Chronological List of Works By Virginia Woolf

Updated December 04, 2002
Created July 7, 1997

All but The Voyage Out and Night and Day are from the Hogarth Press in England. After Night and Day, Woolf's U.S. publisher is Harcourt Brace.  This list includes primarily works published during Woolf's lifetime.  See also the list of biographies and published letters and diaries.

The Voyage Out (26 March 1915, Duckworth; U.S. pub. by Doran, May 1920)

    Woolf's first novel, begun in 1908 and heavily revised after about 1912.  Manuscript editions of the earlier version (1909-12) have been compiled and published by Louise DeSalvo as Melymbrosia (1982), Woolf's working title for the book.

Two Stories (1917)

     "The Mark on the Wall" by VW and "a story" by Leonard Woolf. The book was published  by subscription only, mainly to friends and acquaintances, and was the Hogarth Press’s first publication.

Kew Gardens (12 May 1919)

     Ten pages of text by VW, with illustrations by her sister, Vanessa Bell.

Night and Day (20 Oct 1919, Duckworth; U.S. pub. Doran, 1920)

     VW considered this her "traditional" novel, in the manner of the nineteenth-century novelists she admired.

Monday or Tuesday (7 April 1921; U.S. pub. Harcourt Brace, Nov. 1921) - stories

     Includes "Kew Gardens," "The Mark on the Wall," "An Unwritten Novel" and five previously  unpublished sketches.

Jacob’s Room (27 Oct 1922; U.S. pub. Harcourt Brace, 1922)

     Her first truly experimental novel and the Hogarth Press’s first large-scale work, Jacob's Room begins Woolf's reputation as "difficult" or "highbrow."  Critics compare her to James Joyce and Dorothy Richardson.  Jacob is based on Woolf's older brother Thoby Stephen, who died of a fever in 1906, when he was in his mid-twenties.

Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown (1923)

     A response to Arnold Bennett’s criticism that she "can’t create or didn’t in Jacob’s Room, characters that survive" (Woolf paraphrasing Bennett, Writer’s Diary). First version was published  in the U.S. and then in England. A later, better-known, version was written as a lecture to the Cambridge Heretics on 18 May 1924, then published in the Criterion under the title   "Character in Fiction," and then published by Hogarth Press as Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown.   Critically, "the essay became a key document, not only in the assessment of Virginia Woolf’s work, but  in relation to twentieth-century fiction generally" (Critical Heritage 17).

The Common Reader (First Series, 23 Apr 1925)

    The Common Reader was Woolf's title for two series of critical essays she published (the second series was published in 1932), mostly focused on her responses to reading and literature.  It includes biographical sketches of many writers and such now-famous essays as "On Not Knowing Greek" and "How it Strikes a Contemporary."

Mrs. Dalloway (14 May 1925; simultaneously in England  and U.S.; first time for simultaneous publication in U.S. and England)

     A novel that takes place entirely in the space of one day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, with a parallel plot about a shell-shocked World War I veteran, Septimus Smith.  The setting is London.

To the Lighthouse (5 May 1927)

     Woolf's most famous and most autobiographical novel.   The novel takes place chiefly at a family summer house based on Woolf's own family's house in Cornwall (though the novel is set in the Hebrides), during two visits, seven years apart, with events in between described abstractly in a middle section called "Time Passes."  The "Time Passes" section had been published in French in Dec. 1926.

     See also the original holograph draft / transcribed and edited by Susan Dick
     (Toronto; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1982).

Orlando (2 Oct 1928)

      Her most successful novel up to then, in terms of sales (even though publishing it as a "biography" confused booksellers), Orlando traces the life of an English nobleman, Orlando, from the Renaissance to the very moment of publication.  Orlando, based on Woolf's friend Vita Sackville-West, lives 400 years and changes into a woman in the 18th century.

A Room of One’s Own (24 Oct 1929)

    Woolf's first major feminist criticism, originating in two lectures given in October 1928 to students at the two women's colleges of Cambridge University (Newnham and Girton, here fictionalized as "Fernham").  First published as a short essay on "Women and Fiction"  in Forum (March 1929), it was thereafter heavily revised to the present six chapters.

     See also a study of extant manuscripts edited by S.P. Rosenbaum, Virginia Woolf/Women & Fiction: The Manuscript Versions of A Room of One's Own (Oxford : Blackwell, 1992).

The Waves (October 1931)

     This novel is generally considered Woolf's masterpiece, though it is also her most experimental (some say most difficult) work.

NOTE: The first book-length criticism of VW appeared in 1932, Winifrid Holtby’s biography and Floris Delattre’s Le Roman psychologique de Virginia Woolf. Delattre writes on VW’s use of time (quality vs. quantity).

The Common Reader (Second Series, 1932)

   This collection includes both new and revised critical essays, including biographical sketches of Mary Wollstonecraft and Dorothy Wordsworth, and the now-famous essay "How Should One Read a Book?"

Flush (5 Oct 1933)

     A comic novel written from the point of view of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's cocker spaniel Flush.

The Years (13 March 1937]

     A bestseller, popular with critics and readers, this novel traces the life of a Victorian family, the Pargiters, from 1880 to the "Present Day."  Begun as a sequel to A Room of One's Own, Woolf originally intended to alternate nonfiction essays with the Pargiter's story (which illustrates the essays).  Woolf ultimately extracted the nonfiction and changed the working title from "The Pargiters" to The Years.  Mitchell A. Leaska has edited the extracted portions and published them as The Pargiters: The Novel-Essay Portion of The Years (1977), which also includes the earlier version of the 1880 section of the novel.

Three Guineas (4 June 1938)

     These feminist essays function as a sequel to A Room of One's Own, including a critique of patriarchy (illustrated with photographs of public figures) and an argument for pacifism in the face of the growing threat of another world war.  The  illustrations are not printed in modern editions.

Roger Fry (25 July 1940)

    A biography of Woolf's friend, the art critic and painter (1866-1934), who had introduced post-impressionism (Picasso, Cezanne) to England in the years before World War I.  

Between the Acts (17 July 1941)

   Woolf's last novel, published after her death.  She had changed her mind about publishing it just days before her death (see letter to John Lehmann).   Like Mrs. Dalloway, the action takes place in a short span of time in June and is focused on a social event, here a community pageant rather than a party.  The setting is June 1939  in the English countryside at a house called Pointz Hall (the working title of the book), home of the Olivers, and in the nearby village, where Miss LaTrobe is in charge of the pageant.   The pageant concerns English history, and parts of it are part of the narrative.  

A Writer’s Diary (UK 1953)

    The public's first access to Woolf's diaries came in this heavily edited selection of diary entries concerning writing or particular works Woolf was writing.  The selections were prepared by her husband, Leonard Woolf.   The more complete 5-volume edition of Woolf's diaries was published 1977-1984, edited by her nephew Quentin Bell's wife, Anne Olivier Bell.  Six volumes of Woolf's letters have also been published (ed. Nigel Nicolson and Joanne Trautmann, 1975-1980).

Moments of Being (US 1976, ed. Jeanne Schulkind)

   Woolf often spoke of writing her autobiography, but these unpublished autobiographical writings are as close as we have to formal autobiography. The earliest, "Reminiscences," was written at the birth of her first nephew, Julian Bell, supposedly as a biography of her sister Vanessa. The latest, "A Sketch of the Past," was written near the end of her life, apparently as the beginning of a formal autobiography. The rest are sketches she read to members of the Memoir Club, who met regularly to read such essays.

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