One of the few genuine innovations in the history of the novel New Yorker
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) is now recognised as a major 20th century author, a great novelist and essayist, and a key figure in literary history as a feminist and modernist. Elaine Showalter is Professor of English at Princeton University and a prominent feminist literary critic. Stella McNichol has written on, and edited, Woolf's novels. Julia Briggs is General Editor for the works of Virginia Woolf in Penguin.
Virginia Woolf's singular technique in Mrs Dalloway heralds a break with the traditional novel form and reflects a genuine humanity and a concern with the experiences that both enrich and stultify existence. Society hostess, Clarissa Dalloway is giving a party. Her thoughts and sensations on that one day, and the interior monologues of others whose lives are interwoven with hers gradually reveal the characters of the central protagonists. Clarissa's life is touched by tragedy as the events in her day run parallel to those of Septimus Warren Smith, whose madness escalates as his life draws toward inevitable suicide.