UAH Library Reserve List for EH 649: Virginia Woolf

The following library books are on 3-day Reserve for this class at the Library Circulation desk.  You will need your library card to check them out.  In addition, I have most of my personal Woolf collection in my office at work. 

CD-ROM  PR6045 .O72 A1 1997
Woolf's complete works
(novels, essays, diaries, and letters) are available on CD-ROM for use at the library.  Accessing her work this way makes it easy to search for images, words, and quotations.  The CD collection was edited by Mark Hussey and published in 1997.
Biographies Collected Criticism Monographs Diaries, Autobiography, Letters


 Everyone should consult at least one of the three, recent full-length biographies: Lee, King, or Reid.  Often it’s better to compare two biographers’ interpretation of events.

 Bell, Quentin. Virginia Woolf: A Biography.  New York, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972.
PR6045 .O72 Z545 1972

This has been the most authoritative and influential biography of Woolf, though it will be superseded by the more scholarly biographies by Lee, King, and Reid.  Quentin Bell was Woolf’s nephew, her sister Vanessa’s son.  He and his sister Angelica inherited the Virginia Woolf Estate, controlling access to her papers.  This biography treats Woolf’s life only, with no analysis of her works.

 Gordon, Lyndall. Virginia Woolf: A Writer's Life.  New York : Norton, 1984.
PR6045 .O72 Z653 1984B                 

This feminist biography emphasizes links between Woolf’s life and her work, particularly the major novels.  Gordon’s readings are especially useful for To the Lighthouse and The Waves.

 Lee, Hermione.  Virginia Woolf.  New York: Knopf, 1997.
PR 6045 .072  Z774 1997

This recent biography has received considerable critical acclaim. It provides a balanced assessment of such disputed issues as Woolf’s mental illness and the sexual abuse she may have experienced from her  half-brothers.  Many chapters are topical, rather than chronological.  Lee is British.

 King, James. Virginia Woolf.  New York: Norton, 1995.
PR 6045  .072  Z76  1995b

This was the first full-scale, scholarly biography of Woolf to include analysis of the novels.  King reads Woolf’s life as a response to her father’s influence, arguing that she “came to see that the forces which threatened her were masculine and could be fought against only by employing a new conception of the female self, on which had not been assimilated into male culture” (xviii).  This biography interprets Woolf’s sexual relationship with her husband differently lead from Reid and Lee.  Chapters are organized wholly chronologically.  King is an American who lives and teaches in Canada.

 Reid, Panthea. Art and Affection: Life of Virginia Woolf.   Oxford, 1996.
PR 6045  0.72  Z8654  1996

This American biographer reads Woolf’s life and work as closely allied to her relationship with her older sister, the painter Vanessa Bell. 

There are dozens of biographies of Virginia Woolf.  Those above are the most comprehensive, authoritative and widely respected.  Two newer biographies are also useful (I own both of them, and the Salmon Library has Marder):

Leaska, Mitchell.  Granite and Rainbow: The Life of Virginia Woolf. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1998.

 Leaska also has written a 1977 book about Woolf’s novels, an 1970 book about To the Lighthouse, and has edited some of her journals and letters.  The Salmon Library has all of these.

 Marder, Herbert.  The Measure of Life:  Virginia Woolf’s Last Years.  Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 2001.
PR6045 .O72 Z8152 2000
Marder’s focus is on Woolf’s last ten years and the books the wrote then, with a lot of emphasis on water imagery and her suicide by drowning.  Marder also wrote a 1968 book about Woolf and feminism that the library owns.

Collected Criticism

Beer, Gillian. Virginia Woolf : The Common Ground : Essays.  University of Michigan, P, 1997.
PR6045 .O72 Z5438 1996

Beer is a major Woolf scholar, one of the few who are British.  (Woolf ‘s reputation is higher among American scholars.)  Beer’s analyses are especially useful for placing Woolf’s work in the context of what people were reading and writing in Woolf’s day.    See especially her essays on Mrs. Dalloway (the significance of the airplane), To the Lighthouse (relevant philosophers), and The Waves. 

