Monday, 16 October 2017

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
First published in the UK by Hogarth Press in May 1925.

I registered my copy of this book at BookCrossing

How I got this book:
Swapped for at Camping Le Bois du Coderc, Perigord

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

On a June morning in 1923, Clarissa Dalloway is preparing for a party and remembering her past. Elsewhere in London, Septimus Smith is suffering from shell-shock and on the brink of madness. Their days interweave and their lives converge as the party reaches its glittering climax. Here, Virginia Woolf perfected the interior monologue and the novel's lyricism and accessibility have made it one of her most popular works.

I put off reading Mrs Dalloway for months because I was somewhat underwhelmed by my previous Virginia Woolf book, The Waves. The two are very different though and, once I got started, I soon found myself engrossed in Mrs Dalloway's world. The story is written in a stream of consciousness style which takes readers deeply into the thoughts and emotions of its characters. Mrs Dalloway herself is a memorable creation and I loved seeing and experiencing Edwardian London through her eyes. Woolf's attention to detail allowed me to vividly picture streets, shops and parks, and the people therein.

Mrs Dalloway is set over the course of a single day, one in which three events threaten to completely change the lives of those involved with them, however the majority of the novel explores the innermost thoughts and memories of its characters. One man returns from India and is unsure of his place in London society, another man struggles to cope with with shell shock, and Mrs Dalloway puts the finishing touches to her party preparations. It doesn't sound like a promising read I know(!), but I think this is probably my favourite of Woolf's novels that I have read so far. Each character is completely believable and the snapshot of life felt natural. Even though the book only took a few hours to read, I became immersed in its world and felt quite bereft on finishing and leaving these people behind.

Etsy Find!

by Bagsy Me First in
Buckingham, England

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Books by Virginia Woolf / Contemporary fiction / Books from England


  1. I read A Room of One's Own by Woolf and absolutely loved it and the insight she offered. I haven't read any of her fiction though. I do have this one and your review has me looking forward to reading it all the more!

    1. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did. Woolf was such a talented writer

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed this! I'm going to be reading for university shortly and while I've read many of Woolf's shorter stories, I've never read a full book from her so I'm kind of anxiously excited. I'm really glad to hear that you thought it was very naturally done and that it flows well. I think that's where my apprehension to read older books come from: it always seems like they read like hiccups. Crossing my fingers that I'll like it as much as you did, Stephanie!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. Well, I'm glad I just read Mrs Dalloway and don't have to study it as well! So many important sociological themes in one book - good luck ;-)