13 December 2007

Virginia Woolf - A Critical Memoir

This was the first extended study of Virginia Woolf's work to be written in English. It appeared in 1936, whilst she was still alive, shortly after the publication of her last major work, The Waves. The author Winifred Holtby was herself a novelist (best known for South Riding) a journalist, a radical feminist, and lifelong friend of Vera Britten, who wrote about their relationship in Testament of Friendship. Holtby takes what at the time was a fairly conventional approach to literary criticism, which was to read what was known of the author's biography into the fiction as a way of explaining it. Thus the parent figures in both The Voyage Out and To the Lighthouse are assumed to be portraits of Woolf's own mother and father; and the recurrence of sea imagery in her work is seen as simply a reflection of her childhood holidays in Cornwall... Read more >>


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