Virginia Woolf’s fourth novel, Mrs. Dalloway, begins in London, on a Wednesday morning, mid-June 1923. Covering the span of a single day, leading up to Clarissa Dalloway’s party, and shifting from character to character through a stream-of-consciousness narrative, Virginia Woolf’s modernist novel moves effortlessly through time and space, highlighting the failures of the social system. Rife with themes of class, identity, the inability to communicate, and the struggling public vs. private self, as well as thoughts on religion, technology, and mental illness, Mrs. Dalloway expresses the confusion and slowly adjusting reality of a post-World War I English culture.
•The Hours is a book written by Michael Cunningham (an Iowa Writer's Workshop graduate!) that was published in 1998. The book is named after Mrs. Dalloway's original title and is a spin off of the original novel. It features three women (one of them Virginia Woolf) going through their daily lives as they read Mrs. Dalloway. The book was a Pulitzer Prize winner and Nicole Kidman won an Oscar for Best Actress in the movie version.
Drawing on connections made by her brother at school, Virginia Woolf was an active member of the Bloomsbury Group (xliv) . Woolf is even said to have based some of Mrs. Dalloway’s characters on her friends from Bloomsbury. The Bloomsbury Group produced some very well known Modernist writers, artists and economists including E.M. Forster, Vanessa Bell, and John Maynard Keynes . This group of intellectuals was how Virginia would eventually meet her husband Leonard.
(1) Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. 1st ed. New York: Harcourt Books, 2005. Print.
(2) Sparks, E. K. "The London Walks of Mrs. Dalloway." Mrs. Dalloway's London. Clemson University, October 2002. Web. 1 Apr 2012. >.
(3) Randle, Denise. The Bloomsbury Group: Artists, Writers and Thinkers. Web. 10 April 2012. >.
(4) Woolf in the World: A Pen and Press of Her Own. 2011. Web. 10 April 2012. >.
(5) The Hours on Sparknotes. 2011. Web. 11 April 2012. >.
(6) Forbes, Shannon. "Equating Performance with Identity: The Failure of Clarissa Dalloway's Victorian "Self" in Virginia Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway"" The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association 38.1 (2005): 38-50. Print.
(7) Wright, Nathalia. "Mrs. Dalloway: A Study in Composition." College English 5.7 (1944): 351-58. Print.
(8) Shields, E. F. "The American Edition of "Mrs. Dalloway"" Studies in Bibliography 27 (1974): 157-75. Print.
(9) Lorcher, Trent. "Modernism in Literature: Quick Overview". Bright Hub Education, 2012. Web. 6 May 2012. >.
(10) Erwood, Adam, et. al. Mrs. Dalloway Mapping Project. Georgia Institute of Technology, Fall 2011. Web. 1 Apr 2012. >.
(image 11) Atget, Eugène. Boutique Fleurs - 37 (Flower Shop). 1923. Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven. >.
(image 12) Beresford, George Charles. Portrait of Virginia Woolf. 1902. >.
(image 13) Big Ben. London. >.
(image 14) de Vere Cole, Horace. Virginia Woolf in Dreadnought Hoax. 1910. >.
(15) "Diaries - Virginia Woolf." Woolf Online. The Estate of Virginia Woolf and the Society of Authors, 2008. Web. 9 May 2012. >.