An insightful, witty look at Virginia Woolf through the lens of the extraordinary women closest to her.
How did Adeline Virginia Stephen become the great writer Virginia Woolf? Acclaimed biographer Gillian Gill tells the stories of the women whose legacies – of strength, style, and creativity – shaped Woolfs path to the radical writing that inspires so many today.
Gill casts back to Woolfs French-Anglo-Indian maternal great-grandmother Thrse de LEtang, an outsider to English culture whose beauty passedpowerfullydown thefemaleline; and to Woolfs aunt Anne Thackeray Ritchie, who gave Woolf her first vision of a successful female writer.
Yet it was the women in her own family circle who had the most complex and lasting effect on Woolf. Her mother, Julia, and sisters Stella, Laura, and Vanessa were all, like Woolf herself, but in markedly different ways, warped by the male-dominated household they lived in. Finally, Gill shifts the lens onto the famous Bloomsbury group. This, Gill convinces, is where Woolf called upon the legacy of the women who shaped her to transform a group of men – united in their love for one another and their disregard for women – into a society in which Woolf ultimately found her freedom and her voice.
Narrator: Nicola Barber
Duration: 15 hours 16 minutes
Released: 19 Mar 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt