Mrs. Dalloway and the Voyage Out
Posted by Kay on July 16, 1998 at 11:03:49:
In response to Does anyone know??, written by Barbara on July 16, 1998 at 00:21:52
] If this story is related to Mrs. Dalloway, or is even another title for it? There seem to be several of the same character names, but I didn't read this book.
In "The Voyage Out," the characters Richard and Clarissa Dalloway appear in the first third of the book. Virginia Woolf used these same characters in "Mrs. Dalloway," and it's interesting to see the change in Clarissa. She is more shallow in the first book. I've always pictured her like Lovey Howell from "Gilligan's Island." (That story is set in 1905.) In the second book, she experiences a life changing day in June of 1923 and appears to be a less shallow more introspective person.
As to the Jane Austen reference, the part I prefer in "The Voyage Out" is when Clarissa reads "Our Jane's" "Persuasion" to her husband. (He promptly falls asleep.) When she disembarks the ship, she lends the copy of "Persuasion" to the heroine, Rachel Vinrace.
Of interest to Pemberleyites is a letter from Virginia's brother-in-law Clive Bell. When Virginia was writing her first novel, she relied on Clive's advice and friendship and asked him to comment on one of her many drafts of this novel. You can sense the inspiration of Jane Austen.
"And then the pic-nic; that is why I say the novel lost none of its early promise. Honestly, I think it challenges comparison with Box Hill & holds its own, & something more. Nothing could be more alive, or more subtle. Nothing is said to show that it [the picnic] was just half a failure, but everybody feels it, except Rachel who is thinking about better things."
Actually, as finally published, the picnic scene is not as disastrous as the Box Hill outing in "Emma." If any of you remember Forster's "A Room with a View," (written around the same time) that outing scene more closely approximated the collection of mismatched individuals putting a damper on a pleasant outing.
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