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Woolf's first novel is a haunting book, full of light and shadow. It takes Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose and their niece, Rachel, on a sea voyage from London to a resort on the South american coast. "It is a strange, tragic, inspired book whose scene is a South americanca not found on any map and reached by a boat which would not float on any sea, an americanca whose spiritual boundaries touch Xanadu and Atlantis" (E. M. Forster).
Rachel Vinrace embarks for South America on her father's ship and is launched on a course of self-discovery in a kind of modern mythical voyage. The mismatched jumble of passengers provide Woolf with an opportunity to satirize Edwardian life. The novel introduces Clarissa Dalloway, the central character of Woolf's later novel, Mrs. Dalloway. Two of the other characters were modeled after important figures in Woolf's life. St John Hirst is a fictional portrayal of Lytton Strachey and Helen Ambrose is to some extent inspired by Woolf's sister, Vanessa Bell. And Rachel's journey from a cloistered life in a London suburb to freedom, challenging intellectual discourse and discovery very likely reflects Woolf's own journey from a repressive household to the intellectual stimulation of the Bloomsbury Group.
The Voyage Out, by Virginia Woolf, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics: New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars Biographies of the authors Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events Footnotes and endnotes Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work Comments by other famous authors Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations Bibliographies for further reading Indices & Glossaries, when appropriateAll editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences-biographical, historical, and literary-to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works. We meet young, free-spirited Rachel Vinrace aboard her father's ship, the Euphrosyne, departing London for South America. Surrounded by a clutch of genteel companions-among them her aunt Helen, who judges Rachel to be vacillating, emotional, and more than normally incompetent for her years-Rachel displays a startling maturity when she finds her engagement to the writer Terence Hewet listing toward disaster. As she soon discovers, tragedies come in the hungry hours. Published in 1915, The Voyage Out is Virginia Woolf's first novel, and it is written ina more traditional narrative style than the one she later perfected. But this maiden voyage predicts Woolf's future triumphs in its elegant delineation of the troubles plaguing modern life and its satire of the upper class. As Rachel's peculiar fellow passengers expand their minds with the ideas of Aristotle and Shelley, they meanwhile suffer from the societal ennui that education and sophistication cannot overcome. Filled with cutting insights about politics, literature, gender, and modern relationships, The Voyage Out is a finely perceived impression of the overriding confusion that immediately followed World War I. Pagan Harleman is a freelance writer and filmmaker living in New York City.
First published in England 1915, and following nearly a decade of composition, "The Voyage Out" is Virginia Woolf's first novel. Rachel Vinrace, the woman at the center of this beautiful and original story, is an intelligent, yet innocent, young English girl who embarks on a sea voyage to South America with distant relatives. Although she is far from the drawing rooms and theaters of London, she comes to learn of the worlds of politics and sex, love and marriage. Her journey takes a delicious turn when she meets -- and falls passionately for -- Terence Hewet, a man she meets in the Brazilian coastal town of Santa Marina. But it is in tragedy that this novel, poignant in its emotions, yet uncompromising in its vision, ultimately ends.
Using an ocean voyage as the setting, this novel shows people's lack of understanding of each other.

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