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Virginia Woolf, Life and London

A Biography of Place

By (author) Jean Moorcroft Wilson
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Cecil Woolf, London, United Kingdom
Published: 30th Sep 1987
Dimensions: w 140mm h 220mm
ISBN-10: 0900821884
ISBN-13: 9780900821882
Barcode No: 9780900821882

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Kirkus US
Part biography, part travel guide, a slight but charming book rich in conception and successful in execution. Wilson, a lecturer at London University, has divided her book into five sections covering the life, literature, and landscape of Virginia Woolf. She starts with a short biography of the novelist, focusing on her life in London. Next, and less successful, is a somewhat undergraduate look at "The Role of London in Virginia Woolf's Writing." Here, Wilson tends to plot summary, and the insights are familiar - that Woolf used London to organize her stream-of-consciousness writing; that Clarissa Dalloway's "view of Bond Street. . .reflects her own priorities in lite. . .whilst being an external description of Clarissa's inner world." Wilson's next surveys the various symbolic meanings, both for Woolf and her contemporaries, of different London locations - an informative section, but undoubtedly she makes the best use of her material in her final chapter, a series of walks for the traveller who wants to visit Virginia Woolf's London. A book more to be used in London than to be read in a library. All the previous sections come to life in these wonderful excursions, three based on Woolf's life, four on her writings. If, as biography, this will hardly displace Quentin Beil, as a travel book it is exciting and innovative. (Kirkus Reviews)