When Virginia Woolf published Mrs Dalloway in 1925, it began a whole new literary movement. The novella was written in a fresh, immediate style that has become known as ‘stream of consciousness’. If you’ve not read Mrs Dalloway for years, or have never read Virginia Woolf before, June is the perfect month to read (or re-read) this beautifully crafted, slender volume – because the entire course of the book takes place on one summery June day in London.
The story begins on a seemingly frivolous note, as Clarissa Dalloway, an upper-class woman married to an MP, sets out on a journey to buy flowers for the party she is having that evening. Yet the stories that unfold about the people she meets, or whom she passes, go so much deeper than the superficial. The story is set exactly 100 years ago – five years after the signing of the Armistice that ended the First World War. Virginia Woolf, who was part of the famous Bloomsbury Group, was fully aware of the horrors that people had experienced during the war.
On 30 June at midday, join Lucinda Hawksley to chat about this ground-breaking novella, whose themes still remain relevant today, almost a century after it was written.