Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out (1451 words)

James Stewart (University of Dundee)
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Sometime around 1910 Virginia Stephen began her first novel, to be called Melymbrosia. By the time it came to be published in 1915 both the author and her novel had undergone changes of name, to Virginia Woolf and The Voyage Out respectively. Virginia married Leonard Woolf in 1912, hence marriage and its various demands, including the roles assigned to women within marriage, were very much on her mind as her novel entered its final stages of composition. Technically, the novel is not experimental, but a straightforwardly traditional narrative. However, in plot terms it still has power to dismay the first-time reader with its uncompromisingly tragicomic vision, and this may remain true even after multiple readings.

Citation: Stewart, James. "The Voyage Out". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 June 2002 [, accessed 31 July 2021.]

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