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The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: Manic Depression and the Life of Virginia Woolf
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The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: Manic Depression and the Life of Virginia Woolf

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  27 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Combining his knowledge as a doctor and a lifelong fascination with Virginia Woolf's life and work, eminent psychiatrist Peter Dally offers a haunting and compelling look at the depression that tormented Virginia Woolf throughout her adult years.

On three ocassions Virginia went mad. Symptoms of these episodes included conversations with her dead mother, and hearing birds s
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 19th 2001 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1999)
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This book infuriated me. He completely minimized the sexual abuse Woolf suffered as a child, even said that some of the things her step-brother did might have made her more comfortable with sex!!! Yeah right!!!!!!!! And this guy is a professional, either a psychologist or psychiatrist, I don't remember which. It was informative yes. And totally idiotic whenever he stopped telling what happened and started offering his own opinion. And I don't like bios of Woolf that beatify Leonard. He was not a ...more
The author's use of the word "insanity" to describe Virginia Woolf's manic states really, really upset me. It's insensitive, and it is incorrect. People who suffer from manic-depression are not insane (even those who have to be hospitalized for it). Using that word enforces a terrible stigma about bipolar disorder.
While the rest of this book was ok, I couldn't finish it because the author's sheer insensitivity bothered me too much.
Jody  Julian
When I excitedly began this book awhile ago, I was incredibly disappointed in it at first. I didn't think it was well written and had a rather disjointed feel- sort of like someone being forced to write about a subject they aren't interested in. After continuing on I think the book did a much appreciated turn around and I could at least 'hear' the author's voice. I learned some interesting details all in all and appreciated the emphasis on Woolf's mental illness even though the writing is a bit ...more
Liz Brown
A fascinating exploration of the life and work of Virginia Woolf from the perspective of her "brain" with a life of its own. A "brain" burdened and dominated by manic depression. Virginia and her protectors constantly monitor "brain" trying to anticipate its next action and next bout of madness. Virginia was very aware that "brain" had a life of its own: "to write my book which as usual darts into my brain" "an idea came". Abnormality can often give us a clue as how "normal" works so it follows ...more
What kind of writer (or woman) would she have been with today's modern medicine? Instead of sending her off somewhere and cutting her off from all social contact, a psychiatrist prescribes something ... what would've happened?
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