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Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life Paperback – 27 Apr 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Reprint edition (27 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140234675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140234671
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 753,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Briggs masterfully uses Virginia Woolf's own thoughts and words to gain entrance into the layered world of her life and work." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Julia Briggs is Professor of English Literature and Women's Studies at De Montfort University and general editor of the Penguin Virginia Woolf.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Susie B TOP 100 REVIEWER on 17 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Julia Briggs, in her biography of Virginia Woolf 'An Inner Life', takes a different approach to those biographers who have gone before. Although the author does, of course, give us Woolf's background, and relates the events that happened around her, she focuses not on Woolf's outer life, but on her inner life, looking at the formative influences on her and what stimulated her to write the way she did; therefore this book is not just a biography of Virginia Woolf, but also an in-depth biography of Woolf's writing. As the author states in her introduction: "Woolf's fiction is centrally concerned with the inner life, and finding ways of re-creating that life in narrative". Briggs goes on to comment that Woolf was a highly sociable person, who was fortunate in having a fascinating and talented circle of family and friends, yet it was what she did when she was on her own, out walking or sitting at her desk, for which we remember her.

Julia Briggs says her aim in writing this book "is to bring readers back to her [Woolf's] work with a fresh sense of what they might find there". To accomplish this, Briggs' method is to take the reader chronologically through Woolf's novels and published works, devoting a chapter to each, starting with 'The Voyage Out' and ending with 'Between the Acts'. In each chapter Briggs looks at how the novel in discussion was composed, what events surrounded her at the time, the writing and re-writing that went into the drafts, how the book was published, the size of the print runs, the critical reception and the number of sales.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Satisfying 11 Jan. 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Briggs biography of Virginia Woolf follows a form that makes perfect sense for a biography of a writer. That is, it is a "biography" of her books as much as it is a biography of Virginia Woolf herself.

Not a great deal of time is spent going into Woolf's pre-natal background and infant years. The text quickly gets to the task of looking at the formative influences of Woolf the writer, and the circumstances and stimuli that influenced the creation and formation of each of her books.

A chronological approach is followed. We begin with the first efforts of writing, the first novel, and proceed sequentially through each of her books. A full chapter is given to the period in which each book was written and published. Each chapter concludes with details on the actual book, including such items as the novel's original cover illustration (usually done by her artist sister Vanessa), the size of the print runs, the critics responses, and how the book fared over the years, even up into the 1990s. Honestly, I found information like this very interesting. For one, it was interesting to see how first print runs increased as Woolf gradually grew in popularity.

What I most like about Brigg's approach is that you come away with key insights that any appreciator of Woolf should cherish. One learns a great deal about the process that Woolf went through in creating her works as well as about the life of Woolf herself.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Hard to pigeon-hole 24 Aug. 2007
By Bruce Oksol - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
this book as a biography or as a series of critical essays of Virginia Woolf's novels and other works. I lumped this book with the other three biographies of VW that I have read this past year (Quentin Bell's, Hermione Lee's, and James King's) but Julia Brigg's "biography" is actually quite different, and probably should stand alone, not be compared with the other three. Each of Briggs' fourteen chapters covers one specific work by VW. For example, chapter 4 is "Jacob's Room"; chapter 5 is "The Common Reader"; chapter 6 is "Mrs Dalloway"; and, chapter 13 is "Roger Fry." Briggs provides an exhaustive look and interpretation (sometimes, almost too exhaustive) of each of VW's works, and uses these works to explore VW's psyche. VW was intensely interested in psychoanalysis (as was Gertrude Stein) and one could argue that Briggs has used VW's works as a way to psychoanalyze her. Briggs is well qualified in this endeavor: for many years she was professor of Woolf studies at Hereford College, Oxford, and is currently the editor of the Penguin UK reprint series of Woolf's novels.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Don't Be Afraid of Virginia Woolf --Briggs bio is amazing... 13 Oct. 2006
By Joyce Schwarz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Julie Briggs is an amazing author and biographer. She is an ENglish prof at DeMontfant University in Leicester, England. She was the general editor for the Penguin UK reprint series of Woolf's novels so knows Virginia's work very well...I think this knowledge of the work and the structure of the work makes this rather indepth analysis of the famous author's motivation for writing the novels, personal circumstances surrounding the writing, her marriage, her friendships and her ever-declining health and mental problems is what makes this book so fascinating...It's no ordinary bio-- it concentrates on the work and the impetus for the work. Reading this book is like being allowed inside the writer's head and her 'office' while and after she creates her many volumes. Don't I wish I had read this book in college-- it really makes you understand not only writer motivations but the implosion the world around makes on the writer and his/her works. Great for any Woolf fan or for use in teaching Woolf or for any writer or would-be writer. Fabulous for use in women's studies programs...and fascinating for anyone struggling with their own creativity or stifled dreams/goals.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Inner Life 3 April 2014
By foxx - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A thoroughly, intelligent well written book about an intelligent,thoughtful writer.The prose takes you into the creative processes of V. Wolf allowing you to see how her thoughts are then "translated" into a book.Not only is the inner turmoil of the creative process given light,but also her inner demons that caused her extreme stress.The every day problems ,the practical issues of making a living,plus the censorship of the day,and the general condescending attitude towards women,are all given space in this extremely interesting book.Read it.
Brilliant: A Biography of Woolf's Writing Process 13 Aug. 2013
By M. Karson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is unique in that it is actually a biography of Woolf's writing process itself, and will therefore be far more illuminating and fascinating to many readers and writers than the kind of standard biography that focuses on its subject's social and personal life. Julia Briggs had a brilliant knack for weaving together an enormous amount of intricate research into highly readable narratives. I wish she had lived to write more writers' biographies like this one. I recommend this book wholeheartedly to Woolf fans, to writers, and to anyone interested in a closer understanding of the creation and growth of an artist's work.
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