Virginia Woolf

Mrs Dalloway

Mrs Dalloway (published on 14 May 1925) is a novel by Virginia Woolf that details a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway in post-World War I England. Mrs Dalloway continues to be one of Woolf’s best-known novels.
Created from two short stories, «Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street» and the unfinished «The Prime Minister», the novel’s story is of Clarissa’s preparations for a party of which she is to be hostess. With the interior perspective of the novel, the story travels forwards and back in time, and in and out of the characters’ minds, to construct a complete image of Clarissa’s life and of the inter-war social structure.
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    Then, while a seedy-looking nondescript man carrying a leather bag stood on the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral, and hesitated, for within was what balm, how great a welcome, how many tombs with banners waving over them, tokens of victories not over armies, but over, he thought, that plaguy spirit of truth seeking which leaves me at present without a situation, and more than that, the cathedral offers company, he thought, invites you to membership of a society; great men belong to it; martyrs have died for it; why not enter in, he thought, put this leather bag stuffed with pamphlets before an altar, a cross, the symbol of something which has soared beyond seeking and questing and knocking of words together and has become all spirit, disembodied, ghostly—why not enter in?

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