Catalogue


Between the acts /
Virginia Woolf ; annotated and with an introduction by Melba Cuddy-Keane ; Mark Hussey, general editor.
edition
1st Annotated ed.
imprint
Orlando, Fla. : Harcourt, Inc., c2008.
description
lxvi, 220 p. ; 21 cm.
ISBN
9780156034739 (pbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Orlando, Fla. : Harcourt, Inc., c2008.
isbn
9780156034739 (pbk.)
general note
"A Harvest book."
Not in Kirkpatrick 4th ed.
local note
Paperback book with no dust jacket, cover in plum and gold with Sonia Delaunay's "Triptych".
catalogue key
6415446
 
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Excerpt from Book
IT WAS a summer's night and they were talking, in the big room with the windows open to the garden, about the cesspool. The county council had promised to bring water to the village, but they hadn't. Mrs. Haines, the wife of the gentleman farmer, a goosefaced woman with eyes protruding as if they saw something to gobble in the gutter, said affectedly: "What a subject to talk about on a night like this!" Then there was silence; and a cow coughed; and that led her to say how odd it was, as a child, she had never feared cows, only horses. But, then, as a small child in a perambulator, a great cart-horse had brushed within an inch of her face. Her family, she told the old man in the arm-chair, had lived near Liskeard for many centuries. There were the graves in the churchyard to prove it. A bird chuckled outside. "A nightingale?" asked Mrs. Haines. No, nightingales didn't come so far north. It was a daylight bird, chuckling over the substance and succulence of the day, over worms, snails, grit, even in sleep. The old man in the arm-chairMr. Oliver, of the Indian Civil Service, retiredsaid that the site they had chosen for the cesspool was, if he had heard aright, on the Roman road. From an aeroplane, he said, you could still see, plainly marked, the scars made by the Britons; by the Romans; by the Elizabethan manor house; and by the plough, when they ploughed the hill to grow wheat in the Napoleonic wars. "But you don't remember . . ." Mrs. Haines began. No, not that. Still he did remember and he was about to tell them what, when there was a sound outside, and Isa, his son's wife, came in with her hair in pigtails; she was wearing a dressing-gown with faded peacocks on it. She came in like a swan swimming its way; then was checked and stopped; was surprised to find people there; and lights burning. She had been sitting with her little boy who wasn't well, she apologized. What had they been saying? "Discussing the cesspool," said Mr. Oliver. "What a subject to talk about on a night like this!" Mrs. Haines exclaimed again. What had he said about the cesspool; or indeed about anything? Isa wondered, inclining her head towards the gentleman farmer, Rupert Haines. She had met him at a Bazaar; and at a tennis party. He had handed her a cup and a racquetthat was all. But in his ravaged face she always felt mystery; and in his silence, passion. At the tennis party she had felt this, and at the Bazaar. Now a third time, if anything more strongly, she felt it again. "I remember," the old man interrupted, "my mother. . . ." Of his mother he remembered that she was very stout; kept her tea-caddy locked; yet had given him in that very room a copy of Byron. It was over sixty years ago, he told them, that his mother had given him the works of Byron in that very room. He paused. "She walks in beauty like the night," he quoted. Then again: "So we'll go no more a-roving by the light of the moon." Isa raised her head. The words made two rings, perfect rings, that floated them, herself and Haines, like two swans down stream. But his snow-white breast was circled with a tangle of dirty duckweed; and she too, in her webbed feet was entangled, by her husband, the stockbroker. Sitting on her three-cornered chair she swayed, with her dark pigtails hanging, and her body like a bolster in its faded dressing-gown. Mrs. Haines was aware of the emotion circling them, excluding her. She waited, as one waits for the strain of an organ to die out before leaving church. In the car going home to the red villa in the cornfields, she would destroy it, as a thrush pecks the wings off a butterfly. Allowing ten seconds to intervene, she rose; paused; and then, as if she had heard the last strain die out, offered Mrs. Giles Oliver her hand. But Isa,
First Chapter
