Woolf and want to go back to the "place" that is her life. I thank Ms.Lee for giving me a closer intimacy with Virginia Woolf. ... Read more


16. The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Vol. 1: 1915-1919
by Virginia Woolf
Paperback: 384 Pages (1979-05-15)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$10.76
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0156260360
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****

“Nothing yet published about her so totally contradicts the legend of Virginia Woolf.... [This] is a first chance to meet the writer in her own unguarded words and to observe the root impulses of her art without the distractions of a commentary” (New York Times). Edited and with a Preface by Anne Olivier Bell; Introduction by Quentin Bell; Index.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Woolf Bio part 1
I really enjoy biographies of literary figures. This is the first diary I have purchased. Mrs. Woolf is fascinating, and I expect to purchase the rest of her published diaries. Virginia Woolf is my favorite British female author.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fascinating
Virginia Woolf diary 1 is a great read.Each and every volume of her diaries is interesting, educational, mysterious, genius, personal. VW lived an exciting, interesting life and thank-goodness she was very good at writing in her diary. You will get hooked on reading them and I recommend getting all five diaries. I read diary 5 first of course , since I know what happens in the end, then began with diary 1,then 2,3.4....and I shall read 5 again.(It is even better if you buy the books of letters to refer to alongside each volume) (even better, to also read the novels as they are 'being written then published by VW)The footnotes are wonderful, informative, and appreciated. Even tho they at times took up half a page, they were well worth it and were at times just as interesting as the diary on that page.You will immediately discover that she does not write her diary with the same prosey language with which she writes her books except for the entries where she is experimenting; so there is still plenty of beautiful imagery but mostly it feels as if she's speaking to the reader in everyday language/tone.The diaries would also be helpful to potential writers because she explains her process with each book; emotional states, inspirations, sights, sounds, re-writes, interruptions, time-lines, how she feels when books come out, how reviews affect her, how she gets her feelings hurt, humiliation, friendship, perseverance, and torture in the form of rest cures.Read all five volumes, you won't be sorry.Oh, and all of the other characters in the diaries are extraordinarily described and one begins to feel friendship with each and every one. I like Virginia. By the way, choose a favorite pen to underline with.

5-0 out of 5 stars Writer's Diary to Read.
I am learning a lot about writing by reading this book.I have peeked at it because I'm reading another book right now, but I have liked what I have read so far.

5-0 out of 5 stars Revealing Genius
I have a feeling I wouldn't like Virginia Woolf if I met her, any more than I'd like any of her friends in the Bloomsbury Group, but I love her novels and her diary is a wonderful insight into the mind of someone who wrote novels of genius, especially Mrs Dalloway and To The Lighthouse.I'd recommend this to anyone who wanted to get into her novels.

5-0 out of 5 stars Into Virginia Woolf's world.
"The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Volume One: 1915-1919" was truly magnificent.I never was so interested in every day, mundane goings-on as I was while reading this diary.As a journal keeper, I was in awe over the way she expressed her thoughts and explained her day(s).I've never read anything by her, but in reading this has really sparked my interest.Editor Oliver Bell put much time and hard work into this book, but I found the footnotes on the bottom of the pages bothersome, and it took me a while to get used to them being there.If you're interested in Virginia Woolf, then read her diary.I recommend. ... Read more


17. The Selected Works of Virginia Woolf (Wordsworth Library Collection)
by Virginia Woolf
Hardcover: 1024 Pages (2007-09-01)
list price: US$15.81 -- used & new: US$14.82
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 1840225580
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
The delicate artistry and lyrical prose of Woolf's novels have established her as a writer of sensitivity and profound talent. Virginia Woolf displays genuine humanity and concern for the experiences that enrich and stultify existence. Society hostess, Clarissa Dalloway is giving a party and her thoughts on that one day, and the interior monologues of others with interwoven lives reveal the characters of the central protagonists. "To the Lighthouse" is the most autobiographical of Virginia Woolf's novels. Based on her early experiences, it touches on childhood and children's perceptions and desires. It is at its most trenchant when exploring adult relationships and the changing class-structure in the period spanning the Great War. "Orlando", 'the longest and most charming love letter in literature', playfully constructs the figure of Orlando as the fictional embodiment of Woolf's close friend and lover, Vita Sackville-West.'I am writing to a rhythm and not to a plot', said Woolf of "The Waves". Regarded as one of her greatest and most original works, it conveys the rhythms of life in synchrony with the cycle of nature and the passage of time. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent single volume of Woolf's major works
I can't add much to J.E. Robinson's helpful review above, except to mention that this item is indeed an exceptional bargain.Though in some ways you get what you pay for: the binding seems sturdy and attractive, at least as durable as the average Everyman's Library edition; but the paper is more or less mass-market paperback quality, maybe a little better; the font is attractive and readable but perhaps a point or two small to my taste.I actually didn't find the weight of the book very heavy at all, thanks to this paper-stock choice.The striking photo of her (which I prefer to Nicole Kidman's portrayal of her in the the film THE HOURS, prosthetic nose and all!) on the cover seems to be pasted on to a no-frills cloth hardcover, which is a little cheap, but no big deal of course.

