A titan of twentieth-century literature, a feminist icon and a figurehead of the modernist movement in Britain, Virginia Woolf remains one of the most daringly experimental writers in print.
Virginia Woolf in Penguin Black Classics
Virginia Woolf in Oxford World Classics
Virginia Woolf in Vintage Classics
Non-Fiction Books by Virginia Woolf
Born into a literary and artistic family in 1882 – her father was the first editor of the Dictionary of National Biography and her mother’s connections included the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron – Virginia Woolf and her siblings grew up with an unusual degree of artistic licence, socialising with key figures of the age including Clive Bell, Lytton Strachey, and John Maynard Keynes. These informal gatherings over time formed the origins of what became known as the Bloomsbury group, of which Virginia and her husband, the publisher Leonard Woolf, were founding members.
Virginia Woolf’s literary presence was already being felt in the early years of the twentieth century through her anonymous literary criticism for journals such as the Times Literary Supplement when she determined to write a new and experimental kind of novel. Her early fiction included Melymbrosia, The Voyage Out and The Mark on the Wall, the latter published under the auspices of the Woolfs’ newly established Hogarth Press.
Subsequently Woolf began experimenting more widely with new ideas of form and gender, in particular the stream of consciousness style she was to make her own. Having temporarily relocated to rural Sussex, she moved back to Bloomsbury in 1924, beginning an affair with the notorious figure Vita Sackville-West. This period witnessed the creation of some of her best-known works: the novels Mrs Dalloway, To the Lighthouse and Orlando and the pioneering non-fiction collection A Room of One’s Own – widely viewed as a seminal feminist text. Although productive, Woolf’s later years were dogged by family tragedy, fears over increasing national and political unrest – which she explored in her book Three Guineas - and the depression which had affected her throughout her life. She committed suicide in 1941 and her last work, Between the Acts was published posthumously.
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