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About the book
  • Published: 19 September 2000
  • ISBN: 9780141182490
  • Imprint: Peng. Mod. Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $16.99

Mrs Dalloway




An enthralling exploration of the human experience, from the author of To The Lighthouse.

Elegantly interweaving her characters' complex inner lives in an unbroken stream of consciousness, Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway continues to enthral readers with its exploration of the human experience; of time, space, madness and regret. This Penguin Classics edition is edited by Stella McNichol with an introduction and notes by Elaine Showalter.
Past, present and future are brought together one momentous June day in 1923.
Clarissa Dalloway, elegant and vivacious, is preparing for a party while reminiscing about her childhood romance with Peter Walsh, and dwelling on her daughter Elizabeth's rapidly-approaching adulthood. In another part of London, war veteran Septimus Smith is shell-shocked and on the brink of madness, slowly spiralling towards self-annihilation. Their experiences mingling, yet never quite meeting, Virginia Woolf masterfully portrays a serendipitous unity of inner lives, converging as the party reaches its glittering climax.
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) is regarded as a major 20th century author and essayist, a key figure in literary history as a feminist and modernist, and the centre of 'The Bloomsbury Group'. This informal collective of artists and writers which included Lytton Strachey and Roger Fry, exerted a powerful influence over early twentieth-century British culture. Between 1925 and 1931 Virginia Woolf produced what are now regarded as her finest masterpieces, from Mrs Dalloway (1925) to the poetic and highly experimental novel The Waves (1931). She also maintained an astonishing output of literary criticism, short fiction, journalism and biography, including the playfully subversive Orlando (1928) and A Room of One's Own (1929) a passionate feminist essay.
If you enjoyed Mrs Dalloway, you might like James Joyce's Ulysses, also available in Penguin Classics.
'The book's celebrated stream of consciousness is one of the few genuine innovations in the history of the novel'
New Yorker

  • Pub date: 19 September 2000
  • ISBN: 9780141182490
  • Imprint: Peng. Mod. Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $16.99

About the Author

Virginia Woolf

Date: 2004-06-24
Virginia Woolf was born in London in 1882. After her father's death in 1904 Virginia and her sister, the painter Vanessa Bell, moved to Bloomsbury and became the centre of ‘The Bloomsbury Group’. This informal collective of artists and writers exerted a powerful influence over early twentieth-century British culture.

In 1912 Virginia married Leonard Woolf, a writer and social reformer. Three years later, her first novel The Voyage Out was published, followed by Night and Day (1919) and Jacob's Room (1922). Between 1925 and 1931 Virginia Woolf produced what are now regarded as her finest masterpieces, from Mrs Dalloway (1925) to The Waves (1931). She also maintained an astonishing output of literary criticism, short fiction, journalism and biography. On 28 March 1941, a few months before the publication of her final novel, Between the Acts, Virginia Woolf committed suicide.


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 step-sister Stella, in 1897, leaving her subject to breakdowns for the rest of her life. Her father died in 1904 and two years later her favourite 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). All these are published by Penguin, as are her Diaries, Volumes I-V, and selections from her essays and short stories.

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