Guest List with Select Quotations for Mrs. Dalloway

Updated July 22, 1997
Created July 22, 1997

Clarissa Dalloway: "In people’s eyes, in the swing, tramp, and trudge; in the bellow and the uproar; the carriages, motor cars, omnibuses, vans, sandwich men shuffling and swinging; brass bands; barrel organs; in the triumph and the jungle and the strange high singing of some aeroplane overhead was what she loved; life; London; this moment of June" (4).

"She had the oddest sense of being herself invisible, unseen; unknown; there being no more marrying, no more having of children now, but only this astonishing and rather solemn progress with the rest of them, up Bond Street, this being Mrs. Dalloway; not even Clarissa any more; this being Mrs. Richard Dalloway" (11).

Richard Dalloway: "[T]hat was his first view of Richard—a fair young man, rather awkward, sitting on a deck-chair, and blurting out ‘My name is Dalloway!’" (61). "He was a thorough good sort; a bit limited; a bit thick in the head; yes; but a thorough good sort" (74).

Elizabeth Dalloway: "Gloves and shoes; [Clarissa] had a passion for gloves; but her own daughter, her Elizabeth, cared not a straw for either of them…. Elizabeth really cared for her dog most of all…. Still, better poor Grizzle than Miss Kilman; better distemper and tar and all the rest of it than sitting mewed in a stuffy bedroom with a prayer book!" (11).

Septimus Warren Smith: "Septimus Warren Smith, aged about thirty, pale-faced, beak-nosed, wearing brown shoes and a shabby overcoat, with hazel eyes which had that look of apprehension in them which makes complete strangers apprehensive too" (14). "Oh! thought Clarissa, in the middle of my party, here’s death, she thought" (183).

Peter Walsh: "[I]t was his sayings one remembered: his eyes, his pocket-knife, his smile, his grumpiness and, when millions of things had utterly vanished – how strange it was! – a few sayings like this about cabbages" (6).

Sally Seton (Lady Rosseter): "She sat on the floor—that was her first impression of Sally—she sat on the floor with her arms round her knees, smoking a cigarette… It was an extraordinary beauty of the kind she most admired …a sort of abandonment, as if she could say anything, do anything… Sally went out, picked hollyhocks, dahlias—all sorts of flowers that had never been seen together—cut their heads off, and made them swim on the top of water in bowls. The effect was extraordinary… Indeed she did shock people" (33-34).

Hugh Whitbread: "Very well-covered, manly, extremely handsome, perfectly upholstered body (he was almost too well dressed always, but presumably had to be, with his little job at Court)… [Clarissa] always felt a little skimpy beside Hugh…" (6). "He was a perfect specimen of the public school type… No country but England could have produced him…. And he’d found his job—married his Honourable Evelyn; got some little post at Court, looked after the King’s cellars, polished the Imperial shoe-buckles, went about in knee-breeches and lace ruffles" (73-74).

Miss Helena Parry: "[Peter] had sat down by old Miss Parry – Aunt Helena – Mr. Parry’s sister, who was supposed to preside. There she sat in her white Cashmere shawl, with her head against the window—a formidable old lady, but kind to him, for he had found her some rare flower, and she was a great botanist, marching off in thick boots with a black collecting-box slung between her shoulders" (61). "Clarissa had asked her. It was tiring; it was noisy; but Clarissa had asked her. So she had come…" (179).

Sir William Bradshaw: "Sir William himself was no longer young. He had worked very hard; he had won his position by sheer ability (being the son of a shopkeeper); loved his profession; made a fine figurehead at ceremonies and spoke well … [He had] the reputation … not merely of lightning skill, and almost infallible accuracy in diagnosis but of sympathy; tact; understanding of the human soul" (95). "Never, never had Rezia felt such agony in her life! She had asked for help and been deserted! He had failed them! Sir William Bradshaw was not a nice man" (98). "What she felt was, one wouldn’t like Sir William to see one unhappy. No; not that man" (182).

Lady Bradshaw: "…begetting one son in Harley Street… [She] caught salmon herself and took photographs scarcely to be distinguished from the work of professionals… She embroidered, knitted, spent four nights out of seven at home with her son…" (99). "Lady Bradshaw (in grey and silver, balancing like a sea-lion at the edge of its tank, barking for invitations, Duchesses, the typical successful man’s wife)…" (182).

Lady Bruton: "Lady Bruton had the reputation of being more interested in politics than people; of talking like a man; of having had a finger in some notorious intrigue of the eighties, which was now beginning to be mentioned in memoirs" (106).

