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Mrs. Dalloway

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  268,702 ratings  ·  14,315 reviews
A special edition of the “moving, revolutionary” novel about one day in a woman’s life (Michael Cunningham)—with extensive notes from a renowned Woolf scholar.
When we meet her, Mrs. Clarissa Dalloway is preoccupied with the last-minute details of party preparation, though in her mind she is something much more than a perfect society hostess. As she readies her house, sh
Kindle Edition, 104 pages
Published February 17th 2015 by Mariner Books (first published May 14th 1925)
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Meanderer No. This is the kind of book that turns you away from reading novels. It's a grind from the beginning to the end. Life is too short to read anything w…moreNo. This is the kind of book that turns you away from reading novels. It's a grind from the beginning to the end. Life is too short to read anything written by Virginia Woolf. (less)
Jragon Tran Yes, I am rereading Mrs. Dalloway from the beginning for the third time, and deriving more and more pleasure from its exploration of basic existential…moreYes, I am rereading Mrs. Dalloway from the beginning for the third time, and deriving more and more pleasure from its exploration of basic existential crises through a stream of consciousness style, resulting in very lyrical prose with a "milky" quality. Milky breakfast tea, to be exact. (less)
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Experiencing Mrs. Dalloway is like being a piece of luggage on an airport conveyor belt, traversing lazily through a crowd of passengers, over and around and back again, but with the added bonus of being able to read people’s thoughts as they pass; this one checking his flight schedule, that one arguing with his wife, the one over there struggling with her cart, bumping into those arguing and checking. For the most part, the ride is smooth as Woolf transitions from one consciousness to another. ...more
"What does the brain matter,” said Lady Rosseter, getting up, “compared with the heart?”
Mrs. Dalloway ~~ Virginia Woolf


I didn't realize this until the final page, but at its heart, MRS. DALLOWAY is a love story. I absolutely loved this book.


Mrs. Dalloway is a complex, compelling novel. It is wrongly described as a portrait of a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway; this is not correct. Mrs. Dalloway is the hub that connects the spokes, the characters of Woolf's novel, but there is no main chara
Leonard Gaya
Mar 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
What a lark! What a plunge! There is a famous episode in the first section of Mrs Dalloway where a sky-writing aeroplane flies over London, soaring, spinning and plunging, writing in white letters of steam on a radiant sheet of blue sky. The onlookers on the ground, strolling down Regent’s Park and Oxford Street, try to decipher the signs above. “Blaxo? Kreemo? Toffee?” Whatever it is, this image is exceptionally profound, for it reflects the very novel we are reading. Woolf wrote Mrs Dalloway u ...more
Jim Fonseca
[Revised, pictures add 4/24/22]

Virginia Woolf set out to write an unconventional novel and succeeded, although since she wrote, we have read so many unconventional novels that it seems tame. In her introduction to the edition I read, Maureen Howard writes: “If ever there was a work conceived in response to the state of the novel, a consciously modern novel, it is Mrs. Dalloway.”

Woolf may have been influenced by Ulysses because all the action occurs in one day. Church bells mark significant even
Jeffrey Keeten
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“So on a summer’s day waves collect, overbalance, and fall; and the whole world seems to be saying ‘that is all’ more and more ponderously, until even the heart in the body which lies in the sun on the beach says too, That is all. Fear no more, says the heart. Fear no more, says the heart, committing its burden to some sea, which sighs collectively for all sorrows, and renews, begins, collects, lets fall. And the body alone listens to the passing bee; the wave breaking; the dog barking, far away ...more
Sean Barrs
Virginia Woolf I hate you.

There I said it. Some authors you just don’t get on with, and Woolf is right down the bottom of my shit list. I’ve got quite a few reasons why:

Artistic slaying

So there’s a trend with each and every new artistic movement which involves pissing all over the one that came before it. The newness asserts its dominance by destroying the old; it’s happened many times over history in all forms of artifice, whether it be literature, music, paintings or media in today’s society.
Nov 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
While reading her works, I get the impression that Virginia Woolf knows everything about people and that she understands life better than anyone, ever. Is there a single hidden feeling or uncommon perspective with which she is not intimately acquainted? And does anyone else draw forth these feelings and perspectives with more grace and empathy, and impart them to us in such a lush, inimitable fashion? Perhaps. But you’d never think that while immersed in her exquisite, adult dramas. In Mrs. Dall ...more
Moments like this are buds on the tree of life.

