Adeline Virginia Woolf (née Stephen; 25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941) D/O Leslie Stephen is the major force behind feminist movement. She is the key figure of modern literature and an eminint member of the influential Bloomsbury Group of intellectuals. She published her first novel titled The Voyage Out in 1915. She established Hogarth Press, a publishing house, with her husband, Leonard Woolf.
Her first novel, The Voyage Out, was published in 1915 by her half-brother’s imprint, Gerald Duckworth and Company Ltd. This novel was originally titled Melymbrosia, but Woolf repeatedly changed the draft.
Jacob’s Room is the third novel by Virginia Woolf. The novel centres, in a very ambiguous way, around the life story of the protagonist Jacob Flanders and is presented almost entirely through the impressions other characters have of Jacob. He does not exist as a concrete reality, but rather as a collection of memories and sensations.
Mrs Dalloway (1925) centres on the efforts of Clarissa Dalloway, a middle-aged society woman, to organise a party, as her life is paralleled with that of Septimus Warren Smith, a working-class veteran who has returned from the First World War bearing deep psychological scars.
To the Lighthouse (1927) is set on two days ten years apart. The plot centres on the Ramsay family’s anticipation of and reflection upon a visit to a lighthouse and the connected familial tensions. One of the primary themes of the novel is the struggle in the creative process that beset painter Lily Briscoe while she struggles to paint in the midst of the family drama. The novel is also a meditation upon the lives of a nation’s inhabitants in the midst of war, and of the people left behind. It also explores the passage of time, and how women are forced by society to allow men to take emotional strength from them.
Orlando (1928) is one of Virginia Woolf’s lightest novels. A parodic biography of a young nobleman who lives for three centuries without ageing much past thirty (but who does abruptly turn into a woman), the book is in part a portrait of Woolf’s lover Vita Sackville-West. It was meant to console Vita for the loss of her ancestral home, Knole House, though it is also a satirical treatment of Vita and her work. In Orlando, the techniques of historical biographers are being ridiculed; the character of a pompous biographer is being assumed in order for it to be mocked.
A Room of One’s Own, 1929, is an extended essay based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College. It employs a fictional narrator and narrative to explore women both as writers of and characters in fiction, the manuscript for the delivery of the series of lectures, titled “Women and Fiction”
The Waves (1931) presents a group of six friends whose reflections, which are closer to recitatives than to interior monologues proper, create a wave-like atmosphere that is more akin to a prose poem than to a plot-centred novel”.
Flush: A Biography (1933) is a part-fiction, part-biography of the cocker spaniel owned by Victorian poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The book is written from the dog’s point of view. Woolf was inspired to write this book from the success of the Rudolf Besier’s play The Barretts of Wimpole Street.
“Her last work, Between the Acts (1941), sums up and magnifies Woolf’s chief preoccupations: the transformation of life through art, sexual ambivalence, and meditation on the themes of flux of time and life, presented simultaneously as corrosion and rejuvenation—all set in a highly imaginative and symbolic narrative encompassing almost all of English history.
The book describes the mounting, performance, and audience of a play at a festival in a small English village, just before the outbreak of the Second World War.
Virginia Woolf Quiz
1. Woolf’s most popular novel during her lifetime was?
2. Original title of The voyage out, for which l Woolf repeatedly changed the draft was ?
3. What is the setting in ‘To The Lighthouse’ ?
(two days – ten years apart in Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920 )
4. Which novel of Woolf is cited as a key example of the literary technique of multiple focalization ?
( To the Lighthouse , 1927)
5. ‘To The Lighthouse’ is devided into 3 parts namely?
( The window, Time passes, The lighthouse respectively).
6. In which of her work, the eponymous hero is born as a male nobleman in England during the reign of Elizabeth I. He undergoes a mysterious change of sex at the age of about 30 and lives on for more than 300 years into modern times without ageing perceptibly ?
7. Which poem is published by Orlando centuries after starting it, for which she wins a prize?
(The Oak Tree)
8. Woolf pioneered in the use of which narrative device ?
(stream of consciousness)
9.”Give her a room of her own and five hundred a year, let her speak her mind and leave out half that she now puts in, and she will write a better book one of these days.” These lines occure in which of Woolf’s work ?
(A Room of One’s Own, 1929)
10. During what conditions in England was woolf writing her novels resulting in related themes of her novels?
( During the interwar period)