John's Reviews > The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Vol. 1: 1915-1919

The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Vol. 1 by Virginia Woolf
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's review
Jul 27, 07

Recommended for: writers
Read in February, 2004

Woolf's diaries spill the milk of pithy, studied, incisive, ridiculous, vain and wholly original observations across the floor, down the front stoop and onto the footpath of England and literature. Observations, in particular, of others, and by extension, the society around her. Inevitably her own prejudices and strengths revealed -- and the word "fangs" might sum up both.

Much more accessible than the tedious novels. But, to understand the milieu and the many many people who make appearances in the diaries, start by reading Michael Holroyd's genre-defining biography of Lytton Strachey. Holroyd explains the who of pre-Bloomsbury and Bloomsbury. Like, where did Leonard Woolf appear from anyway, and what was he like? It's all here in this massive bio that leaves no fey, brilliant clique unprobed.
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