Our lives are an elaborate and exquisite collage of moments. Each moment beautiful and powerful on their own when reflected upon, turned about and examined to breath in the full nostalgia for each glorious moment gone by, yet it is the compendium of moments that truly form our history of individuality. Yet, what is an expression of individuality if it is not taken in relation to all the lives around us, as a moment in history, a drop in a multitud
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is this amazing book the archetype for present-day feminine TV Soap Operas..?

If you said that, I, and so many others who’ve been utterly charmed by Virginia Woolf’s disarmingly ‘unrehearsed’ slice-of-life prose in this incredible book, would take bitter umbrage!

No, this little book is MUCH more than that...

It’s a radiant hymn to the power of momentary, personal Epiphanies in our rapidly-moving, seemingly impersonal, and largely unconscious lives.

You know those magical Chicken-Soup-for-The-Soul m
Ahmad Sharabiani
(Book 698 From 1001 books) - Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

Mrs Dalloway (published on 14 May 1925) is a novel by Virginia Woolf that details a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a fictional high-society woman in post–First World War England. It is one of Woolf's best-known novels.

Clarissa Dalloway goes around London in the morning, getting ready to host a party that evening.

The nice day reminds her of her youth spent in the countryside in Bourton and makes her wonder about her choice of husb
I have just returned from an extraordinary trip - A trip to Virginia. There was one before Mrs Dalloway. There will be an after, but everything I read from now on will come up against this love. Yes, to that love, because indeed loved it that it is about, can we say why we love?
Do not look for history in Mrs Dalloway because history there is none! I looked at it, however, and the novel fell out of my hands towards page 50; I was so confused that nothing was happening. And then, suddenly, as in t
Paul Bryant
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels


I can see why people hate Mrs-Dalloway-the-book (there are a fair few this-is-so-boring-I-lit-myself-on-fire kind of one/two star reviews) because Mrs Dalloway-the-book is the Terminator 2 of doileys, ribbons, and fetching hats, the Die Hard 4 of a sunny day in London, 1923, the Apocalypto of curtains and place mats and memories of moonlight boating parties; and the Transformers of wondering if you married the right person.

You have to get into Mrs Woolf’s style, which
Violet wells
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves, london
It’s been a while since I last read Mrs Dalloway. I’d always had it down as her third best book, but falling a fair way short of The Waves and To the Lighthouse. Therefore I was surprised by just how much I loved and admired it this time round. It’s probably her most popular novel – because it’s more intimate, more personal and sprightly and warm than her other novels. What’s most brilliant about it is the easy fluid way she makes of each passing moment a ruffled reservoir of the inner life of h ...more
Henry Avila
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"What does the brain matter compared with the heart?"so states one of the last lines in this short brilliant novel, a thought -provoking book life is temporary after all. This phrase is about Mr. Richard Dalloway who works for the government in the early 1920's in London, England. Clarissa Dalloway's nice steady husband rather ordinary, he will never be a member of the prestigious cabinet, nevertheless she loves him, he reciprocates that emotion...she knows but he's much too embarrassed to verba ...more
In this second reading, I realized that although I have liked the book after my first reading, I hardly have understood it. In Mrs. Dalloway, the story is said to be about the events of a day in Clarissa Dalloway’s life. While this is true to an extent, it is more than that. Although the story marks the events of one day, the story both goes back and forth between Clarissa’s youth and her present life through Clarissa’s thoughts. Through one stream of thoughts, she revisits her youth, recalling ...more
Jan 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I first read Mrs. Dalloway sometime between "The Hours" film was released & college (2002-2003), knowing pretty well what it aimed at--to chronicle life as it is lived, with plenty of characters to populate the sphere that’s immediately around the titular protagonist, the nucleus, the hopeless hostess of parties; all their thoughts at once made clear and later muddled with the novel’s own moving train of consciousness. This time around I found that the most difficult portion of Mrs. Dalloway is ...more
A few introductory comments on my rating and review:

My rating is reflective of my experience with this book and not the actual impact this book has had on literature and other people over the years. Sometimes when I read a book I don’t like, I cannot understand why others like it either. That is not the case here – it is very easy for me to tell why others would like this book and I think it was very interesting at its core; it is just the delivery that did not work for me.

I hesitate to actually
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
England in 1923. A land between world wars, between tradition and modernity. Virginia Woolf's fourth novel, "Mrs Dalloway"

This book offers many partial even very modern approaches, reflecting the role of woman in society, the importance of marriage, the mental illness as a sign of our time, the consequences of war, the power of medicine and much more ..."

