Fiction was the core of Virginia Woolf's work. But she took her essay writing very seriously, spending a great deal of time on each essay and finding they provided a refreshing diversion from fiction. Her essays informed her fiction, and vice versa; this volume shows her thinking about the possibility of poeticising the novel ("The Waves" was the result) and in some of these pieces ("Women and Fiction", "Women and Leisure") she considers the relationship between women, writing and society - the preoccupation that would become such a large part of her legacy."The Common Reader: Second Series" comprises a significant part of this volume - it was first published in 1932 to excellent reviews. ('They are wholly delightful. They are sensitive, acute, picturesque, humorous, and yet severe' - Vita Sackville-West; 'Is there anybody writing anywhere in the world at this moment who could surpass the essay...so beautifully moulded into a form appropriate to its content that what is an authentic critical masterpiece seems as light on the mind as a song?' - Rebecca West).This collection shows Woolf's genius as a critic and essayist: as well as displaying her perceptive understanding of writers and their work, it also offers us an important insight into her creative mind.
Continuing the work of former editor Andrew McNeillie, Stuart N. Clarke brings fresh light to Woolf's essays and enriches them with variations. This penultimate volume forms part of an indispensable, unique collection from one of our greatest writers.
With this sixth volume The Hogarth Press completes a major literary undertaking - the publication of the complete essays of Virginia Woolf. In this, the last decade of her life, Woolf wrote distinguished literary essays on Turgenev, Goldsmith, Congreve, Gibbon and Horace Walpole. In addition, there are a number of more political essays, such as 'Why Art To-Day Follows Politics', 'Women Must Weep' (a cut-down version of Three Guineas and never before reprinted), 'Royalty' (rejected by Picture Post in 1939 as 'an attack on the Royal family, and on the institution of kingship in this country'), 'Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid', and even 'America, which I Have Never Seen...' ('['Americans are] the most interesting people in the world - they face the future, not the past'). In 'The Leaning Tower' (1940), Virginia Woolf faced the future and looked forward to a more democratic post-war age: 'will there be no more towers and no more classes and shall we stand, without hedges between us, on the common ground?'.
Woolf stimulates her readers to think for themselves, so she 'never forges manifestos, issues guidelines, or gives instructions that must be followed to the letter' (Maria DiBattista). In providing an authoritative text, introduction and annotations to Virginia Woolf's essays, Stuart N. Clarke has prepared a common ground - for students, common readers and scholars alike - so that all can come to Woolf without specialised knowledge.
Written while Virginia Woolf worked on "Orlando", "To the Lighthouse" and "A Room of One's Own", and including the complete text of "The Common Reader", the essays in this volume explore subjects ranging from the world's greatest books to obscure English lives, confirming Woolf's faith in the value of writing and in the "common reader" she addresses. The volume also includes her introduction to an American edition of "Mrs Dalloway". Andrew McNeillie introduces and annotates her writing.
This is the third volume in a series on the complete non-fiction work of Virginia Woolf, which contains her essays, diaries and letters. This particular book is a compilation of Virginia Woolf's reviews and essays, including 80 previously uncollected pieces, spanning the years 1919-1924, while she worked on her novels "Night and Day", "Jacob's Room" and "Mrs Dalloway" and edited works such as T.S.Eliot's "The Wasteland" for The Hogarth Press. They reveal not only her talent as a critic and essayist, but also provide an insight into her understanding of writing, her creativity and her opinions on plays, films and paintings. Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) is one of English literature's greatest writers renowned for her novels, stories, diaries and letters. With her husband Leonard Woolf, she founded The Hogarth Press.