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Virginia Woolf was born in London in 1882. After her father's death in 1904 Virginia and her sister, the painter Vanessa Bell, moved to Bloomsbury and became the centre of 'The Bloomsbury Group'. This informal collective of artists and writers exerted a powerful influence over early twentieth-century British culture. In 1912 Virginia married Leonard Woolf, a writer and social reformer. Three years later, her first novel The Voyage Out was published, followed by Night and Day (1919) and Jacob's Room (1922). Between 1925 and 1931 Virginia Woolf produced what are now regarded as her finest masterpieces, from Mrs Dalloway (1925) to The Waves (1931). She also maintained an astonishing output of literary criticism, short fiction, journalism and biography. On 28 March 1941, a few months before the publication of her final novel, Between the Acts, Virginia Woolf committed suicide.
The last novel to be published in Woolf's lifetime, this is the chronicle of the Pargiter family from 1880 to the late 1930s. Colonel Pargiter is a veteran of the Indian Mutiny, in which he lost two fingers. His wife, Rose, is an invalid. Each person in the large cast-their children Eleanor, Morris, Milly, Edward, Delia, Martin, and Rose; their housemaid, Crosby; their cousins Kitty and Digby; grandchildren Peggy and North; and emigre Nicholas-has a place in the chronology from the height of the Victorian era through the Edwardian period, the Great War, Jazz Age, and the eve of the next European war. Finty Williams narrates the story elegantly and precisely, ably differentiating the characters, which enables the listener to keep them sorted out. Verdict Fans of PBS's Downton Abbey will particularly enjoy this family saga set in the same time frame.-Nann Blaine Hilyard, Zion-Benton P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.