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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  4,498 ratings  ·  475 reviews
Flush es un cocker spaniel de orejas largas, cola ancha y unos «ojos atónitos color avellana». A los pocos meses de su nacimiento es regalado a la famosa poetisa Elizabeth Barrett. Flush se convertirá en su compañero inseparable y, posteriormente, en el cómplice de sus amoríos con el poeta Robert Browning, aunque primero debe superar la animadversión y celos que siente ant ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 20th 2003 by Ediciones Destino (first published 1933)
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Angourie Rice I'm pretty sure it's unabridged. The wikipedia summary of the book matches up with what I read in the Penguin Little Black Classics edition.
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3.82  · 
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 ·  4,498 ratings  ·  475 reviews

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Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dolors by: My insatiable hunger for Woolf
Shelves: read-in-2017
I never thought I would be so absorbed with the biography…of a dog!
But what was I thinking? Woolf’s writing works its magic with no exception, of course.
Are you in the mood for the ideal dose of ironic, playful humor?
Do you crave for those intricately woven phrases that sing the English language with exquisite intonation? Or for a literary game of original subtlety?

“Flush” is the described above plus a surrogate biography of the poetess Elizabeth Barrett-Browning and a jocular satire on the s
..the Victorians loved biographies, especially biographies of eminent people - kings, queens and other distinguished members of society. Flush is the biography of such an eminent Victorian. Or rather Flush is a parody of a biography of an eminent Victorian. We might even say that Flush is a parody of a parody of a biography of an eminent Victorian because Flush is in fact the biography of a dog. But not just any dog, an Eminent Dog, the pure bred Cocker Spaniel belonging to another eminent Victo ...more
This is the biography of a dog, a cocker spaniel named Flush who was owned by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. And through the eyes of Flush, and the writing of Virginia Woolf, we get a look at the life of the poetess herself. It's an interesting way to write about someone, but the talented pen of VW is up to the challenge.
classic reverie
In 2018, I found Virginia Woolf's Flush and added it to my to read list but somewhere I thought I read, that Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Flush had died around 14 years old, being superstitious enough, I wanted to not read it for a couple years. I decided early this year, 2019, in reading this during my May-Blondie's birthday dog reads which I started doing annually several years ago. Why was I so concerned about Flush's age at death? At that time our little dog, Blondie was alive and nearing Fl ...more
Joseph Spuckler
Oct 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, bloomsbury

Rereading Woolf's least know book. A biography English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning's red cocker spaniel. Woolf does an excellent job of telling the story from the Flush's perspective.

A good story. We lost our rescued Doberman yesterday to heart failure so a dog book seemed in order.
This was too tempting to resist. The great stream-of-consciousness novelist pulls off a “biography” of the beloved dog of Victorian poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. It was a nice trifle, though missing some of the emotional engagement that comes from direct knowledge of the animal by the author.

Flush was a cocker Spaniel who grew up in the country, and then was brought to the London household of Barrett. Their first encounter give you some of the flavor of Woolf’s approach to capturing his exper
Flush by Virginia Woolf - Oxford World's Classics series

Flush is a biography of a dog. To be more precise, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s dog. I picked this book up knowing nothing about it, as is my habit and was pleasantly surprised.

First of all, I loved the writing. When it comes to Virginia Woolf, it seems, I always do. I bought this particular volume about a decade ago, among her other books, for that very reason.

Second of all, the subject matter got to me. I love dogs and I love poetry. Reading a book about a female Victorian poet from her dog'
Oct 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dogs are color blind.
Kyriakos Sorokkou


This was the 6th book I read by Virginia Woolf and her easiest, so far. It's a peculiar little book with a cute theme. I don't want to downgrade it by using the word cute but when the protagonist is a dog than there's some cuteness in it.

This is a biography of a dog called Flush. Flush was Elizabeth Barrett Browning's beloved dog. She was a Victorian poet and her husband was a poet as well, Robert Browning. He was the one who wrote the epic poem that inspired Stephen King's The Dark Tower Series
Ronald Morton
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: by-women
This is one of my wife's favorite books. Prior to having children, when we used to go used book shopping together, she would buy any copy of this she came across to gift to friends. Up until now I'd never read it (in my defense, she's read almost none of my favorite books, and I've read many of hers through the years, and will continue to do so).

Flush is a sweet little book, beautifully written, about Elizabeth Barrett Browning's dog Flush (and, in the margins, it is also about EBB). It manages
After completing the groundbreaking experiment The Waves, Woolf “rested” by working on what she considered a mere trifle—a short novel that would eventually become Flush: A Biography, a version of the courtship of poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning as seen through the eyes of their omnipresent cocker spaniel. Using historical facts as a platform, what emerges is a witty and unusual take on one of the most famous real-life romances of all time, and even if it comes off as rather slight w ...more
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
This is a biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's red cocker spaniel named Flish. Woolf does an amazing job of telling the story from Flush's perspective.
This book suprised me quite alot, this was an excellent and powerful story that made you conect with the dog.
Ha! So you thought this was a book about a dog?

