Virginia Woolf


An accessible introduction to a writer whose work is of timeless significance and whose unconventional life is a continous source of fascination, by the winner of the Guardian First Book Award 2010

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ISBN: 9780500290866 Category:

Alexandra Harris


This gripping account offers an ideal introduction to both the life and work of Virginia Woolf. It considers each of Woolf’s novels in context, traces the contentious course of her ‘afterlife’, and shows why, seventy years after her death, Virginia Woolf continues to haunt and inspire us.

In 1907, when she was twenty-five and not yet a published novelist, Virginia Stephen had everything still to prove. She felt herself to be at a crossroads: ‘I shall be miserable, or happy; a wordy sentimental creature, or a writer of such English as shall one day burn the pages.’

Today her prose is still blazing; perhaps it burns brighter than ever. For this is the story of how a determined young woman with a notebook became one of the greatest writers of all time. It is a story that sparkles with wit and friendship, language and love, wicked jokes and passionate appreciation of ordinary things. Hers was a life lived with intensity from moment to moment and shaped into the lasting patterns of art. It was also a courageous life, defiant of convention and marred by mental illness.

This book shows why, over seventy years after her death, Virginia Woolf continues to haunt and inspire us.

Additional information

Weight 395 g
Dimensions 13 x 21.8 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 February 2013
Number of pages 192
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 13 x 21.8 cm
Weight 395 g


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Alexandra Harris studied at Oxford and at the Courtauld Institute in London, and worked at Christie's for a year before returning to Oxford to write a doctorate on art and literature in the 1930s. She is now a lecturer in English at the University of Liverpool, running courses on Modernism and American writing, and leading the MA in Contemporary Literature. Her first full-length book, Romantic Moderns, was the winner of the 2010 Guardian First Book Award. Alexandra Harris was also a winner in the BBC's 'New Generation Thinkers' contest in 2011.