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On Virginia Woolf and Mrs Dalloway

In a time long ago, I fancied myself an amateur Woolf scholar. I had volumes of her letters and journals; her novels and essays; any biography I could find; and kept all close to my bed, within arm’s reach. My interest in Woolf started while I was in high school and continued, fairly strong, through my grad degree in English. I still fancy Woolf although it’s been a long time since I’ve (re)read anything by her. I no longer claim to be a Woolf scholar, amateur or otherwise, but like a moth to a brilliant light, I fly to her whenever I see her name.
In this blog post, Interesting Literature not only provides an interesting tribute to Mrs. Dalloway (published on May 14, 1925), but also includes a clip of Virginia Woolf talking about writing. I had never heard her voice before. Her accent is much what you would expect from a well-educated, well-to-do British citizen of that time. Her obvious love of language, her philosophy that words should tell us the truth or create beauty, tugs at my heart given that she left this world too soon and too young.

Interesting Literature

Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway was published on this day, 14 May, in 1925. In honour of this, we thought we’d offer a few little facts about this novel, and about Woolf herself.

The action of the book takes place over just one day – a ‘moment of June’ in 1923 – although there are flashbacks to events that occurred in the characters’ lives over the previous five years, in the immediate wake of WWI. The original title of the book was ‘The Hours’, a title that Michael Cunningham would go on to use for the title of his novel about Woolf, which weaves together events from Woolf’s own life and events from Mrs Dalloway. The book was filmed, in 2002, starring Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman (the latter of whom famously wore a prosthetic nose to portray Woolf).

Woolf stampMrs Dalloway wasn’t the only novel Woolf wrote the action of…

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Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

4 replies

  1. You know I love her more conventional works like Mrs Dalloway which I reread recently and found new things to love. But To The Lighthouse, well, I have given up. There, I’ve said it. I tried several times but just can’t. Interestingly enough, it took me 6 attempts to get through Ullyses (I use this example because she had so much to say against that novel) but I always wanted to finish because what I was reading was nourishing and inspiring me. But with To The Lighthouse, I don’t have the same inclination. So I will continue to reread Mrs Dalloway 🙂


    1. That’s one of the wonderful things about Woolf. She wrote extensively so one is not limited to her experimental novels. It’s been too long since I’ve read any of her novels.


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