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

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  32 Ratings  ·  6 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
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Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 19th 2001 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1999)
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Leslie
Feb 03, 2008 Leslie rated it did not like it
Shelves: biography
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
Erin Schmidt
Jan 21, 2016 Erin Schmidt rated it did not like it
How immensely egotistical of Peter Dally to undertake this work...to presume he knows, without question, not only Virginia's, but those she knew throughout her life, motivations. What God-like character is Dally to know the reasons for people's actions and feelings.

This book is maddening. I see that is was first published in 1999 which is very surprising considering the "medical knowledge" contained within comes across as antiquated and outdated gibberish that has long-sense been debunked. I ke
...more
Robin
Jul 18, 2015 Robin rated it did not like it
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
Oct 20, 2011 Jody rated it liked it
Shelves: virginia-woolf
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
Aug 31, 2013 Liz Brown rated it it was amazing
Shelves:
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
Ilze
May 09, 2008 Ilze rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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