As the Pargiters, a middle-class English family, move from the oppressive confines of the Victorian home of the 1880s to the 'present day' of the 1930s, this novel engages with a painful struggle between utopian hopefulness and crippled despair. The efforts of its characters - Eleanor and Kitty, Martin and Sara, Peggy and North - to break free from repression, egotism, and convention are made with awkward difficulty. They are weighed down by the pressures of war, the social structures of patriarchy, capitalism and Empire, and the rise of Fascism. Through the muffled, fragmented textures of the narrative a savage indictment of Virginia Woolf's society begins to be heard. But its bitter sadness is relieved by the longing for some better way of life, where freedom and justice' might really be possible. This is Virginia Woolf's longest novel, written with the greatest difficulty she ever experienced, and yet the most popular of all her writings during her lifetime. With the feminist essay that grew out of it, Three Guineas, it can now be re-read as the most challengingly political, even revolutionary, of all her books. "The Years" is one of ten World's Classics by Virginia Woolf, and comes with an introducton and notes to provide guidance for readers new to this author.
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This first scholarly edition of The Years provides a fully collated and annotated text. It includes a substantial introduction, explanatory notes and detailed textual apparatus tracking Woolf's extensive revisions.From the Inside Flap:
Written in 1937, this was the most popular of Virginia Woolf's novels during her lifetime. It explores a rich variety of themes such as sex, feminism, family life, education and politics in English society from 1800 to the 1930s, as they affect one large middle-class London family.
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