This is a book by an academic, for academics. It is not a biography for the ordinary reader. I'm not thick - I have a master's degree - but I am not a lit.crit specialist, so I found the approach excessively in-house. The references to Proust may excite people who write essays about him every day, but if, like me, you've not read "Remembrance..." for years then you'll wonder what they're doing in a biography of Virginia Woolf. There's also armfuls of guff to wade through in order to find out anything directly relating to Woolf, as if the author is thinking more of the other academics who'll reference her paper than of the ordinary folk who'll fork out their hard-earned for her book. If she'd headed her book, "Virginia Woolf: a historological analysis," then I'd feel a bit less conned. At least I'd have known what I was letting myself in for.
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