Nope. It's by Virginia Woolf, so it is really clever social satire: a dog's eye view of Victorian mores, the absurdities of class consciousness, the stultifying life of London ladies (and dogs), the joys of running free in Italy, and the delights of sexual liberation. Of course Woolf has great fun writing from the point of view of one who experiences life as a sequence of vast and varied scents and we get some interesting insights into Elizabeth Bar
Luís C.
A pretty little novel, but no more.
The form is poetic but the story remains flat, without bouncing. The idea of placing his autobiography through the life of his dog is not badly done, but it lacks some notes that would connect us to the reality of the facts. However, the methods of Virgina Woolf of foreignization used by are interesting, the vision of Flush on our world is quite captivating and it was in his eyes we find the beauty of the author's lyricism.
Raquel Baggins
Jun 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Raquel by: Evilreads
3.5 ★★★☆☆
«The fact was that they could not communicate with words, and it was a fact that led undoubtedly to much misunderstanding. Yet did it not lead also to a peculiar intimacy? (…) After all, she may have thought, do words say everything? Can words say anything? Do not words destroy the symbol that lies beyond the reach of words?»

Review in English | Reseña en español (abajo)

A short, entertaining and very enjoyable novel in which Virginia Woolf puts us into Flush’s shoes (or rather paws), the
Jeff Jackson
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club-2
This concise biography of Elizabeth Barrett-Browning's spaniel is super charming, surprisingly dramatic, and beautifully crafted. For fans of "Orlando," this is wonderful in a similarly fantastical vein. It's mostly known as a trifle today, though for many readers it might serve as an ideal introduction to Virginia Woolf.
My first Virginia Woolf novel, read b/c one of my groups chose it as a monthly read. Really easy to read! and enjoyable, as well.

Having had 3 cocker spaniels in the past, I enjoyed it all the more. :)
Nov 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
3.50 stars

We can find this very brief synopsis enticingly informative, "This playful, witty biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's pet spaniel - involving Italian travels and kidnappings - asks what it is to be a dog, and a human." (back cover) The dog in question called Flush, a corker/spotted spaniel, is one of the key characters brilliantly narrated by Virginia Woolf with her sense of humor, we simply can't help wondering how she has written so understandingly that few writers, I think, co
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been looking forward to reading Flush for months, and I really wasn’t disappointed. Written in the period after Virginia Woolf had completed writing The Waves; which she had found so draining Flush, is a complete joy. Flush – for those who don’t know – is a biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s dog, a cocker spaniel that was her constant companion, both before and after her marriage to Robert Browning. The book is a combination of fiction and non-fiction, through which we meet the two ...more
I just read a biography of a dog, that’s how much I love Virginia Woolf. (I’m in too deep, help)
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
A very sweet little book- Woolf captures the world and EBB's life through Flush's eyes (and thoughts) perfectly.
Apr 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
SO FUN. woolf uses this biography of flush (a dog, albeit an impressively complex & well-bred one!) as a vehicle for social commentary, gorgeous language exercises, psychological investigations, existential ramblings, & an indirect biography of said dog's mistress, who happens to be elizabeth barrett browning (I KNOW). excerpts from ebb's letters fill things out nicely. israel & i have a distinct voice for saying "page-turner" because it's such a lame phrase, but i'm going to go ahea ...more
André Carreira
The most fun read I've had in a while, along with Wise Blood.
This book is a whole universe of sensations being described by a master of poetic prose. She creates a pretty accurate (I'd love to become a dog in another life and confirm it) canine world-view. It is through the nose of a dog through which we smell her delightful phrases, and get glimpses into the biography of the dogs owner. The owner being, of course, Elizabeth Barret Browning.
However, and even though I understand what she's gettin
Lady Drinkwell
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A delightful read, I am forced to give it five stars. I love Virginia Woolf's writing style, I have always been fascinated by the story of Elizabeth Barret Browning, and I have absolutely fallen in love with this little dog. My heart was in my mouth reading of some of his misadventures.
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 20c-fiction
'I lay in the garden and read the Browning love letters, and the figure of their dog made me laugh so I couldn't resist making him a Life.'

This is Virginia Woolf’s biography of Flush the pet cocker spaniel of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. It tells the story of Flush’s time as a puppy with Mary Mitford before being given to Elizabeth Barrett when she was ill and confined to her rooms in London. He then has to contend with “losing” her to Robert Browning, moving to Italy and witnessing spiritualist
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I was hesitant to read more of Virginia Woolf, since I've had trouble with her "stream of consciousness" style. But when I discovered that she used it to portray life through the eyes of a dog, I was curious to read this.