IT WAS a summers night and they were talking, in the big room with the windows open to the garden, about the cesspool. The county council had promised to bring water to the village, but they hadnt. Mrs. Haines, the wife of the gentleman farmer, a goosefaced woman with eyes protruding as if they saw something to gobble in the gutter, said affectedly: "What a subject to talk about on a night like this!" Then there was silence; and a cow coughed; and that led her to say how odd it was, as a child, she had never feared cows, only horses. But, then, as a small child in a perambulator, a great cart-horse had brushed within an inch of her face. Her family, she told the old man in the arm-chair, had lived near Liskeard for many centuries. There were the graves in the churchyard to prove it. A bird chuckled outside. "A nightingale?" asked Mrs. Haines. No, nightingales didnt come so far north. It was a daylight bird, chuckling over the substance and succulence of the day, over worms, snails, grit, even in sleep. The old man in the arm-chairMr. Oliver, of the Indian Civil Service, retiredsaid that the site they had chosen for the cesspool was, if he had heard aright, on the Roman road. From an aeroplane, he said, you could still see, plainly marked, the scars made by the Britons; by the Romans; by the Elizabethan manor house; and by the plough, when they ploughed the hill to grow wheat in the Napoleonic wars. "But you dont remember . . ." Mrs. Haines began. No, not that. Still he did remember and he was about to tell them what, when there was a sound outside, and Isa, his sons wife, came in with her hair in pigtails; she was wearing a dressing-gown with faded peacocks on it. She came in like a swan swimming its way; then was checked and stopped; was surprised to find people there; and lights burning. She had been sitting with her little boy who wasnt well, she apologized. What had they been saying? "Discussing the cesspool," said Mr. Oliver. "What a subject to talk about on a night like this!" Mrs. Haines exclaimed again. What had he said about the cesspool; or indeed about anything? Isa wondered, inclining her head towards the gentleman farmer, Rupert Haines. She had met him at a Bazaar; and at a tennis party. He had handed her a cup and a racquetthat was all. But in his ravaged face she always felt mystery; and in his silence, passion. At the tennis party she had felt this, and at the Bazaar. Now a third time, if anything more strongly, she felt it again. "I remember," the old man interrupted, "my mother. . . ." Of his mother he remembered that she was very stout; kept her tea-caddy locked; yet had given him in that very room a copy of Byron. It was over sixty years ago, he told them, that his mother had given him the works of Byron in that very room. He paused. "She walks in beauty like the night," he quoted. Then again: "So well go no more a-roving by the light of the moon." Isa raised her head. The words made two rings, perfec
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
The Times (London), June 2011
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Summaries
Main Description
In Woolf's final novel, villagers present their annual pageant, made up of scenes from the history of England, at a house in the heart of the country as personal dramas simmer and World War II looms.Annotated and with an introduction by Melba Cuddy-Keane
Long Description
In Woolf's final novel, villagers present their annual pageant, made up of scenes from the history of England, at a house in the heart of the country as personal dramas simmer and World War II looms. Annotated and with an introduction by Melba Cuddy-Keane
Back Cover Copy
"Virginia Woolf stands as the chief figure of modernism in England and must be included with Joyce and Proust in the realization of experiments that have completely broken with tradition."-- The New York Times Between the Acts takes place on a June 1939 day at Pointz Hall, the Oliver family's country house in the heart of England. In the garden, everyone from the village has gathered to present the annual pageant--scenes from the history of England, beginning with the Elizabethan Age and ending with "ourselves," the audience. As the story unfolds, the lives of the villagers also take shape. We learn of the strained relationship between Isa Oliver and her husband, Giles, discontented stockbroker and son of Bart Oliver, the owner of Pointz Hall. Whena storm rushes in and hastens the completion of the play, the performers and the audience take their leave, and Giles and Isa are finally left alone. In its juxtaposition of interior life and social life, personal history and world history, Woolf's final novel reveals the richness of what happens between the acts. Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), one of the major literary figures of the twentieth century, transformed the art of the novel. The author of numerous novels, collections of letters, journals, and short stories, she was an admired literary critic and a master of the essay form. Mark Hussey ,general editor of Harcourt's annotated Woolf series, is professor of English at Pace University in New York City and editor of the Woolf Studies Annual. Melba Cuddy-Keane is professor of English and Northrop Frye Scholar at the University of Toronto.
Table of Contents
Preface: Virginia Woolfp. ix
Chronologyp. xix
Introductionp. xxxv
Between the Actsp. 1
Notes toBetween the Actsp. 151
Suggestions for Further Reading:p. 213
Virginia Woolf Suggestions for Further Reading:p. 217
Between the Acts
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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