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Moments Of Being: Autobiographical Writings Paperback – 3 Oct 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Pimlico; New Ed edition (3 Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712646183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712646185
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 1.6 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,378 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.


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Review

"One might think, from the heaps of books, that the bones of Bloomsbury had been by now well and truly disinterred...But one would be wrong, for Moments of Being is a real delight" -- Jan Marsh Daily Telegraph "Of fascinating importance, because they are Virginia's only known autobiographical writings" -- John Lehmann Sunday Telegraph "The book must appeal to anyone interested in Virginia Woolf and her circle" -- Derek Parker The Times "Her manner of recall contains all those surprises and felicities of language we have come to expect when she writes, as it were, with her elbows on the table" -- Richard Shone Spectator

Book Description

'This is by far the most important book about Virginia Woolf that has appeared since her death.' Angus Wilson, Observer

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By E. Woolley on 16 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If, like me, you find Virginia Woolf's novels hard going, you must nevertheless read these autobiographical memoirs. They were not intended for publication and in consequence perhaps are in parts very funny, indiscreet, moving and shocking. They were first published in 1976 and a new edition with 75 previously unpublished pages was published in 1985. This new material is very significant since it deals with Virginia's and Vanessa's difficult relationship with their father and the extraordinary family ambiance in which they lived. When this 1985 edition appeared, as Hermione Lee says in her introduction, it seems to have slipped below the critical radar (my phrase!) and was virtually ignored. At that time I was reading Virginia Woolf's diaries and letters (which I can also say are immensely readable) and I am sure I would have heard about this volumn if it had been widely reviewed.
A fascinating portrait of a remarkable woman.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Rose Briers on 4 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
A brilliant insight into the mind of this amazing woman. The delicate balance of her health is understandable when one considers what she has been through. I cannot recommend this book enough total fascination, which will, without doubt lead you onto the next book by Virginia or about her.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David from Fife on 11 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book, setting out her thoughts and experiences. Utterly readable. And the service was second to none. Amazon does it again!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mephisto on 27 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
This is some of Woolf's most beautiful and clearly written prose. The start especially is as beautiful as anything you will ever read in the memoir genre-- her childhood memories, portraits of her mother, father, and the exceptional characters who floated through her house. She also touches on the sexual and emotional abuse she suffered at the hands of her elder half brother, the man who later became her first publisher! In every way a remarkable work of literature.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By glyn scott on 4 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Any aspiring writer should read this.Woolf was such a great writer and a tragic figure; makes the reading more poignant.
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