I found it on Project Gutenberg (free e-books online) last night and decided to preview it to see if I could get into the writing. Surprisingly, I found it very easy to read and I was enjoying it so much that I kept on reading, even though I don't like reading on my phone. If yo
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017

The prose in this little book is absolutely breathtaking and is, in my very humble opinion, one of Woolf's most heartfelt, intimate works.

Anyone who has ever lost her heart to a spaniel will savor every word and recognize the spirited, headstrong, loving nature of her beloved pet. Elizabeth Barrett Browning's own written work describing Flush validates Woolf's narrative and even sublimates the love and devotion that a spaniel and her owner experience.

As an added bonus, anyone who
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: virginia-woolf
An enjoyable novella. Woolf tells the life story of Flush a golden spaniel owned by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Through the dogs eyes his life unfolds with his happy puppyhood to being owned by Elizabeth who is like a prisoner in her fathers house in Wimpole Street. Here she spend most of her time in her bedroom with Flush who stoically accepts his inactive life.

Flush sees the word through smell and watches Elizabeth’s courtship with trepidation, gets dog napped and Woolf describes the squalor
Andrew Gallina
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Want a fun, sweet, and thoroughly enchanting quick read, pick up 'Flush' by Virginia Woolf! It is a true delight from start to finish, and not daunting or heavy at all. In fact, after reading quite a few Woolf novels, this is not only the most accessible, but really the most fun. And Woolf's beautiful writing and descriptions are all here. This would be the perfect place to start for someone new to Woolf. They'll be hooked for sure. In the canon of Woolf's works, 'Flush' seems to be the most ove ...more
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leave it to Woolf to write the most endearing biography of a Cocker Spaniel. This short little work was adorable and - as with any other book by Woolf - the writing style was great. Flush’s character was very funny and seeing the world through his eyes was an absolute delight. I’ve read 3 works by Woolf so far, and even though Three Guineas was not my cup of tea, I am absolutely pumped to read the rest of her works. If you’re looking for an interesting book and if you like animals (dogs in parti ...more
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easy read classic...: Flush 4 16 Nov 26, 2012 11:13AM  

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(Adeline) Virginia Woolf was an English novelist and essayist regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century.

During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury Group. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), and Orlando (1928), and the book-length e
“Twice Flush had done his utmost to kill his enemy; twice he had failed. And why had he failed, he asked himself? Because he loved Miss Barrett. Looking up at her from under his eyebrows as she lay, severe and silent on the sofa, he knew that he must love her for ever. Things are not simple but complex. If he bit Mr. Browning he bit her too. Hatred is not hatred; hatred is also love.” 10 likes
“As for describing the smell of a spaniel mixed with the smell of torches, laurels, incense, banners, wax candles and a garland of rose leaves crushed by a satin heel that has been laid up in camphor, perhaps Shakespeare, had he paused in the middle of writing Antony and Cleopatra — But Shakespeare did not pause. Confessing our inadequacy, then, we can but note that to Flush Italy, in these the fullest, the freest, the happiest years of his life, meant mainly a succession of smells. Love, it must be supposed, was gradually losing its appeal. Smell remained. Now that they were established in Casa Guidi again, all had their avocations. Mr. Browning wrote regularly in one room; Mrs. Browning wrote regularly in another. The baby played in the nursery. But Flush wandered off into the streets of Florence to enjoy the rapture of smell. He threaded his path through main streets and back streets, through squares and alleys, by smell. He nosed his way from smell to smell; the rough, the smooth, the dark, the golden. He went in and out, up and down, where they beat brass, where they bake bread, where the women sit combing their hair, where the bird-cages are piled high on the causeway, where the wine spills itself in dark red stains on the pavement, where leather smells and harness and garlic, where cloth is beaten, where vine leaves tremble, where men sit and drink and spit and dice — he ran in and out, always with his nose to the ground, drinking in the essence; or with his nose in the air vibrating with the aroma. He slept in this hot patch of sun — how sun made the stone reek! he sought that tunnel of shade — how acid shade made the stone smell! He devoured whole bunches of ripe grapes largely because of their purple smell; he chewed and spat out whatever tough relic of goat or macaroni the Italian housewife had thrown from the balcony — goat and macaroni were raucous smells, crimson smells. He followed the swooning sweetness of incense into the violet intricacies of dark cathedrals; and, sniffing, tried to lap the gold on the window- stained tomb. Nor was his sense of touch much less acute. He knew Florence in its marmoreal smoothness and in its gritty and cobbled roughness. Hoary folds of drapery, smooth fingers and feet of stone received the lick of his tongue, the quiver of his shivering snout. Upon the infinitely sensitive pads of his feet he took the clear stamp of proud Latin inscriptions. In short, he knew Florence as no human being has ever known it; as Ruskin never knew it or George Eliot either.” 10 likes
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