Vita and Virginia: The Work and Friendship of V. Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf

Vita and Virginia: The Work and Friendship of V. Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf

by Suzanne Raitt
     
 

When Virginia Woolf first met Vita Sackville-West at Clive Bell's home in 1922, she wrote that Vita made her feel 'virgin, shy, & schoolgirlish'. But over the next three years Vita charmed away her shyness, and at the end of 1925 made Virginia her lover. Vita and Virginia examines the creative intimacy between the two women, interpreting both their relationship and… See more details below

Overview

When Virginia Woolf first met Vita Sackville-West at Clive Bell's home in 1922, she wrote that Vita made her feel 'virgin, shy, & schoolgirlish'. But over the next three years Vita charmed away her shyness, and at the end of 1925 made Virginia her lover. Vita and Virginia examines the creative intimacy between the two women, interpreting both their relationship and their work in the light of their experience as married lesbians. The contradictions and conflicts of their situation are worked out through the construction of different narratives of femininity, in letters, novels, diaries, and other texts. The book discusses the two women's continual renegotiation of what it means to be female, and suggests that the mutual exchange of different versions of womanhood is crucial to the development of their friendship. Vita and Virginia offers innovative readings of both women's fiction, their autobiographical texts, and a long-overdue study of Sackville-West's work as a biographer and novelist. Emphasizing wider contexts, Suzanne Raitt assesses the links between homosexual desire and literary innovation, public politics and private lives. Her work provides an invaluable new perspective on the relations between sexuality and feminism in modernism.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198122777
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
04/28/1993
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
5.44(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.49(d)

Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Introduction1
1Gallivanting with Campbell: Orlando and Biography17
2'Moral Eugenics': The Working-Class Fiction of V. Sackville-West41
3'Maternal Explanation': Autobiography and Gender62
4'A Private Matter': V. Sackville-West's Later Novels87
5'The Girl beside me': V. Sackville-West and the Mystics117
6'By what Name shall we call Death?': Virginia Woolf's The Waves146
Afterword166
Appendix A: Vita Sackville-West170
Appendix B: Virginia Woolf172
Bibliography173
Index191

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