Virginia Woolf: And the Women Who Shaped Her World

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This was an enjoyable though sometimes uneven read. While I found the information about the women in Woolf’s family history interesting and certainly a possible influence on her writing, I was not as interested in the chapters about the carryings on of the Bloomsbury crowd. Frankly, we have heard it all before and reads like so much unconfirmed gossip. I would have preferred the author stick to the women who influenced Woolf without diverting into the well-trodden areas of incest and promiscuity which get brought out in just about every new biography that comes out.

The book seemed to have quite a bit going for it initially, with interesting information about Woolf’s maternal lineage but even in that area the author strays too far into guessing about what these women “felt” about each other or what others “thought” of them. Her sources simply do not seem to support this sort of knowledge.

Overall, I found much of this book to be interesting, though I would not feel comfortable quoting it in a research paper or even categorizing it as a biography. There is simply too much that strays into historical fiction, in my opinion.


Reviewed By:

Author Gillian Gill
Star Count 3.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 432 pages
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publish Date 2019-12-03
ISBN 9781328683953
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue April 2020
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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