Orlando' first appeared on 11 October 1928. A high-spirited romp inspired by the tumultuous family history of Woolf's lover and close friend, the aristocratic poet and novelist Vita Sackville-West, it is arguably one of Woolf's most popular novels: a history of English literature in satiric form. The book describes the adventures of a poet who changes sex from man to woman and lives for centuries, meeting the key figures of English literary history. Considered a feminist classic, the book has been written about extensively by scholars of women's writing and gender/transgender studies. It has been used as the basis of films, plays and even an opera.
Adeline Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) was an English writer now considered one of the foremost modernists of the 20th century, and a pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device. Between the wars, she was a significant figure in London literary society and a central figure in the influential Bloomsbury Group of intellectuals. Her best-known works include the novels "Mrs Dalloway" (1925), "To the Lighthouse" (1927) and "Orlando" (1928), and the book-length essay "A Room of One's Own" (1929), with its dictum, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." Woolf suffered from severe bouts of mental illness throughout her life, and took her own life by drowning in 1941 at the age of 59.
Our copy is in generally good condition for its age, and retains its dust jacket (though this is badly worn, torn with loss, particularly at the top, creased, and browned; flaps are detached but present; small hole in the middle of the spine). It has, however, done a good job in protecting the book, which is bound in orange cloth with surprisingly few external defects - fading at all edges, various pale stains on front and back, some grubbiness to edges and angles, and badly sunned/faded spine). Corners are bumped with minimal damage, and there is some shelf wear to top & tail of the spine. Gilt lettered title etc on the spine is quite faded. Inside, the binding is firm with no loose pages, and all illustrations are present. Minimal foxing on textblock edges does not migrate into the book itself. Free endpapers are quite browned; previous owner's name on the front fep in ink.