Virginia Woolf: writing and the ordinary mind

Susan Sellers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter traces Virginia Woolf’s development as a writer of non-fiction, focusing on her prolific output as an essayist. It sees close links between her ongoing experimentation with the novel form and the evolving form of her essays, and argues that her alterations in style were an integral aspect of her attempt to articulate a response to her largely Victorian inheritance, to the seismic shifts taking place in society and understanding in the early decades of the twentieth century, and to the politics and culture of the 1930s dominated by the rise of fascism. While the chapter ranges across all of Woolf’s essays, there is particular discussion of her 1920 A Room of One’s Own and her 1938 Three Guineas.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThinking Through Style
Subtitle of host publicationNon-Fiction Prose of the Long Nineteenth Century
EditorsMichael D. Hurley, Marcus Waithe
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780198737827
ISBN (Print)9780198737827
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2018


  • Eleanor Anne Ormerod
  • Feminism
  • Form
  • James Joyce
  • Leslie Stephen
  • Modern novel
  • Montaigne
  • Pacifism
  • The Victorians
  • Virginia Woolf


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