Cover image for To the lighthouse
Title:
To the lighthouse
Author:
Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, [1992]

©1991
Physical Description:
xxxiii, 238 pages ; 22 cm.
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780679405375
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Though its fame as an icon of twentieth-century literature rests primarily on the brilliance of its narrative technique and the impressionistic beauty of its prose, To the Lighthouse is above all the story of a quest, and as such it possesses a brave and magical universality.

Observed across the years at their vacation house facing the gales of the North Atlantic, Mrs. Ramsay and her family seek to recapture meaning from the flux of things and the passage of time. Though it is the death of Mrs. Ramsay on which the novel turns, her presence pervades every page in a poetic evocation of loss and memory that is also a celebration of domestic life and its most intimate details. Virginia Woolf's great book enacts a powerful allegory of the creative consciousness and its momentary triumphs over fleeting material life.

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)


Author Notes

Virginia Woolf was born in London, England on January 25, 1882. She was the daughter of the prominent literary critic Leslie Stephen. Her early education was obtained at home through her parents and governesses. After death of her father in 1904, her family moved to Bloomsbury, where they formed the nucleus of the Bloomsbury Group, a circle of philosophers, writers, and artists.

During her lifetime, she wrote both fiction and non-fiction works. Her novels included Jacob's Room, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Orlando, and Between the Acts. Her non-fiction books included The Common Reader, A Room of One's Own, Three Guineas, The Captain's Death Bed and Other Essays, and The Death of the Moth and Other Essays. Having had periods of depression throughout her life and fearing a final mental breakdown from which she might not recover, Woolf drowned herself on March 28, 1941 at the age of 59. Her husband published part of her farewell letter to deny that she had taken her life because she could not face the terrible times of war.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

It's wondrous to listen to a fine reading of a long-loved novel. Leishman makes masterly use of volume, timbre and resonance to distinguish between characters and draw us into the emotional swings and vibrations of the internal musings of each. She creates not a new but a more nuanced reading, following the interwoven streams of consciousness in a British English that lends authenticity to each voice. Leishman swims smoothly through Woolf's sentences that ebb and flow with numerous parenthetical thoughts and fresh images. These passages are interspersed with quick, sharp, simple sentences that gain strength in contrast. Leishman also draws our attention to Woolf's poetic prose: her rhythms and images, her use of hard consonants in monosyllabic words in counterpoint to long, soft, dreamy words and phrases. To The Lighthouse plays back and forth between telescopic and microscopic views of nature and human nature. Mrs. Ramsey is both trapped in and pleased in her roles as wife, mother and hostess. The introspective Mr. Ramsey is consumed with his legacy of long-since-published abstract philosophy. This is a book that cannot be read-or heard-too often. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Excerpts

Excerpts

Just before the First World War, the Ramsay family go to their holiday home in the Hebrides, bringing several guests with them. While they are there, one of the children wants to visit a lighthouse. After a ten year gap, during which the war wreaks its havoc on Europe, one of the guests returns to the house; and another trip to the lighthouse is proposed. Told from multiple viewpoints, in language that is precise, delicate and allusive, To The Lighthouseis a landmark work of English fiction. Virginia Woolf explores perception and meaning in some of the most beautiful prose ever written, minutely detailing the characters thoughts and impressions. An English novelist and essayist born in 1882, Virginia Woolf is regarded as one of the most prominent modernists of her day. She was a member of the Bloomsbury Group, she was a well-known literary figure in London. She died in 1941, in East Sussex. Juliet Stevenson has worked extensively for the RSC and the Royal National Theatre. She received an Olivier Award for her role in Death and the Maiden at the Royal Court, and a number of other awards for her work in the film Truly, Madly, Deeply. Other film credits include The Trial, Drowning by Numbers and Emma. She has recorded Lady Windemere's Fan, Sense and Sensibility, Emmaand many other works for Naxos AudioBooks. Excerpted from To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. vii
The Windowp. 3
Time Passesp. 125
The Lighthousep. 145