Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway is set in London on a Wednesday in the middle of June in 1923, which would make the date June 13th. While Bloomsday (which celebrates James Joyce’s Ulysses) is widely celebrated every year, Dalloway Day is a far more modest affair. There are events to mark it, especially in London, but it is yet to reach Bloomsday status. No matter. This year I am taking matters into my own hands, and declare Mrs Dalloway Week open here at Absurd Reviews. That will show them. (I love Ulysses too; it will have its day.)
The cover pictured is the original and my favourite, designed by Woolf’s sister Vanessa Bell, who was a wonderful artist herself. Woolf fans may be familiar with this style, as most of Woolf’s first book covers were designed by Bell. This one does a good job of capturing both the euphoric joy and profound sadness of the novel.
Today I leave you with this beautiful cover and the first page of the novel. It begins with Clarissa Dalloway, now in her 50s, starting a day of preparations for a party she is hosting that night; the very first moments start a day of reminiscing and self-reflection, and the novel continues in a similar vein.
Come back tomorrow for a little overview of the novel.
If you have read it, are you a fan? Or is it not your cup of Rumpelmayer’s tea?
If this sparked your curiosity, you can keep reading the novel for free online via Project Gutenberg .