Mrs Dalloway [NOOK Book]

Overview

A single June day in London in 1923. Clarissa Dalloway, wife of a Conservative MP, is preparing to give a party, while shell-shocked Septimus Warren Smith hears the birds in Regent's Park chattering in Greek. There seems to be nothing, except perhaps London, to link Clarissa and Septimus.
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Mrs Dalloway

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Overview

A single June day in London in 1923. Clarissa Dalloway, wife of a Conservative MP, is preparing to give a party, while shell-shocked Septimus Warren Smith hears the birds in Regent's Park chattering in Greek. There seems to be nothing, except perhaps London, to link Clarissa and Septimus.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As Clarissa Dalloway prepares to host a party in 1920s London, she is unexpectedly reunited with her old friend Peter Walsh in a novel that shifts among the inner monologues of its many characters and is darkened by the terrors and hallucinations of parallel protagonist Septimus Smith. Juliet Stevenson’s performance--with its lyricism and lilt--is perfectly matched to Woolf’s text and transports the listener. Stevenson produces a delightful range of distinct voices--her introspective, fragile Clarissa and stormy Peter are particularly strong. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781300977018
  • Publisher: Lulu.com
  • Publication date: 4/26/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 302,372
  • File size: 365 KB

Meet the Author

Anne Fernald is Associate Professor and Director of Writing and Composition at Fordham University, New York. She is the author of Virginia Woolf: Feminism and the Reader (2006) and has published articles on Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, and Modernism in noted publications including Virginia Woolf in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Biography

Virginia Woolf is now recognized as a major twentieth-century author, a great novelist and essayist and a key figure in literary history as a feminist and a modernist. Born in 1882, she was the daughter of the editor and critic Leslie Stephen, and suffered a traumatic adolescence after the deaths of her mother, in 1895, and her stepsister Stella, in 1897, leaving her subject to breakdowns for the rest of her life. Her father died in 1904 and two years later her favorite brother Thoby died suddenly of typhoid. With her sister, the painter Vanessa Bell, she was drawn into the company of writers and artists such as Lytton Strachey and Roger Fry, later known as the Bloomsbury Group. Among them she met Leonard Woolf, whom she married in 1912, and together they founded the Hogarth Press in 1917, which was to publish the work of T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster and Katherine Mansfield as well as the earliest translations of Freud. Woolf lived an energetic life among friends and family, reviewing and writing, and dividing her time between London and the Sussex Downs. In 1941, fearing another attack of mental illness, she drowned herself.

Her first novel, The Voyage Out, appeared in 1915, and she then worked through the transitional Night and Day (1919) to the highly experimental and impressionistic Jacob's Room (1922). From then on her fiction became a series of brilliant and extraordinarily varied experiments, each one searching for a fresh way of presenting the relationship between individual lives and the forces of society and history. She was particularly concerned with women's experience, not only in her novels but also in her essays and her two books of feminist polemic, A Room of One's Own (1929) and Three Guineas (1938). Her major novels include Mrs. Dalloway (1925), the historical fantasy Orlando (1928), written for Vita Sackville-West, the extraordinarily poetic vision of The Waves (1931), the family saga of The Years (1937), and Between the Acts (1941).

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Adeline Virginia Stephen Woolf (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 25, 1882
    2. Place of Birth:
      London
    1. Date of Death:
      March 28, 1941
    2. Place of Death:
      Sussex, England

Table of Contents

General editors' preface; Notes on the edition; Acknowledgements; Chronology of Virginia Woolf's life and work; Introduction; Chronology of the composition of Mrs Dalloway; Mrs Dalloway; Explanatory notes; Textual apparatus; Textual notes; Appendix; Bibliography.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 89 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(42)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 89 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2006

    'make sure something happens in it'

    Mrs. Dalloway is a difficult book to read, especially if you do not enjoy reading or you are not a very apt reader. I've read several reviews on Virginia Woolf's books, and I have to say that the main reason behind the bad reviews is ignorance. It is a day, and in this single day in a person's life Woolf makes the closest representation of love in writing I have ever read. Simply genius, however difficult the book is for you, I assure you that the ending makes it worth it. However, if by the time you finish it you feel like Woolf failed and did not 'make sure something happened', go watch an action film that's not too clever for you. :)

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2010

    Mrs. Dalloway

    I will admit, when I first attempted to read this novel, I was intimidated by Woolf's complicated, dense prose and lack of plot substance. I now can say that it is one of my favorite novels not for its plot (which is admittedly nothing more than one day in the life of a simple woman setting up for an evening with friends) or escapism in setting or fantastic characters but for the symbolism throughout. The characters are shattered, fragmented (because of WWI, in my opinion) and seem to represent facets of society. I found, in them, bits and pieces of my own self; I was forced to look upon the unpleasant and questioned the supposed "good" qualities. The style of writing is quite virtuosic and needs a steady mind from the reader for interpreting the stream of thought and exit and entrance of each character. It is for this reason that I would feel apprehensive in choosing this book for a readers group or class discussion. Woolf's prose is very filling and consuming: not something many casual readers would like when indulging in a book (which is also the reason I hesitate suggesting Mrs. Dalloway for literature classes unless they are advanced students who are taught the significant aspects of literature analysis). On the whole, Mrs. Dalloway is quite a wonderful read, delving into the psychological and social aspects of what could be any given day in anyone's life.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Don't Expect Riveting Storytelling

