Collins Classics: Mrs Dalloway, Paperback Book

Collins Classics: Mrs Dalloway Paperback

Part of the Collins Classics series

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


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Clarissa Dalloway is a woman of high-society - vivacious, hospitable and sociable on the surface, yet underneath troubled and dissatisfied with her life in post-war Britain.

This disillusionment is an emotion that bubbles under the surface of all of Woolf's characters in Mrs Dalloway.

Centred around one day in June where Clarissa is preparing for and holding a party, her interior monologue mingles with those of the other central characters in a stream of consciousness, entwining, yet never actually overriding the pervading sense of isolation that haunts each person.

One of Virginia Woolf's most accomplished novels, Mrs Dalloway is widely regarded as one of the most revolutionary works of the 20th century in its style and the themes that it tackles.

The sense that Clarissa has married the wrong person, her past love for another female friend and the death of an intended party guest all serve to amplify this stultifying existence.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780007934409

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Poor Mrs. Dalloway, lucky Mrs. Dalloway, silly and ditsy or of sharp perception and many emotions? It is for the reader to decide and Woolf offered a generous base for any further discussions and musings. Such is the case with all the other characters in this short work which is literally full to the brim. As always, it is important to put it into perspective and the context of the times to realise how modern and how very different it is in comparison to other literary work from the same period. The style did not really appeal until the second half, and now I want to re-read it, and I never do that. This time I will. While reading it, I often had to think of Proust's Swann's Way, because of the similar voice (cannot say what exactly, but I was reminded of it all the time), continuous referring to the past, the same observant criticism of the characters and the ephemeral quality of writing which was dealing with complex things and life's many questions.