Vita and Virginia: The Work and Friendship of V. Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf

Paperback | February 1, 1993

bySuzanne Raitt

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This book examines the creative intimacy between Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf, interpreting both their relationship and their work in the light of their experience as married lesbians. The contradictions and conflicts of their situation are worked out through the construction ofdifferent narratives of femininity, in letters, novels, diaries, and other texts. Vita and Virginia looks at the two women's continual renegotiation of what it means to be female, and suggests that the mutual exchange of different versions of `womanhood' is crucial to the development of theirfriendship. Orlando, for example, was Virginia Woolf's way of threatening Sackville-West with the extent of her own knowledge about her, as well as the celebratory love-letter it is usually assumed to be. The book also offers readings of both women's autobiographical texts, and a long-overdue studyof Vita Sackville-West's work as a biographer and a novelist. Emphasizing also wider contexts, this study examines the links between homosexual desire and literary innovation, public politics and private lives. It provides an invaluable perspective on the relations between sexuality and feminism inmodernism.

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From the Publisher

This book examines the creative intimacy between Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf, interpreting both their relationship and their work in the light of their experience as married lesbians. The contradictions and conflicts of their situation are worked out through the construction ofdifferent narratives of femininity, in letters, ...

From the Jacket

When Virginia Woolf first met Vita Sackville-West at Clive Bell's home in 1922, she wrote that Vita made her feel 'virgin, shy, & schoolgirlish'. But over the next three years Vita charmed away her shyness, and at the end of 1925 made Virginia her lover. Vita and Virginia examines the creative intimacy between the two women, interpreti...

Raitt is editor of Woolf's Night and Day (OUP, Worlds Classics series, 1992), and author of To the Lighthouse (Harvester Wheatsheaf, Key Texts Series 1990)

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:210 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.51 inPublished:February 1, 1993Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198122772

ISBN - 13:9780198122777

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'an extensive, serious, much-needed treatment of Sackville-West's writing ... One of the book's strengths is its effectively and succinctly uniting literary and psychological analysis ... Vita and Virginia successfully combines literary, psychological, and historical analysis to offer tellinginsight into the work and friendship of these two important women.'Panthea Reid, Louisiana State University, English Literature in Transition 1880-1920, Volume 38:1 1995