    I was assigned this book several times in high school and college and turned to Monarch notes rather than finishing, because words can not express how tedious and boring I found this book. Hated it. Recently, I wanted to read Cunningham's "The Hours" because I was intrigued by the film. I knew that Mrs Dalloway was one source for the novel, so wanting to get more out of my reading I returned to this novel, thinking, well, maybe being more of a sophisticated reader I'll enjoy it now. I can't say I did.

    The novel is written with the stream of consciousness technique and has no chapters and few section breaks. Woolf's sentences are famously long and complex. Sometimes this makes for lyrical, sinuous prose; I especially remembered one passage about the flowers looking like starched laundry striking me as beautiful. It was easier to take in such sentences early in the book, but the prose became more and more numbing because of the its unrelieved density. There are many paragraphs and sentences I reread more than once trying to make sense of them. The narrative often comes across as rambling and incoherent. Given one of the characters is mentally ill, I think some of the narrative is deliberately mad. Different point of views mix throughout the novel without clear cut edges. This is also one of those novels that's feels abstruse, dated, because of many contemporary references are hard to get as a 21st century American without constantly turning to the notes.

    There's little discernable plot. We follow various characters--mostly related to Mrs Dalloway--through one mid-June day in London, but the events feel disjointed. Besides there being no plot to absorb me, there was not one character I found likable--I found Mrs Dalloway herself and almost all the characters vapid and shallow. This isn't an accessible story like those of a Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte or EM Forester--its very interior and page after page is filled with character's thoughts. There is a structure and technique of historic importance, but not a read I'd call enjoyable and filled with the melancholies of middle age. A formative classic for good reason, so I'd give it a shot if you haven't read it--but I finished it more frustrated than moved.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2009

    I hated this book.

    What a waste of time. I was not drawn into the story enough to care about any of the characters. Now I know why I didn't read this "classic" earlier.

    2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2000

    *Here's a hint* BUY CLIFFS NOTES

    I unknowingly just picked out a book for my English Honors class independant reading assignment, I saw that the author was Virginia Woolf, and I thought, what the heck? I've at least heard of her, so I'll read it. That was a mistake. The book takes place over one day, is about a lady giving a party and a crazy man. It is hard to keep track of who is telling the story, for it changes often, and there are no chapters. I don't really reccommend the book unless you have a lot of time and patience.

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Not My Style of Writing Reading Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

    Not My Style of Writing

    Reading Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf reminded me of why many of these books I have pledged to read are considered challenges. I was really looking forward to reading this book because I was under the impression that other people liked it. As I found out later, this is not necessarily the case and I can understand why. It’s not that Mrs. Dalloway is a bad book and, in fact, it gets better as it goes along and even has some profound quotes, such as, “Nothing exists outside us except a state of mind.”




    The book is incredibly detailed and vivid in its descriptions, and Woolf does a great job of really getting inside of the heads of various characters. The problem is the stream of consciousness writing made it difficult to recognize transitions from one person to the next. No matter what page I was on, I felt like I was having aha moments about two pages before. I was always reading a few pages of my comprehension. The result is that I can look back on the book with some fondness, but I remember the difficulties I encountered. My favorite parts were those pertaining to Septimus and Rezia (even more so than Mrs. Dalloway herself). Theirs was a palpable and tragic story that I could have read an entire book about.




    To be fair to the book, I skipped the Introduction. It was more or less a play-by-play of the entire book and I thought that reading it would ruin the story for me. Instead, I read it after I finished the book and it put things into better context for me. If I were to do it over again, though, I still don’t think I would have read the Introduction first. I don’t like knowing everything that’s going to happen in a book, even if it makes it “easier” to get through. The book has a great quote that says, “It is a thousand pities never to say what one feels,” and so, I will be honest….. I could have just read the Introduction and skipped reading the book altogether and come away with the same amount of comprehension. But that’s neither here nor there and I am left feeling ambiguous about the book. I enjoyed it after the fact, but not as much while reading it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    Complex novel

    I am not sure what I think about this book. The writing is an interconnected stream of conscienceness among all the characters in the book. You almost feel like you are floating from one characters mind to the next. I don't think anyone could say that the author is not extremely talented but I did not find the book that enjoyable. There is really not much plot more of portraits of each character. Glad I read it though, I love to be exposed to different writing styles and ideas.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2014

    Wonderful

    This book was wonderful for me to read. I think I will read it again!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    What a self-indulgent piece of muck!!! I have rarely been so bor

