Hermione Lee sees Virginia Woolf afresh, in her historical setting and as a vital figure for our times. Her book moves freely between a richly detailed life-story and new attempts to understand crucial questions - the impact of her childhood, the cause and nature of her madness and suicide, the truth about her marriage, her feelings for women, her prejudies and obsessions. This is a vivid, close-up portrait, returning to primary sources, and showing Woolf as occupying a distinct, even uneasy position with 'Bloomsbury'. It is a writer's life, illustrating how the concerns of her work arise and develop, and a political life, which establishes Woolf as a radically sceptical, subversive, courageous feminist. Incorporating newly discovered sources and illustrated with photos and drawings never used before, this biography is a revelation - informed, intelligent and moving.
"An outstanding achievement...superb" -- Selena Hastings * Sunday Telegraph * "It is a lasting, and even a great, book. These are not terms one gets to use often, or should ever use lightly" -- Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours "Lee's book is not only very good, but very necessary" -- Penelope Fitzgerald "One of the most impressive biographies of the decade: moving, eloquent, powerful" * Financial Times *