Lady Lovejoy and Miss Alice: "Lady Lovejoy … had some trouble with her underbodice. And they could not help feeling, Lady Lovejoy and Miss Alice, that some little privilege in the matter of brush and comb, was awarded them having known Mrs. Barnet … Clarissa’s old nurse" (166-7).

Lord Lexham: "…Dear old Lord Lexham stood there apologising for his wife who had caught cold at the Buckingham Palace garden party… What Lord Lexham was saying was that his wife would not wear her furs at the garden party because ‘my dear, you ladies are all alike’ – Lady Lexham being seventy-five at least! It was delicious, how they petted each other, that old couple. She did like old Lord Lexham" (168).

Ellie Henderson: "…her distressing gentility, her panic fear, which arose from three hundred pounds’ income, and her weaponless state (she could not earn a penny) and it made her timid… her invitation to Clarissa’s party had come at the last moment. She was not quite happy about it. She had a sort of feeling that Clarissa had not meant to ask her this year. Why should she? There was no reason really, expect that they had always known each other. Indeed, they were cousins…. It was quite a treat just to see the lovely clothes" (169).

Ralph Lyon: "And Clarissa saw – she saw Ralph Lyon beat [the curtain] back, and go on talking. So it wasn’t a failure after all! it was going to be all right now—her party" (170).

The Prime Minister: "One couldn’t laugh at him. He looked so ordinary. You might have stood him behind a counter and bought biscuits – poor chap, all rigged up in gold lace… He tried to look somebody. It was amusing to watch. Nobody looked at him. They just went on talking…"

Sir Harry: "’Dear Sir Harry!’ [Clarissa] said, going up to the fine old fellow who had produced more bad pictures than any other two Academicians in the whole of St. John’s Wood (they were always of cattle, standing in sunset pools absorbing moisture, or signifying, for he had a certain range of gesture, by the raising of one foreleg and the toss of the antlers, ‘the Approach of the Stranger’ – all his activities, dining out, racing, were founded on cattle standing absorbing moisture in sunset pools" (175).

Mrs. Hilbery: "And up came that wandering will-o’-the-wisp, that vagulous phosphorescence, old Mrs. Hilbery, stretching her hands to the blaze of his laughter (about the Duke and the Lady), which, as she heard it across the room, seemed to reassure her on a point which sometimes bothered her if she woke early in the morning and did not like to call her maid for a cup of tea; how it is certain we must die" (175).

Professor Brierly: "For there was Professor Brierly, who lectured on Milton… With all those degrees, honours, lectureships between him and the scribblers he suspected instantly an atmosphere not favourable to his queer compound; his prodigious learning and timidity; his wintry charm without cordiality; his innocence blent with snobbery; he quivered if made conscious by a lady’s unkempt hair, a youth’s boots, of an underworld, very creditable doubtless, of rebels, or ardent young people; of would-be geniuses, and intimated with a little toss of the head, with a sniff—Humph!—the value of moderation; of some slight training in the classics in order to appreciate Milton" (176).

Jim Hutton: "…little Jim Hutton (who was unable even for a party like this to compass both tie and waist-coat or make his hair lie flat)… Professor Brierly (Clarissa could see) wasn’t hitting it off with little Jim Hutton (who wore red socks, his black being at the laundry)… She said she loved Bach. So did Hutton. That was the bond between them, and Hutton (a very bad poet) always felt that Mrs. Dalloway was far the best of the great ladies who took an interest in art" (176).

Lord Gayton & Nancy Blow: "They were not talking (perceptibly) as they stood side by side by the yellow curtains. They would soon be off elsewhere, together; and never had very much to say in any circumstances. They looked; that was enough. They looked so clean, so sound, she with an apricot bloom of powder and paint, but he scrubbed, rinsed, with the eyes of a bird, so that no ball could pass him or stroke surprise him… Nancy, dressed at enormous expense by the greatest artists in Paris, stood there looking as if her body had merely put forth, of its own accord, a green frill" (177).

Willie Titcomb: "And that very handsome, very self-possessed young woman was Elizabeth, over there, by the curtains, in red. (She was like a poplar, she was like a river, she was like a hyacinth, Willie Titcomb was thinking…" (188).

Other Guests:

Sir John and Lady Needham, Miss Weld, Colonel and Mrs. Garrod, Mrs. Mount and Celia, Miss Truelock, Mr. Bowley, Lady Mary Maddox, Mr. Quin, Herbert Ainsty, Mrs. Dakers, Mrs. Durrant and Clara, Eleanor Gibson, Portuguese Ambassador

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