annotated bibliography of criticism and comment
Virginia Woolf criticism is a bibliography of critical comment on Virginia Woolf and her works, with details of each publication and a brief description of its contents. The details include active web links to Amazon where you can buy the books, often in a variety of formats – new, used, and as Kindle eBooks. The listings are arranged in alphabetical order of author.
The list includes new books and older publications which may now be considered rare. It also includes print-on-demand or Kindle versions of older texts which are much cheaper than the original. Others (including some new books) are often sold off at rock bottom prices. Whilst compiling these listings I bought a copy of Frances Spalding’s illustrated study Virginia Woolf: Art, Life, and Vision for one penny.
Virginia Woolf and the Fictions of Psychoanalysis – E. Abel, University of Chicago Press, 1992. A reading of Woolf through the lens of Kleinian and Freudian psychoanalytic debates about the primacy of maternality and paternality in the construction of consciousness, gender, politics, and the past, and of psychoanalysis through the lens of Woolf’s novels and essays.
Virginia Woolf: A Study of her Novels – T.E. Apter, New York: New York University Press, 1979.
Bloomsbury – Quentin Bell, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1968.
Bloomsbury Recalled – Quentin Bell, Columbia University, 1996. Biographical sketches of all the Bloomsbury principals, including Quentin Bell’s aunt, Virginia Woolf.
Virginia Woolf: a Biography – Quentin Bell, London: Pimlico, 1996. This prize-winning biography describes Virginia Woolf’s family and childhood; her earliest writings; the formation of the Bloomsbury Group; her marriage to Leonard Woolf; her mental breakdown of the years 1912-15; and the origins and growth of the Hogarth Press.
Virginia Woolf: Her Art as a Novelist – Joan Bennett, second edition, Cambridge University Press, 1964.
Virginia Woolf as Feminist – Naomi Black, Cornell University Press, 2003. An examination of Woolf’s feminist connections and writings, including her public letters and her connections with political organisations.
Virginia Woolf (Longman Critical Readers) – Rachel Bowlby, London: Routledge, 1992. An anthology of articles that conjures up the enormous richness and variety of recent work that returns to Woolf not so much for final answers as for insights into questions about writing, literary traditions and the differences of the sexes
Feminist Destinations and Further Essays on Virginia Woolf –
Rachel Bowlby, Edinburgh University Press, 1997. A collection of essays which look at Woolf in a number of new frames – as a woman essayist; as a city writer and critic of modern culture; and as a writer on love.
Virginia Woolf: Introductions to the Major Works – Julia Briggs, London: Virago, 1994. A collection of up-to-date essays on Virginia Woolf’s novels, polemical writings, essays and short stories, which place each work in its historical and literary context.
Virginia Woolf’s Women – Vanessa Curtis, The History Press, 2007. This biography concentrates exclusively on Woolf’s close and inspirational female friendships with the key women in her life.
Virginia Woolf – David Daiches, Editions Poetry, 1945.
Virginia Woolf and the Visible World – Emily Dalgarno, Cambridge University Press, 2007. Examines how Woolf’s writing engages with visible and non-visible realms of experience, and draws on ideas from the diverse fields of psychoanalytic theory, classical Greek tragedy, astronomy, photography and photojournalism.
Virginia Woolf And Vanessa Bell: A Very Close Conspiracy – Jane Dunn, London: Virago, 2001. A study of the deep and close relationship between two sisters, the influence they exerted over each others’ lives, their competitiveness, the fierce love they had for each other, and also their intense rivalry.
Virginia Woolf: A Critical Reading – Avrom Fleishman, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977. A work of formalist criticism which offers a thorough, incisive, and genuinely original analysis of Virginia Woolf’s major novels.
Virginia Woolf: Revaluation and Continuity – Ralph Freedman, , Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.
The Feminist Aesthetics of Virginia Woolf – Jane Goldman, Cambridge University Press, 2001. A revisionary, feminist reading of Woolf’s work, focusing on her engagement with the artistic theories of her time, and tracing the feminist implication of her aesthetics by reclaiming for the everyday world of history and politics what seem to be private mystical moments.
Virginia Woolf: A Writer’s Life – Lyndall Gordon, London: Virago, 2006. A biographical study that rocks back and forth between memories and art to reveal an explorer of ‘the infinite oddity of the human position’.
Virginia Woolf and her Works – Jean Guiguet, trans. Jean Stewart, London: Hogarth Press, 1965.
Virginia Woolf – Alexandra Harris, London: Thames and Hudson, 2013. A short, readable, illustrated biography and outline of Woolf’s major works.
Virginia Woolf’s ‘Mrs Dalloway’: a Study in Alienation – Jeremy Hawthorn, Sussex University Press, 1975.
Virginia Woolf: A Critical Memoir – Winifred Holtby, London: Continuum, 2007. Holtby’s careful reading of Woolf’s work is set in the context of the debate between modernist and traditional writing in the 1920s and 1930s.
A Bibliography of Virginia Woolf – Brownlee Jean Kirkpatrick, second edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980. This acclaimed bibliography, prepared with Leonard Woolf’s co-operation, has been greatly expanded since its first publication in 1957 and the revised editions of 1967 and 1980. The fourth revised edition is the result both of the explosion of new editions of existing books, and of the appearance of much previously unpublished material.
