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To The Lighthouse (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Virginia Woolf , Margaret Drabble
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"To The Lighthouse is one of the greatest elegies in the English language, a book which transcends time" (Margaret Drabble)

"It is an elegy for lost times and family life" (The Week)

"Thrillingly introspective" (The Independent) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Rediscover Virginia Woolf - the definitive edition of her moving exploration of time, family and human experience --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

With introductions by Eavan Boland and Maud Ellmann --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

To the Lighthouse (Engelstalig) wordt door velen beschouwd als Virginia Woolf's beste roman. Het boek is een opmerkelijk origineel werk, dat de gedachten en de acties volgt van de leden van een familie en hun gasten. Beschreven wordt hoe op een Schots eiland Mr. en Mrs. Ramsay's hun zomervakantie vieren in hun zomerhuis, aan een baai met een vuurtoren. Ze worden gevolgd op twee momenten, tien jaar van elkaar gescheiden.
Als modernist onderzoekt Woolf de manieren waarop fictie de werkelijkheid het best kan weergeven, To the Lighthouse is een experimenteel werk, dat de grenzen oprekt van wat wij over de wereld en onszelf weten. Het is één van het prachtigste romans ooit in het Engels geschreven. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover


'A book which transcends time' Margaret Drabble

The serene and maternal Mrs Ramsay, the tragic yet absurd Mr Ramsay, together with their children and assorted guests, are holidaying on the Isle of Skye. From the seemingly trivial postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse Virginia Woolf constructs a remarkable and moving examination of the complex tensions and allegiances of family life. One of the great literary achievements of the twentieth century, To the Lighthouse is often cited as Virginia Woolf's most popular novel.

The Vintage Classics Virginia Woolf series has been curated by Jeanette Winterson, and the texts used are based on the original Hogarth Press editions published by Leonard and Virginia Woolf.

See also: The Waves

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) is now recognised as a major 20th century author, a great novelist and essayist, and a key figure in literary history as a feminist and modernist. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

‘Yes, of course, if it’s fine tomorrow,’ said Mrs Ramsay. ‘But you’ll have to be up with the lark,’ she added.

To her son these words conveyed an extraordinary joy, as if it were settled the expedition were bound to take place, and the wonder to which he had looked forward, for years and years it seemed, was, after a night’s darkness and a day’s sail, within touch. Since he belonged, even at the age of six, to that great clan which cannot keep this feeling separate from that, but must let future prospects, with their joys and sorrows, cloud what is actually at hand, since to such people even in earliest childhood any turn in the wheel of sensation has the power to crystallize and transfix the moment upon which its gloom or radiance rests, James Ramsay, sitting on the floor cutting out pictures from the illustrated catalogue of the Army and Navy Stores, endowed the picture of a refrigerator as his mother spoke with heavenly bliss. It was fringed with joy. The wheelbarrow, the lawn-mower, the sound of poplar trees, leaves whitening before rain, rooks cawing, brooms knocking, dresses rustling – all these were so coloured and distinguished in his mind that had already his private code, his secret language, though he appeared the image of stark and uncompromising severity, with his high forehead and his fierce blue eyes, impeccably candid and pure, frowning slightly at the sight of human frailty, so that his mother, watching him guide scissors neatly round the refrigerator, imagined him all red and ermine on the Bench or directing a stern and momentous enterprise in some crisis of public affairs.

‘But,’ said his father, stopping in front of the drawing-room window, ‘it won’t be fine.’

Had there been an axe handy, or a poker, or any weapon that would have gashed a hole in his father’s breast and killed him, there and then, James would have seized it. Such were the extremes of emotion that Mr. Ramsay excited in his children’s breasts by his mere presence; standing, as now, lean as a knife, narrow as the blade of one, grinning sarcastically, not only with the pleasure of disillusioning his son and casting ridicule upon his wife, who was ten thousand times better in every way than he was (James thought), but also with some secret conceit at his own accuracy of judgement. What he said was true. It was always true. He was incapable of untruth; never tampered with a fact; never altered a disagreeable word to suit the pleasure or convenience of any mortal being, least of all his own children, who, sprung from his loins, should be aware from childhood that life is difficult; facts uncompromising; and the passage to that fabled land where our brightest hopes are extinguished, our frail barks founder in darkness (here Mr. Ramsay would straighten his back and narrow his little blue eyes upon the horizon), one that needs, above all, courage, truth, and the power to endure. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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