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A portrait of a family coping with changes wrought by the new twentieth century - the most popular of Woolf's books during her lifetime

About the Author

Virginia Woolf (Author) 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.Virginia Woolf (Author) Virginia Woolf is now recognized as a major twentieth-century author, a great novelist and essayist and a key figure in literary history as a feminist and a modernist. Born in 1882, she was the daughter of the editor and critic Leslie Stephen, and suffered a traumatic adolescence after the deaths of her mother, in 1895, and her step-sister Stella, in 1897, leaving her subject to breakdowns for the rest of her life. Her father died in 1904 and two years later her favourite brother Thoby died suddenly of typhoid.With her sister, the painter Vanessa Bell, she was drawn into the company of writers and artists such as Lytton Strachey and Roger Fry, later known as the Bloomsbury Group. Among them she met Leonard Woolf, whom she married in 1912, and together they founded the Hogarth Press in 1917, which was to publish the work of T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster and Katherine Mansfield as well as the earliest translations of Freud. Woolf lived an energetic life among friends and family, reviewing and writing, and dividing her time between London and the Sussex Downs. In 1941, fearing another attack of mental illness, she drowned herself.Her first novel, The Voyage Out, appeared in 1915, and she then worked through the transitional Night and Day (1919) to the highly experimental and impressionistic Jacob's Room (1922). From then on her fiction became a series of brilliant and extraordinarily varied experiments, each one searching for a fresh way of presenting the relationship between individual lives and the forces of society and history. She was particularly concerned with women's experience, not only in her novels but also in her essays and her two books of feminist polemic, A Room of One's Own (1929) and Three Guineas (1938).Her major novels include Mrs Dalloway (1925), the historical fantasy Orlando (1928), written for Vita Sackville-West, the extraordinarily poetic vision of The Waves (1931), the family saga of The Years (1937), and Between the Acts (1941). All these are published by Penguin, as are her Diaries, Volumes I-V, and selections from her essays and short stories.

Reviews

"Inspired throughout - a brilliant fantasia of all Time's problems, age and youth, change and permanence, truth and illusion" Times Literary Supplement "Lovely through The Waves was, The Years goes far beyond and beyond it-expressing Woolf's purpose in the novel more richly than it has ever been done before" New York Times Book Review

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.

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