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Orlando: A Biography

Orlando: A Biography (Paperback)

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Synopsis

Once described as the 'longest and most charming love-letter in literature', the Virginia Woolf's Orlando is edited by Brenda Lyons with an introduction and notes by Sandra M. Gilbert in Penguin Classics. Written for Virginia Woolf's intimate friend, the charismatic writer Vita Sackville-West, Orlando is a playful mock 'biography' of a chameleonic historical figure, immortal and ageless, who changes sex and identity on a whim. First masculine, then feminine, Orlando begins life as a young sixteenth-century nobleman, then gallops through three centuries to end up as a woman writer in Virginia Woolf's own time. A wry commentary on gender roles and modes of history, Orlando is also, in Woolf's own words, a light-hearted 'writer's holiday' which delights in ambiguity and capriciousness. 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 Orlando, you might like Woolf's The Waves, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'I read this book and believed it was a hallucinogenic, interactive biography of my own life and future' Tilda Swinton

BiographyBiography: generalAutobiography: generalBiographyDiaries, letters & journalsBiographyTrue storiesTrue stories of heroism, endurance & survivalFiction & PoetryClassic fiction pre 1945Fiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945Film, TV & DramaTheatrePlays, playscripts Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd Publication Date: 28/09/2000 ISBN-13: 9780141184272  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) is 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. 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). 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).

More books by Virginia Woolf

More books by Sandra M. Gilbert

More books by Brenda Lyons

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Staff Choice

A novel that sweeps across 400 years of English history, following the extraordinary life of its hero (later, heroine), Orlando; it's littered with the sort of heart-breaking Woolf-ish vignettes that I love so much in her other works, but this is not your average Woolf novel - it's a playful and genuinely fun read that I would recommend to anyone, even those who have been put off Woolf for life after attempting The Waves.

Gayle, Charing Cross Road

 

Man/woman, hero/heroine – Orlando embarks on a remarkable journey of self-discovery spanning three centuries in this exotic historical romance. Caught between conflicting identities and societal restraints of behaviour and dress, this is also an interesting study on emancipation, as the author looks forward to the modern world.

Mo, Charing Cross Road

Charing Cross Rd Bookshop - 08/08/2011

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