More than most novelists, Virginia Woolf benefits by an introducer. She is never, either by intention or equipment, the expected novelist. She chose the novel to adapt it deliberately and progressively to be the vehicle of her own subtle perception. Behind this study of the novels is an intense interest in the person revealed in the novelist. The criticism is warm as well as acute and the whole study is felt to be a tribute reasoned and justified - to a woman sensitive, compassionate, passionately honest and eager only for truth; to an artist quite unsparing of her own labour, finely gifted, self-effacing, serious and humourous. Mrs Bennett added two chapters on A Writer's Diary and on Virginia Woolf's critical essays for the second edition. Both can help our understanding of Virginia Woolf the novelist; the Diary by the insight it gives into her creative process and the fuller understanding we can gain of technical problems, the essays because they are about novels and novelists.
Review of the hardback: 'A critical study which strikes me as a real service to us all and to the fame of the author it expounds. ... The closest discussion of Virginia Woolf's methods as a novelist I have read and some of the most penetrating appreciations of her mind and style that have been written.' Desmond McCarthy, The Sunday Times