Sure, she was a woman, and had (has!) much to say about being a woman and a writer; but even disregarding that, five stars---hands down---for the brilliant writing, any day!Fifteen bucks is chump change for a single portable watershed collection by an essential pre-WW2 English novelist.

I should also mention that I ordered mine when the item was "temporarily not available", and I still received it very quickly (in about a week or so), so perhaps Amazon orders these as needed from the publisher.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pleasing
I like it very much. Simply because it reminds me the style of elementary school, which was the style of adults, too, story telling wise, telling to one another How do you do wise, or any other wise, just by the first few words in the work, which is why it appeals to the retired age, much more than the dwellers of the material world, who possibly couldn't or would not have the zest to grasp the meaning of the work, even as an English major, which frankly, is not the literature avid of two decades ago, who did it for the sake of fulfillment of inner soul, and sadly, not the outer impression, and additionally, brought with it satisfaction and well being, irrespective of fat bank account, or lack of it. I personally, read a few pages everyday, during meals, which is the only moment my mind is free, and more so that it takes me closer to the life I cherish and try to incarnate as much as I can. The hard cover is very old fashioned Bourdeaux cloth and a matching dye covered paper edge, which the very sight of it would add to your living room decoration, or maybe complement it, no matter if you get to put aside the hubbub of the urban life to attend to it for an hour or two, or not.

5-0 out of 5 stars marlene
This book was in better condition than I expected. It is of excellent quality and binding. I was very pleased with this selection and it was delivered within the exact delivery dates. I can add it to my library knowing that it has lasting quality.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend: Excellent Value for the Buyer
This is a great way to read Virginia Woolf. My only complaints are that it is heavy to lift and hold and it has no analysis. However, at the low price you get most of her major novels plus two non-fiction essays in one fat book. So overall it is excellent value for the price.

I read the Voyage Out before buying the present book. That is Woolf's first novel. Then I read this collection.I skipped her second novel - which is considered to be a flop - and which is not here in the collected works. The present collection starts with her third novel. The Voyage Out was Woolf's first major work. It took years to write, and she took few chances. Her brother's company was the publisher. It has been mostly forgotten with the passage of time. From this point going forward she would spend less time on each novel and would publish through her own company, the Bloomsbury Publishing Company.

The Voyage Out is simple and straightforward work. It is over 400 pages long. After her second novel she decided to be more risky and creative, and we see that change in the works here in the collection starting with "Jacob's Room" and "To The Lighthouse," and virtually in all of her other novels that followed. Woolf is equally famous for her non-fiction polemics on the state of women in literature and two are included here.

What is interesting in the current collection is that we see the transformation in her style and her approach starting with Jacob's Room. Woolf uses the stream of consciousness technique to effectively portray the chaos and shortness of Jacob's life. Jacob becomes a soldier in WW I. One starts off with certain questions about Woolf's technique as one reads and wonders where the story is going. But at some point in the novel, the process is revealed to the reader, i.e.: from the pandemonium of Jacob's life as portrayed by Woolf through the use of the stream of consciousness technique, we eventually have clarity.

The collection contains a number of other important works including Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Orlando, The Waves, and Between the Acts. Also, it contains A Room of One's Own and Three Guineas, which are non-fiction polemics or essays. It lacks the photographs found in some copies of Three Guineas.

