On a beautiful June morning, Clarissa Dalloway, a fashionable London hostess, prepares for a party she is to give that coming evening. Although she is now in her early fifties and happily married, her thoughts throughout the day constantly return to a summer long ago in her youth, when she had refused to marry the bright and brilliant Peter Walsh.
It was an anguished decision, one she had 'borne about her for years like an arrow sticking in her heart'. She reflects upon it now not only because her old suitor is due to return to London but also because her daughter, Elizabeth, is swiftly approaching eighteen, on the verge of womanhood.Witnessing the female cycle of sexual flowering, love and marriage about to repeat itself in the next generation, Clarissa realises that she must re-assess the events of her youth before she can embark on the next stage of her life.'Mrs Dalloway' marked an important stage in Virginia Woolf's development as a writer. With this book, she finally broke away from the traditional form of the English novel, establishing herself as a writer of genius.There is no writer who can give the illusion of reality with more certainty… a perfection of style which is at once solid and ethereal.SPECTATOR
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