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The Years
 
 

The Years [Kindle Edition]

Virginia Woolf
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

It was an uncertain spring. The weather, perpetually changing, sent clouds of blue and of purple flying over the land. In the country farmers, looking at the fields, were apprehensive; in London umbrellas were opened and then shut by people looking up at the sky. But in April such weather was to be expected. Thousands of shop assistants made that remark, as they handed neat parcels to ladies in flounced dresses standing on the other side of the counter at Whiteley's and the Army and Navy Stores. Interminable processions of shoppers in the West end, of business men in the East, paraded the pavements, like caravans perpetually marching,—so it seemed to those who had any reason to pause, say, to post a letter, or at a club window in Piccadilly. The stream of landaus, victorias and hansom cabs was incessant; for the season was beginning. In the quieter streets musicians doled out their frail and for the most part melancholy pipe of sound, which was echoed, or parodied, here in the trees of Hyde Park, here in St. James's by the twitter of sparrows and the sudden outbursts of the amorous but intermittent thrush. The pigeons in the squares shuffled in the tree tops, letting fall a twig or two, and crooned over and over again the lullaby that was always interrupted. The gates at the Marble Arch and Apsley House were blocked in the afternoon by ladies in many-coloured dresses wearing bustles, and by gentlemen in frock coats carrying canes, wearing carnations. Here came the Princess, and as she passed hats were lifted. In the basements of the long avenues of the residential quarters servant girls in cap and apron prepared tea. Deviously ascending from the basement the silver teapot was placed on the table, and virgins and spinsters with hands that had staunched the sores of Bermondsey and Hoxton carefully measured out one, two, three, four spoonfuls of tea. When the sun went down a million little gaslights, shaped like the eyes in peacocks' feathers, opened in their glass cages, but nevertheless broad stretches of darkness were left on the pavement. The mixed light of the lamps and the setting sun was reflected equally in the placid waters of the Round Pond and the Serpentine. Diners-out, trotting over the Bridge in hansom cabs, looked for a moment at the charming vista. At length the moon rose and its polished coin, though obscured now and then by wisps of cloud, shone out with serenity, with severity, or perhaps with complete indifference. Slowly wheeling, like the rays of a searchlight, the days, the weeks, the years passed one after another across the sky.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 590 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A8S23GS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #172,872 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A counterpart to our modern networked lives. 21 Nov 2014
By A. Hall
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In this novel, which seems sharper, edgier, than most of her others, Woolf seems to look forward to the surge of longing for self expression and 'freedom' that burst out in the post war years and found its greatest expression in the youth of the fifties and sixties. She contrasts this with the constricted and at times almost tribal late Victorian and Edwardian way of living. Interestingly she is deeply critical of the shallow obsession with socialising and 'acting' in conformity to the herd. Surely this is something that has seen a resurgence at the expense of the individual life, true to itself, with the advent of social media.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars Subtle observation 10 July 2013
By Supernova42 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
The novel traces three generations of the Pargiter family from the 1880's until the 1930's, not so much as a complete or historical account which might have been tedious but deliberately fragmented, each of the eleven chapters homing in on a different year from the period, different family members, contrasting attitudes, perceptions, traumas which made them unforgettable as individuals.

There is no pretense to unfold any action-filled plot as such and it is more the subtle observation of their different attitudes to life at different points over the period which reveals the depth of the observation.

Edward views life from the perception of an individual academic. His grandson, North, reflects on what he experiences as might a survivor of WWI - a man conditioned in part to the horror of man pitched against man in the horror of battle. By contrast Abel Pargiter is a civil servant now retired and has her own perspective, again, the individuality of her perception being so well observed.

Woolf shows also the difficulty, at that time, of the lot of the "daughter of educated men". She herself, the daughter of the biographer, Leslie Stephen, knew only to well of the difficulties it made in her life - one cut short by her tragic suicide.
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