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The Lady in the Looking Glass (Penguin Mini Modern Classics) [Paperback]

Virginia Woolf
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 3.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

15 Feb 2011 Penguin Mini Modern Classics

'People should not leave looking-glasses hanging in their rooms any more than they should leave open cheque books or letters confessing some hideous crime.'

'If she concealed so much and knew so much one must prize her open with the first tool that came to hand - the imagination.'

Virginia Woolf's writing tested the boundaries of modern fiction, exploring the depths of human consciousness and creating a new language of sensation and thought. Sometimes impressionistic, sometimes experimental, sometimes brutally cruel, sometimes surprisingly warm and funny, these five stories describe love lost, friendships formed and lives questioned.

This book includes The Lady in the Looking Glass, A Society, The Mark on the Wall, Solid Objects and Lappin and Lapinova.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (15 Feb 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141196297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141196299
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 16 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 376,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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.


Product Description

About the Author

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) is a major twentieth-century author, a great novelist, essayist and a key figure in literary history as a feminist and a modernist. Her family and friends were writers and artists and they later became known as the Bloomsbury Group. Woolf suffered mental health problems throughout her life and, fearing another outbreak of mental illness, drowned herself in 1941.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixture of sublimity and drollness 30 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Like so many books of short stories, even this collection of five stories from the unassailable Virginia Woolf, is something of a flea market.

Ranging from the absolute sublimity of the collection's eponymous story, through to the stolid indifference of "Solid Objects" and the rambling inanity of "The Mark on the Wall", this collection leaves no doubt of the genius of her writing, but suggests Woolf made short shrift of the importance of story-telling.

The difficulty with Woolf is much the same as the protagonist's from "Solid Objects", whose purpose is waylaid by any number of droll diversions. Her fascination with trivialities steals her attention away from more serious matters, and instead of counterpoising the beauty of her prose with the need to tell a story, the stories have an innate tendency to drift with little purpose.

However, along with the title story, the final story, "Lappin and Lapinova", rescues the collection by offering a clever and insightful tale about the subjective and nuanced minutiae of married life. By offering stunning description suffused with complex characters and exemplary poise, Woolf proves that even with her tendency to meander, her words carry enough weight to keep even the most unforgiving reader wedged firmly in their seat.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Lady in the Looking Glass 4 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A good collection of short tales with a twist. Perfect for train/coach journeys where, if one looks, likely characters to match the stories can be seen all around!
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