Mrs Woolf and the servants

Mrs Woolf and the servants

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Loathing, anger, shame - and deep affection: Virginia Woolf's relationship with her servants was central to her life. Like thousands of her fellow Britons she relied on live-in domestics for the most intimate of daily tasks. Her cook and parlour maid relieved her of the burden of housework and without them she might never have become a writer. But unlike many of her contemporaries Virginia Woolf was frequently tormented by her dependence on servants. Uniquely, she explored her violent, often vicious, feelings in her diaries, novels and essays. What, the reader might well wonder, was it like for the servants to live with a mistress who so hated giving her orders, and who could be generous and hostile by turns? gt;Mrs Woolf and the Servants is a riveting and highly original study of one of Britain 's greatest literary modernists. Ultimately, though, it is also a moving and eloquent testimony to the ways in which individual creativity always needs the support of others.As it turned into The Voyage Out, it became less confessional; her heroine more silent, a blank whose interior life remained her own ... Her own passion a#39;for love and humanitya#39;, she told Violet, had a#39;to kindle through depths of green watera#39;. ... Square, thanks in part to a#39;the buggersa#39;, whose own amours suggested a more casual model of desire, it need not challenge the ... Feminists of the period also proposed a number of new ways of living - celibacy, solitude, relations with women, withanbsp;...

Title:Mrs Woolf and the servants
Author: Alison Light
Publisher:Viking - 2007

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