Virginia Woolf was clearly one of the great writers of the past century, but in what does her greatness consists? muses Anthony Curtis. This book is an attempt to answer that question. It also places the author of A Room of One's Own firmly on a par with writers such as Simone de Beauvoir and therefore within the study remit of courses on feminist literature. Richly illustrated with photographs of the private sphere of the Bloomsbury Group and public places of the London of Woolf's time.
Anthony Curtis took an English degree at Oxford (first class) and became a literary journalist and books page editor on staff, respectively, of the TLS, Sunday Telegraph and Financial Times. He reviewed the volumes of Virginia Woolf's diaries, letters and essays, when they were first published, as well as the biographical accounts of her history of mental illness and her private life. Reading these biographies and her journals, he became interested in Kitty Maxse, the model for Mrs Dalloway, about whom little seemed to be known. He stumbled across Kitty's sister's (Margaret Lushington's) diaries and edited them for publication. 'Virginia Woolf was clearly one of the great writers of the past century, but in what does her greatness consist?' muses Anthony Curtis. 'This book is an attempt to answer that question.'