The Years

The Years

3.77 (2,686 ratings by Goodreads)
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This title presents with introductions by Susan Hill and Steven Connor. "The Years" follows the lives of the Pargiters, a large middle-class London family, from an uncertain spring in 1880 to a party on a summer evening in the 1930s. We see them each endure and remember heart-break, loss, radical change and stifling conformity, marriage and regret. Written in 1937, this was the most popular of Virginia Woolf's novels during her lifetime, and is a powerful indictment of 'Victorianism' and its more

Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 130 x 194 x 28mm | 281.23g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0099982803
  • 9780099982807
  • 171,453

Review Text

A "must book" - yes, for the shops in which Virginia Woolf is recognized, appreciated, and rightfully given her unique place in English literature. But for the department stores, for many circulating libraries, Virginia Woolf would be difficult selling, difficult renting. Definitely, this is not of the school of obscurantism to which The Waves belonged. Nor has it the brittle vividness of Mrs. Dalloway, nor the imaginative quality of Orlando. It is more direct than her later work, but gives one the feeling of having sat through a play in which the characters simply suggest or describe action taking place off stage, and in which there is no "business" - no drama taking place before the eyes of the audience. From 1880 to the present one follows the fortunes and misfortunes of the family, with its many ramifications, and at the close no one character has taken on substance and reality. And yet, for sheer magic of handling the English language, the book is a joy to read, there is a crystal, fragile beauty, lacking substance, lacking shadows - or perhaps it is the shadow we see. She has succeeded admirably in her purpose, - the tracing of a pattern of life impinging on consciousness, and avoiding action and plot and situations. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Review quote

"Inspired throughout - a brilliant fantasia of all Time's problems, age and youth, change and permanence, truth and illusion" Times Literary Supplement "Lovely through The Waves was, The Years goes far beyond and beyond it-expressing Woolf's purpose in the novel more richly than it has ever been done before" New York Times Book Reviewshow more

About Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf was born in London in 1882, the daughter of Sir Leslie Stephen, first editor of The Dictionary of National Biography. After his death in 1904 Virginia and her sister, the painter Vanessa Bell, moved to Bloomsbury and became the centre of 'The Bloomsbury Group'. This informal collective of artists and writers which included Lytton Strachey and Roger Fry, exerted a powerful influence over early twentieth-century British culture. In 1912 Virginia married Leonard Woolf, a writer and social reformer. Three years later, her first novel The Voyage Out was published, followed by Night and Day (1919) and Jacob's Room (1922). These first novels show the development of Virginia Woolf's distinctive and innovative narrative style. It was during this time that she and Leonard Woolf founded The Hogarth Press with the publication of the co-authored Two Stories in 1917, hand-printed in the dining room of their house in Surrey. Between 1925 and 1931 Virginia Woolf produced what are now regarded as her finest masterpieces, from Mrs Dalloway (1925) to the poetic and highly experimental novel The Waves (1931). She also maintained an astonishing output of literary criticism, short fiction, journalism and biography, including the playfully subversive Orlando (1928) and A Room of One's Own (1929) a passionate feminist essay. This intense creative productivity was often matched by periods of mental illness, from which she had suffered since her mother's death in 1895. On 28 March 1941, a few months before the publication of her final novel, Between the Acts, Virginia Woolf committed more

Rating details

2,686 ratings
3.77 out of 5 stars
5 25% (664)
4 39% (1,044)
3 27% (732)
2 7% (196)
1 2% (50)
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