Virginia Woolf (1882-941) is one of the most interesting writers of our century. In this introductory book, John Batchelor tells the story of her life and writing career, highlighting the important aspects of Woolf's temperament: her passion, her learning, her acute intelligence, her lesbianism, her self-absorption. He discusses the works, devoting separate chapters to the five major novels: Jacob's Room, with its highly ironic celebration of masculinity; Mrs Dalloway, with its odd time structures and pointed observation of 1920s London society; To the Lighthouse, which can be read as an elegy for Woolf's own family as well as a great work of modernism; The Waves, extending the narrative methods of its predecessors; and Between the Acts, Woolf's complex satire of the Condition-of-England novel. In addition, Professor Batchelor looks at Woolf's uneasy relation to modernism and the question of her feminism. This book, equipped with a chronology and guide to recommended further reading, is an ideal companion for students and new readers of Woolf.