    What a self-indulgent piece of muck!!! I have rarely been so bored by a book.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2013

    Line of fire

    Took me awhile to read. Not one of his best works

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2012

    GOOD NEWS FOR ALL YA'L THAT SAY IT TERRIBLE OR GOOD

    Who wants a good book? Wait let me refrase that who wants a teenage book, with magic flying back and forth in each battle that consistes of life or death, with romance, betrayl, mystery magic, stubbonness, and heart stolen love. Eden Mathews is a 16 year girl who beleives she is a reguler girl who has shut down 3 other schools on''acsudental'' and has yet to figure out why until resentle at her new school Kingsley after just having a fight with 5 men that she beleive she killed. Now on top on that she just finds out shes not normal she is a super-human and finding out that all the schools she closed down could have resisted. And on top of the school roof in the middle of a fight agianest 5 men to save the man of her love life who is also the crowned prince then all of a sudden BOOM Eden has deen knocked off the 3 story high roof. If you think I just gave away the whole story your wrong I didn't. The books called Reckless Magic and the author is Rachel Higginson she has 3 other books in the series this is a must read book. Lets just say that I'm not someone to be mean but I just have to say that you are a *** ***** if you don't fall in love with her books!

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2011

    wrong edition!

    This is not the annotated edition in nookbook!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Escaping with Virginia

    A good book to slowly work your way through. A complex plot, beautifully written with style not seen today. I hung on every word, loved the characters.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2010

    AP English forced me to attempt to read this garbage.

    My AP English class has to read this book, so we can analyze The Hours, which is heavely based off this terrible read. There is I think maybe two or three people in our class that are actually reading it, everyone else has given up the torture. Okay, Woolf does have a brilliant writing style, but she forgot the most important thing in a novel...THE STORY! This story is absolutley boring. I read forty-five pages, but I could not focus on any of them without thinking of an actual good story that I'd rather be reading right now. Why can't books like this remember to make the story gripping and entertaining. I don't believe she is that great of a writer just because she writes in stream of consciousness well. If a writer can't remember to make the reader want to keep reading then they do not deserve to be published.

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    tedious...

    Mrs. Dalloway chronicles a single day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway. The novel itself reveals the thoughts and ruminations of Clarissa and her friends. I found the book to be dull and lifeless. None of the characters were interesting with the exception of Sally Seton who is a very minor character. They seemed shallow and boring. The only thing that was at least mildly appealing was the language itself. At times the sentences ran on and were tedious but some of the time the language was very enjoyable. I do like the first sentence. It really draws the reader in. "Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself." Mostly I was relieved to be finished with Mrs. Dalloway!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2006

    Poetic. Amazing.

    Each character comes to life through Woolf's stream of consciousness technique. Their motivations become reasonable and clear. It left me breathless and awed up to the last scene at Mrs. Dalloway's party.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2006

    Beautiful!

    This book is like some movies that you want to watch again and again and everytime you find something new, you understand more... Everything becomes clearer(!) For some might not be easy to read but if you slow down and take your time it's so worth it! ENJOY!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2006

    A Masterpiece!

    With 'Mrs. Dalloway', Virginia Woolf accomplishes the near impossible: she makes the mundane and ordinary seem profound and complex. Only the most talented of writers can succeed in telling a story that doesn't rely on an elaborate plot or an exciting premise. 'Mrs. Dalloway' works so well precisely becase of the simplicity of its premise: to tell the story of one day in the life of a woman preparing to host a party. It's refreshing to read a novel that is neither contrived nor trying too hard to impress us as readers. By the end of the novel, one feels a real connection with the characters because they seem so real and tangible. With rich and textured characterizations, Woolf is able to explore themes that directly relate to the complexity of the human soul. This is a beautifully written work of art. It's the kind of novel that really makes you appreciate great literature. Although this is a very challenging novel, I'm sure most experienced readers will find it immensely satisfying.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2005

    Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

    If you don't enjoy reading complex novels, be afraid... be very afraid. Woolf's MRS. DALLOWAY is one of the most eloquent and challenging novels in existence. Those who cannot appreciate such narrative brilliance should a) not give it a meaningless and inane review of 'it's too hard!' with one star on bn.com, or b) avoid the novel entirely. MRS. DALLOWAY is not for the faint of heart or the easily-bored. It IS for readers who like something challenging, who are visual (the imagery she uses is just incredible!), and who can appreciate one of the finest novels produced by one of the finest authors of the last century. One of my favorites, highly recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2005

    A good novel does not need a cliched conflict

    What I liked most about Mrs. Dalloway was its complexity of every single character and the lack of a cliched conflict that would usually involve a passionate love between two characters and the inability to solve this conflict. Woolf did an excellent job in portraying each character, giving each an individual and distinctive voice. Many people who have read Mrs. Dalloway usually would ask 'That's it? What's going on?' because the book ends as the day ends. Like a realistic painting, Woolf painted the lives of these people in one day, and leaves the readers with these colorful and vivid images.

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