Ps:If you like the technique "Stream of consciousness "the book is suitable for you.
Pavel Nedelcu

Because I finished “Mrs. Dalloway” and I must say it exceeded (all) my expectations and has been giving me much more than “To the Lighthouse” - although the latter already had a maximum mark in my TopFav.

Many times I’ve heard of modern classics which once read turned out to be terrible flops; but Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway made me regret I postponed it for so long.

But perhaps it was better this way: in order to understand all the implications of Mrs. Dalloway you need some
May 27, 2022 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
shoutout to virginia woolf for doing the lord's work (writing short books that make you look smart) ...more
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A modernist tour de force from the heart and mind of the insurmountable Virginia Woolf. Clarissa Dalloway, 52, a socialite, married well, and with the ear of the highly privileged, is preparing for her party in the evening. Septimus Warren Smith, shell shocked Great War veteran is on the brink of insanity. This is the story of a day in their lives.

Woolf takes you from character to character's point of view, with mostly streams of their thoughts, switching points of view when they cross paths, or
"She felt very young; at the same time unspeakably aged. She sliced like a knife through everything; at the same time was outside, looking on. She had a perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day. Not that she thought herself clever, or much out of the ordinary."

Virginia Woolf takes us through a single day in 1923 in post-World War I London. She does so with gorgeous prose
Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recs
My full review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, can be found on my blog.

Although famous for focusing upon a single day in the life of one woman, Mrs. Dalloway in fact ricochets from one interior life to the next, collapsing the present into the past as it does so. The novel is far less interested in defining Clarissa Dalloway as an individual than in exploring the many-sided effects she has on an assortment of others; by the end of the narrative, Woolf has offered her readers not a neat

I love travelling by train, and this is one of the best environments for reading. Luckily I got a seat for myself and the coach is pleasant. There is so much light. How enjoyable!

What a funny way to start the book. Someone says that Clarissa Dalloway is setting off to buy the flowers. But here is the famous quote What a lark!, what a plunge!, but it is not quite at the beginning of the book and cannot quite join other iconic beginnings like Call me Ishmael.. or Longtemps je me suis couché de bon
Virginia Woolf made me feel like a drunken gardener, a diver on the verge of the bends, a foot stamping child, a foal tripping over its own legs trying desperately to get to its mother. And you know, I really don’t like feeling like any of these things. What is worse, she set up a buffet of champagne, mimosas, fruit and jam, white table cloths fluttering on a patio in the sunshine and light breezes, let me settle myself down to watch a perfectly civilized game of tennis between old pals from Eto ...more
Apr 26, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ughmakeitstop
torturous. Just buy the fucking flowers, Mrs. Dalloway!
Well I don't think I was quite ready for Virginia Woolf. It's my first novel by Woolf so I've finally broken my Virginia virginity. The writing is razor sharp, very witty in parts but mostly there's an energy to her writing it's slightly manic and I felt my mind racing through along with her thoughts. But did I enjoy this book? In parts. I found the pacing although the words were written beautifully a little too frenetic like she's throwing everything at you and hoping you keep up. I think this ...more
Elyse Walters
Mar 04, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first time reading Mrs. Dalloway.

Not being schooled in classics - I don’t feel confident about leaving a review.
I read Tess of the D’Urbervilles about a month ago too
The ‘lack’ of appreciation is with me —
I feel neutral about both books —-

I took away the basic story/stories — read gorgeous sentences…..
but mostly I don’t ‘love’ these books.
It feels like a school assignment…. minus the best part (the Professor and class discussion).
As a lone reader — and my own limitations - I f
Mar 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is late and I will want to think about this a bit more before I finish my review, but there is something almost perfect about Virginia Woolf's modernism. Her stream of conscious writing seems to be more aromatic than Proust (if that is possible) and goes down easier than Joyce. While she didn't write the massive 'Remembrance of Things Past' or the revolutionary 'Ulysses', her short novels seem - pound for pound - to stand up to these greats. Mrs Dalloway is a Madeleine that bites back and mos ...more
Jun 19, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is not so much a review as a declaration of surrender. When I read in the intro that this book is comparable to James Joyce’s Ulysses I already started looking for my white flag. Really I cannot be doing with experimental stream of consciousness prose with no dialog. I cannot even cope with absence of quotation marks. I read Mrs. Dalloway for almost an hour and could not discern any kind of plot. The lady is wandering around London observing “the excitement of elms” (wtf?), trees waving ab ...more
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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

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“She had the perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, out, far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very, dangerous to live even one day.” 805 likes
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