Night and Day, 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:
A long neglected masterpiece, Night and Day reveals Virginia Woolf’s mastery of the traditional English novel. With its classic comic structure, minutely observed characters, and delicate irony, Woolf’s second novel has invited comparison to the works of Shakespeare, Mozart, and Jane Austen.
Set in Edwardian London, Night and Day contrasts the lives of two friends, Katherine Hilbery and Mary Datchet. Katherine is the bored, frustrated granddaughter of an eminent English poet. She lives at her parents’ home and is engaged to a prig who exemplifies the stultifying life from which she wishes to be free, until she meets a possible avenue of escape in the person of Ralph Denham. Mary Datchet, on the other hand, represents an alternative to marriage she has been to college, lives on her own, and finds fulfillment in working for the women’s rights movement.
As the story dances delightfully among the novel’s brilliantly drawn characters, serious questions about the nature of romance arise. Is love real or illusory? Can love and marriage coexist? Is love necessary for happiness?
Rachel Wetzsteon is Assistant Professor of English at William Paterson University. She has published two books of poems, The Other Stars and Home and Away.
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The edition is intended for literary scholars and students with an interest in Virginia Woolf, modernist literature, women's writing, and the history of the novel in the twentieth century. It is more thorough than any previous edition, as regards textual variants, explanatory notes, and the Introduction.From the Back Cover:
Night and Day, Virginia Woolf's second novel, is both a love story and a social comedy in the tradition of Jane Austen; yet it also questions that tradition, recognizing that the goals of society and the individual may not necessarily coincide. At its centre is Katharine Hilbery, the beautiful grand-daughter of a great Victorian poet. She must choose between becoming engaged to the oddly prosaic poet William Rodney and her attraction to Ralph Denham, with whom she feels a more profound and disturbing affinity. Katharine's hesitation is vividly contrasted with the approach of her friend Mary Datchet, dedicated to the Women's Rights movement. The ensuing complications are underlined and to some extent unravelled by Katharine's mother, Mrs Hilbery, whose struggles to weave together the known documents, events and memories of her father's life into a coherent biography reflect Woolf's own sense of the unique and elusive nature of experience.
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