In addition to the present book I bought A Room of One's Own, Three Guineas ISBN-10: 0141184604 and ISBN-13: 978-0141184609 (same book) because of the excellent introduction to Virginia Woolf.
... Read more


18. The Second Common Reader: Annotated Edition
by Virginia Woolf
Paperback: 336 Pages (2003-01-13)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$7.95
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0156028166
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
Here, in twenty-six essays, Woolf writes of English literature in its various forms, including the poetry of Donne; the novels of Defoe, Sterne, Meredith, and Hardy; Lord Chesterfield’s letters and De Quincey’s autobiography. She writes, too, about the life and art of women. Edited and with an Introduction by Andrew McNeillie; Index.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Woolf's essays present the author's stream of consciousness.
The Second Common Reader is merely an extension of Woolf's own literary genius as she enters into the minds of authors such as Donne, Hardy, DeFoe and Swift, among others.She uses her "stream of consciousness" literary tool to incorporate the life of the writer into his or her ownwork. This book is necessary for anyone interested in stream ofconsciousness writing and criticism. Woolf, once again, never ceases toamaze me. ... Read more


19. The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Vol. 3: 1925-30
by Virginia Woolf
Paperback: 408 Pages (1981-09-14)
list price: US$28.95 -- used & new: US$17.50
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0156260387
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
An account of Woolf's life during the period in which To the Lighthouse and The Waves were written. "Her steel-trap mind and elegant prose...make this a most valuable and pleasurable book" (Publishers Weekly). "Volume three is as witty and intelligent as its predecessors" (Atlantic Monthly). Edited by Anne Olivier Bell, assisted by Andrew McNeillie; Index. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars and the story continues...
Laughed at my hat, worry about clothes, Wells, Vita, Eliot, Ethel, Carrington, Hardy, Yeats, and all the regulars; new oil stove (one turns a dial and it has a thermometer!) books writing and re-writing, selling, stress, the usual depression when books published (but oh how exciting it is to read about) ;lots of feelings recorded, writing a profound pleasure, fame, money, happiness, foreshadow; on it goes in this third volume of the diaries .This wonderful, genius, enchanting, page-turner diary.I highly recommend reading all five of Virginia Woolf's diaries.Never boring or slow.The ultimate stream of consciousness.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply beautiful
Of all of Virginia's diaries (there are five volumes), volumes 3 and 4 are perhaps the most interesting, if only because they span the period in which she wrote her classics such as Orlando, To The Lighthouse, and The Waves (which itself literally spans the period between Vol 3 and Vol 4.)

If you read the collected Diaries and Woman Of Letters by Phyllis Rose, you will gain a vital series of insights into the life and thoughts of this most haunting of female writers.

Whenever I think of Virginia, I always think of the lines from "Vincent" by Don Maclean...

This world was never meant
for one as beautiful as you...

If you have never read any Virginia Woolf, I would respectfully suggest you rent a copy of Sally Potter's Orlando. While Sally takes artistic license with the novel, she has created a very sympathetic work of Art.

This diary above all gives you many insights into her thought processes and her writing career, including her reactions to the publication of her works and their reception by the public and the sub-species known as Critics.

Recommended. ... Read more


20. The Voyage Out (Oxford World's Classics)
by Virginia Woolf
Paperback: 496 Pages (2009-08-30)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$7.71
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0199539308
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
In The Voyage Out, one of Woolf's wittiest, socially satirical novels, Rachel Vinrace embarks for South America on her father's ship, and is launched on a course of self-discovery in a modern version of the mythic voyage. Lorna Sage's Introduction and Explanatory Notes offer guidance to the reader new to Woolf, and illuminate Woolf's presence, not identifiable in the heroine, but in the social satire, lyricism and patterning of consciousness in one woman's rite of passage. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Dragging, Overdramatic, and Downright Silly
Maybe it's not fair to harshly judge an author's first novel, but in literature there are no consolation prizes and no "A's for effort," and since I haven't read Woolf's later novels, I'm taking an objective view of "The Voyage Out." The novel, which approaches door-stopper status at nearly 500 pages, is a decently interesting experiment with point of view and literary devices, but it is weighed down by long scenes with no definitive action, awkward plotting, long-winded characters, and dadaist nonsense.

The novel has a cast of sexually frustrated rich people, most of which are going through some sort of existential crisis and/or love affair. At some points I couldn't tell if Woolf was using them to satirise English society or genuinely didn't realise how awkward and pretentious they come off as. Rachel, the protagonist, has the bulk of these surrealist moments, with lines such as, "The utter absurdity of a woman coming into a room with a piece of paper in her hand amazed Rachel." While this can be effective in small doses, Woolf instead chooses to bludgeon the reader over the head with it.