The Novels of Virginia Woolf: From Beginning to End – Mitchell A. Leaska, Littlehampton Book Services, 1979.
Granite and Rainbow: the hidden life of Virginia Woolf – Mitchell A. Leaska, London: Picador, 1998. Contains new and revealing material on Virginia Woolf’s relationships with her parents and the deeper story of how she sought to create harmony out of such profound divisions.
The Novels of Virginia Woolf – Hermione Lee, London: Routledge, 2010. A a much-needed introduction to Virginia Woolf’s nine novels, written in the hope of turning attention back from the life to the fictional work.
Virginia Woolf – Hermione Lee, London: Vintage, 1997. This study moves freely between a richly detailed life-story and new attempts to understand crucial questions – the impact of Woolf’s childhood, the cause and nature of her madness and suicide, the truth about her marriage, her feelings for women, plus her prejudices and obsessions.
Virginia Woolf: The Critical Heritage – Robin Majumdar and Allen McLaurin (eds), London: Routledge and Keegan Paul, 1975. A historical survey of reviews and literary comment tracing the development of Woolf’s critical reputation.
New Feminist Essays on Virginia Woolf -Jane Marcus, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1981.
Feminism and Art: A Study of Virginia Woolf – Herbert Marder, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1972.
Virginia Woolf: The Echoes Enslaved – Allen McLaurin, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Discusses the influence of Samuel Butler on the philosophy and especially the aesthetics of Bloomsbury, and the relationships between the writings of Virginia Woolf and Roger Fry.
Virginia Woolf (Writers and Critics) – A.D. Moody, Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1963.
Virginia Woolf and the Problem of the Subject – Makiko Minow Pinkney, Edinburgh University Press, 2010. This study shows that Woolf’s most experimental writing is far from being a flight from social commitment into arcane modernism. Rather, it can be best seen as a feminist subversion of the deepest formal principles of a patriarchal social order.
The Unknown Virginia Woolf – Roger Poole, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978. This study uses the phenomenological concept of embodiment to address the concealed intentionality that lies behind apparently deviant behaviour. It shows how Woolf’s challenge to accepted conventions of communication, in both her life and work, is an appeal for meaning.
Virginia Woolf in Context – Bryony Randall and Jane Goldman, Cambridge University Press, 2012. These essays highlight connections between Woolf and key cultural, political and historical issues of the twentieth century such as avant-gardism in music and art, developments in journalism and the publishing industry, political struggles over race, gender and class and the bearings of colonialism.
The Cambridge Companion to Virginia Woolf – Sue Roe and Susan Sellers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. New second edition of compendium which includes new chapters on race, nation and empire, sexuality, aesthetics, visual culture and the public sphere
Woman of Letters: A Life of Virginia Woolf – Phyllis Rose, New York: Oxford University Press, 1978.
Virginia Woolf: Public and Private Negotiations – Anna Snaith, London: Palgrave Schol, 2003. This study offers a fresh understanding of Woolf’s feminism, her narrative techniques, her attitudes to publication, and her role in public debate.
Palgrave Advances in Virginia Woolf Studies – Anna Snaith, London: Palgrave Schol, 2006. A guide to the ever-expanding body of criticism, written for both researchers and teachers of Woolf. It includes chapters on feminist, historicist, postcolonial, and biographical criticism.
Virginia Woolf: Art, Life, and Vision – Frances Spalding, National Portrait Gallery, 2014. Charming study illustrated with over a hundred works from public and private collections, documentary photographs, and extracts from her writings, this book catches Woolf’s appearance and that of the world around her.
The Symbolism of Virginia Woolf – N.C. Thakur, London: Oxford University Press, 1965.
Virginia Woolf: A Centenary Perspective – Eric Warner (ed), London: Macmillan, 1984.
Virginia Woolf: Dramatic Novelist – Jane Wheare, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1989. Concerns itself with Virginia Woolf’s artistry in The Voyage Out, Night and Day and The Years, where Woolf exploited and developed the realist model, finding in it the most appropriate vehicle through which to put across obliquely her own ideas about women and society.
Virginia Woolf (Authors in Context) – Michael H. Whitworth, Oxford University Press, 2009. This book includes a biography and chronology of Virginia Woolf’s life and times, historical and social background, suggestions for further reading, websites, illustrations, and a comprehensive index.
Virginia Woolf’s Late Cultural Criticism – Alice Wood, London: Bloomsbury, 2015. A study that scrutinizes a range of holograph, typescript, and proof documents within their historical contexts to uncover the writing and thinking processes that produced Woolf’s cultural analysis during 1931-1941.
Virginia Woolf – E.H. Wright, London: Hesperus, 2011. A brief critical biography structured by childhood, Bloomsbury, 1920s, 1930s, and the final years.
Virginia Woolf and the Real World – Alex Zwerdling, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992. Discusses the influence of historical events, politics, and social movements on Woolf’s fiction, describes her ideology, and examines her major works.
© Roy Johnson 2015