Between the Acts

Between the Acts

3.65 (4,569 ratings by Goodreads)
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In Woolf's final novel, villagers present their annual pageant, made up of scenes from the history of England, at a house in the heart of the country as personal dramas simmer and World War II looms.
Annotated and with an introduction by Melba Cuddy-Keane"
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Product details

  • Paperback | 220 pages
  • 134.62 x 200.66 x 22.86mm | 226.8g
  • United States
  • English
  • Annotated
  • Annotated edition
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0156034735
  • 9780156034739
  • 846,449

Back cover copy

"Virginia Woolf stands as the chief figure of modernism in England and must be included with Joyce and Proust in the realization of experiments that have completely broken with tradition."--The New York Times

Between the Acts takes place on a June 1939 day at Pointz Hall, the Oliver family's country house in the heart of England. In the garden, everyone from the village has gathered to present the annual pageant--scenes from the history of England, beginning with the Elizabethan Age and ending with "ourselves," the audience. As the story unfolds, the lives of the villagers also take shape. We learn of the strained relationship between Isa Oliver and her husband, Giles, discontented stockbroker and son of Bart Oliver, the owner of Pointz Hall. When a storm rushes in and hastens the completion of the play, the performers and the audience take their leave, and Giles and Isa are finally left alone. In its juxtaposition of interior life and social life, personal history and world history, Woolf s final novel reveals the richness of whathappens between the acts.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), one of the major literary figures of the twentieth century, transformed the art of the novel. The author of numerous novels, collections of letters, journals, and short stories, she was an admired literary critic and a master of the essay form.
Mark Hussey, general editor of Harcourt's annotated Woolf series, is professor of English at Pace University in New York City and editor of the Woolf Studies Annual.

Melba Cuddy-Keane is professor of English and Northrop Frye Scholar at the University of Toronto.

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Rating details

4,569 ratings
3.65 out of 5 stars
5 22% (1,024)
4 35% (1,594)
3 31% (1,409)
2 9% (412)
1 3% (130)
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