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Recollections of Virginia Woolf by Her Contemporaries
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Recollections of Virginia Woolf by Her Contemporaries

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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  40 ratings  ·  9 reviews
In the words of its editor, "This book is not intended to provide an assessment of Virginia Woolf's work. A great deal has already been written about her novels and critical essays. It is concerned essentially with Virginia Woolf herself: about whom little has been said in print. It has been written by people who knew her either intimately as relations and friends, or who ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published September 28th 1994 by Ohio University Press (first published January 1st 1972)
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Sarah
Jul 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I must admit, I'm a little disappointed. Reading these essays, it becomes immediately apparent that the contributors had much difficulty in attempting to describe a woman who was both a towering genius and a frail human being.

Rather than make any effort to reconcile the two, most of the authors opted to compartmentalize. There's the "wise, strong" Virginia, whose literary achievements are unparalleled. And then there's the "sick" Virginia who drowned herself, the raving madwoman who had somehow
...more
Jamie
Jul 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bloomsbury
I've been reading this one alongside Hermione Lee's biography of Woolf, and they've made quite the pair. Lee's methodology seems almost to perform a sort of representational fragmentation (inasmuch as she argues that the sort of 'knowing' we tend to assume in understanding a person is always fictive--a person can never be exhaustively represented by another), so reading these recollections--where people do try to capture VW in a half-dozen or fewer pages--offered a very different vision of ...more
AB
Jul 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Would that I ever have friends who remember me so fondly and keenly, and with so much respect.

Even in the negligible pieces there are some solid gold anecdotes. Leonard recounting the story of when Henry James came to tea when VW was young, and tipped over backwards in his chair, and still finished his sentence from the floor? Genius. Anything about the exchanges between VW and Walpole? Genius.
Alex
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
some gems of anecdotes that make virginia come alive for me, but otherwise the impressions on display here are repetitive (one could say consistent - but i’m glad that almost all of her contemporaries concluded that she was, after all, a fluid and ineffable composite).
Ali
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These recollections from friends and contemporaries of Virginia Woolf leave us with a wonderfully multi-faceted portrait of Virginia Woolf, we see her here as a friend an acquaintance, an employer, sister-in-law and wife. In his introduction Michael Holroyd, reminds us of the salient facts of Virginia Woolf’s life and death in his brief biography. From here we move straight to the testimonies of the people who knew her. Joan Russell Noble has collected together a raft of different voices, who ...more
Matt
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It presents generally brief yet insightful protraits of Virginia Woolf by many of those who knew her best. It was interesting to read the number of instances of the various contributors noting the same particular aspects of Mrs. Woolf's appearance, character and personality. As one would expect, opinions and appreciations of her work were a bit more divergent.
The book concludes with a piece by E.M. Forster, who, as he states, "....knew her ever since she started
...more
Kirsty
Had this been longer, I would have given it a five star rating without a doubt.
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Sep 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: vw devotees
an awesome resource for people who love virginia woolf.
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