 Bloom, Harold, ed. Virginia Woolf.  New York: Chelsea House, 1986.
PR6045 .O72 Z8918 1986                 

Reprints 18 essays from books and journals, including Auerbach “Brown Stocking” (1953) and John Burt (1982) on To the Lighthouse; McConnell on The Waves (1968), Hillis Miller on Mrs. Dalloway (1982), Virginia Blain on The Voyage Out (1983), and Judy Little on Orlando  (1983).

 Clements, Patricia, and Isobel Grundy. Virginia Woolf:  New Critical Essays.  Totowa, N.J. : Barnes & Noble Books, 1983.
PR6045 .O72 Z8938 1983

Collection of essays written for this book.  Includes essays on VW’s relation to other writers (Leslie Stephen, T.S. Eliot, Joseph Conrad, James Joyce) as well as on such topics as her early novels (Blain, also rpt. in Bloom), the “tunnelling process” (Susan Dick), and her choice of names (Isobel Grundy).

Freedman, Ralph, ed. Virginia Woolf, Revaluation and Continuity : A Collection of Essays.
Berkeley : University of California Press, 1980.
PR6045 .O72 Z895

This collection of original essays reflects the 1970s feminist reassessment of Woolf. 

Ginsberg, Elaine-K., and Laura Moss Gottlieb, eds.  Virginia Woolf: Centennial Essays. Troy, NY : Whitston, 1983. xiii, 336 pp
PR6045 .O72 Z8925 1983  

McNees, Eleanor Jane, ed..  Virginia Woolf: Critical Assessments.  Mountfield (England): Helm Information, 1994.
4 vols.  PR6045 .072 Z89253 1994          
v. 1. Recollections and obituaries, early critical reviews, Bloomsbury, Writers on writing
v. 2. Critical responses to the short stories, sketches and essays, feminist treatises and biographies
v. 3. Critical responses to the novels from The Voyage Out to To the Lighthouse  
v. 4. Critical responses to the novels: The Waves, The Years, and Between the Acts; essays; critical evaluations; comparative studies.

Homans, Margaret.  Virginia Woolf: A Collection of Critical Essays. Prentice-Hall, 1994.
PR 6045  .072  Z89195  1993

This recent collection includes essays on all of  Woolf’s except Orlando, by major Woolf scholars (Zwerdling, Froula, Ruotolo, Bowlby, Marcus),  as well as chapters on Woolf from books by Erich Auerbach (the ubiquitous “Brown Stocking” essay on To the Lighthouse from his Mimesis, 1946), Elizabeth Abel (from The Voyage In, 1983), Rachel Blau DuPlessis (from Writing Beyond the Ending, 1985), and Marianne Hirsch (from The Mother/Daughter Plot, 1989). 

Majumdar, Robin, and Allen McLaurin.  Virginia Woolf : The Critical Heritage.  London ; Boston : Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975.
PR6045 .O72 Z893                       

Collects contemporary reviews of all of Woolf’s works, organized chronologically by each work, concluding with Between the Acts (1941).  Includes obituaries.

Marcus, Jane, ed. New Feminist Essays on Virginia Woolf. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1981.
PR604 .N4 1981    [Note call number  PR 604 is not a typo for PR 6045, but may be the Library’s error.] 

These original essays represent a major shift in approaches to Woolf, led by Jane Marcus, emphasizing political (especially Marxist) readings of Woolf’s work, directed to “radical and feminist readers.” 

Marcus, Jane, ed.  Virginia Woolf : A Feminist Slant.  Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983.
PR6045 .O72 Z892 1983                  

Another collection of original works, emphasizing “the arts of biography, textual scholarship, and history” as opposed to the deconstructive practice that was current at that time.