There is some really beautiful writing in this novel (the opening paragraphs, the cinematic shifts in point-of-view at the hotel especially), but in the end I just couldn't take it seriously. A victim of clumsy structure, the novel does the small stuff well but fails as a whole.

5-0 out of 5 stars Better the Second Time Around
My local book club having selected it for this month, I needed this title in a hurry when I first came to Amazon in search of it. Alas, my not-plainly-labeled first choice was clicked on in far too much haste. It proved to be a copy of this public domain masterpiece that some entrepreneur had scanned through an OCR (optical character recognition) setup and printed off to order on a perfect-bound instant book machine, totally unedited, OCR garbage and all (even the book's indicia was pathetically illiterately written)... in other words, twenty-five or thirty bucks' worth of unreadable! I quickly gave the book away to another short-funded member (who, it turned out, couldn't read it either,) and ordered a different edition, the subject of this review, which Amazon fortunately delivered very promptly. Since I have always had good service from Amazon, I hardly think it is ever Amazon's intent to rip customers off, and I hope they will check into this sort of presumably third party vending and at least offer plain labeling of goods that may well not be worth price charged!

As to this Oxford edition, it is everything that the first choice wasn't... inexpensive, professionally published, and even including intro, mini-bio and some highly useful scholarly impedimentia. Anybody who has any experience with OCR will know that, without careful editing, even an easy book may come out as OCR frass-laden unreadable gibberish. And of course there is nothing easy about Virginia Woolf, whether one may be afraid of her or not. As an early Modernist writer, Woolf's work is clever, stylish, heavily nuanced and occasionally as temporally and spacially disorienting as Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity. In other words, about the only way to render her even more bewildering than she normally is would be to run her through OCR.

Not that "Virginia Woolf" and "normal" would occur to many people as a natural pairing. She was born in 1882 to a maritally complicated, literarily and artistically inbred English upper class family, some of whose women were famous beauties, which went on to become the focus of the Modernist "Bloomsbury Group," mainly self-published through the family's own publishing house, wrote and published voluminously in the course of a career marked by explorations of lesbianism and womens' liberation issues (not that there's anything wrong with that...) and scarred by nervous breakdowns and psychotic episodes, and ultimately drowned herself in the River Ouse at age 59. Images of Virginia in her youth suggest her own share of a languid Oscar Wildish-decadent sort of beauty.

"The Voyage Out" is a wittily tragic tale of a voyage, as mythically told in its way as Melville's "Moby Dick," of the mannered travails of a collection of early 20th century upper class English gentry stranded for a season in some Brazilian coastal town that you won't find on any map, given as Santa Marina. Why it should not be "Sao" I have not yet discovered, although Virginia seems to have been quite young at the time she started writing this novel, subject to many subsequent rewritings thereafter. If this premise sounds unpromising, it should matter that this is essentially a psychological study of manners, of coming-of-age, a complex -Bildungsroman-, set in a time when not only Englishness but social class mattered, what with the Empire and all that. If that sort of thing, handled not as mere storytelling but as literature, is interesting to you, as it is to me, then practical considerations of locale and purpose may be no more than secondarily important.

That much said, the prose handling of this saga (which in fact I'm still reading, what with delays in acquiring it,) strikes me as patchy, floaty (if that may be a word) and eccentric... perhaps the handiwork of a personality whose mentality is not always in good touch with its own physicality or the physical world. Asked to give my take on Virginia, I would probably say yes, the gal is a whack job, but in an interesting way, shrewdly possessed of turns of phrase and thought and perception of kinds which might well elude a better balanced sort of person. Certain pithy qualities of her prose really do redeem it, besides which, Virginia comes across as vulnerable, humorous and not unwomanly or unkind, for all that her depictions of male characters and their sensibilities seem sometimes puzzlingly inauthentic even considering upper class Englishmen. One character, for instance, St. John Hirst, confides to a friend at one point that he abhors the female breast! Best of all, though Ms. Woolf is often termed a Feminist, her prose never seems to be pimping for any particular ideological agenda.

Before now, Virginia Woolf was never more than a name to me. "The Voyage Out" is long and strenuous, over 400 pages, talky and introspective with not a lot of real action enlivening its pages, and is not the sort of thing I would likely ever have picked up to read on a whim. But then, one reason for my joining a book club was to bounce myself out of my usual reading ruts. As a result, I can say that I am quite enjoying the book's and the author's peculiar novelty, and not a bit sorry to have been charged to acquire and read it... despite initial OCR misfires! ... Read more


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