Marcus, Jane.  Virginia Woolf and the Languages of Patriarchy. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1987.
PR6045 .O72 Z8147 1987                 

Collects previously published six essays and three new ones, all emphasizing close reading of texts, by a very outspoken and controversial Woolf scholar.  (Includes “Liberty, Sorority, Misogny” and “The Niece of a Nun.”)

Mepham, John.  Virginia Woolf:  Criticism in Focus. St. Martins, 1992.
PR 6045  .071  Z8163  1992

This short book synthesizes Woolf criticism in chapters on her life and career, her “context” (from Marxist views to Bloomsbury aesthetics), Modernism, feminist studies, philosophical approaches, practical and thematic criticism, and editions and drafts of her work.

Mezei, Kathy.  Ambiguous Discourse:  Feminist Narratology and British Women Writers.  U of North Carolina P, 1996.
PR 830  .W6 A43 1996

                This collection has five essays on Woolf, including one on free indirect discourse in Mrs. Dalloway.
not on reserve because checked out, but available as an e-book.

Sprague, Claire. Virginia Woolf: A Collection of Critical Essays.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall,  1971.
PR6045 .O72 Z878                       

This collection of previously published essays represents a less political (and less feminist) approach to Woolf.  Bloom reprints three of these in his 1986 collection (Brower on Mrs. Dalloway, Auerbach on To the Lighthouse, and McConnell on The Waves), perhaps indicating a conservative resistance to both political and theoretical approaches, and a preference for formalist readings.


Other Woolf Books in the Salmon Library (not on Reserve)

Particularly Useful Monographs on Woolf 

All of these are in the stacks.

Leaska, Mitchell Alexander. The Novels of Virginia Woolf : From Beginning to End.  New York: John Jay Press, 1977.
PR6035 .O72 Z773                       
An early study of the novels, emphasizing biographical interpretations.  See also his new Woolf biography (above).

Lee, Hermione. The Novels of Virginia Woolf. New York: Holmes & Meier, 1977.
PR6045 .O72 Z774                      

Ruotolo, Lucio P.  The Interrupted Moment : A View of Virginia Woolf's Novels.  Stanford, CA: Stanford U), 1986.
PR6045 .O72 Z8676 1986                 

Zwerdling, Alex. Virginia Woolf and the Real World.  Berkeley: U of California P, 1986.
PR6045 .O72 Z99 1986                   

Letters, Diaries, Autobiography

 Woolf, Virginia.  The Letters of Virginia Woolf.  Eds. Nigel Nicolson and Joanne Trautmann.  New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975-1980.
PR6045 .O72 Z525 1975 V.1
6 v.  Contents: v. 1. 1888-1912 (Virginia Stephen)--v. 2.  1912-1922.--v. 3. 1923-1928.--v. 4. 1929-1931.--v. 5. 1932-1935.--v. 6. 1936-1941.   Woolf’s letters make entertaining reading, and she often comments on what she is writing, or her ideas about writing.

Woolf, Virginia.  Moments of Being : Unpublished Autobiographical Writings.  Ed. Jeanne Schulkind.  New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976.
PR6045 .O72 Z496 1976                  

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.

 Woolf, Virginia. The Diary of Virginia Woolf.  Ed. Anne Olivier Bell. New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1977-1984.
PR6045 .O72 Z494 1977

 5 v. Contents: : v. 1. 1915-1919.--v. 2. 1920-1924.--v. 3. 1925-1930.--v. 4. 1931-1935.--v. 5. 1936-1941.  Like her letters, these diaries are entertaining reading, and provide interesting insights about the composition of her novels, as well as her hopes and fears about her writing. 

Woolf, Virginia. A Writer's Diary, Being Extracts from the Diary of Virginia Woolf.  Ed. Leonard Woolf.   New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1954. (UK 1953)
PR6045 .O72 Z5 1954R                   

These excerpts from Woolf’s diary have been very influential for critics, though they should be read in conjunction with the more mundane context of the complete diaries.  Woolf comes across as far less human, far more bookish, than she does in the complete diaries.   Remember that criticism published before about 1980 would have relied wholly on these excerpts.