Mrs. Dalloway

by Virginia Woolf (Author)

Mrs. Dalloway
Reading Level: 9th − 12th Grade
The authorized, original edition of Virginia Woolf's masterpiece and one of the most "moving, revolutionary artworks of the twentieth century" (Michael Cunningham), with a foreword by Maureen Howard. In this vivid portrait of a single day in a woman's life, Mrs. Clarissa Dalloway is preoccupied with the last-minute details of preparation for a party while in her mind she is something much more than a perfect society hostess. As she readies her house for friends and neighbors, she is flooded with remembrances of the past--the passionate loves of her carefree youth, her practical choice of husband, and the approach and retreat of war. And, met with the realities of the present, Clarissa reexamines the choices that brought her there, hesitantly looking ahead to the unfamiliar work of growing old.From the introspective Clarissa, to the lover who never fully recovered from her rejection, to a war-ravaged stranger in the park, the characters and scope of Mrs. Dalloway reshape our sense of ordinary life and reshaped English literature as we know it. "Perhaps her masterpiece...Exquisite and superbly constructed...Required like most writers to choose between the surface and the depths as the basis of her operations, she chooses the surface and then burrows in as far as she can." -E. M. Forster
Select format:

Review quotes

One of the 100 Best English-language Novels — Time magazine

"Mrs. Dalloway is a standout work in a standout career, a hallmark of the Modernist movement, and a splendid, wrenching, subtle psychological novel, beloved in its day and beloved now." — Lithub, "The 10 Books That Defined the 1920s"

"Woolf is Modern. She feels close to us." — Jeanette Winterson

"Hers is indisputably among the most sensitive of the minds and imaginations felicitously experimenting with the English novel." — Jorge Luis Borges

"Virginia Woolf is one of the few writers who changed life for all of us. Her combination of intellectual courage and painful emotional sensitivity created a new way of perceiving and living in the world." — Margaret Drabble

"Mrs. Dalloway also contains some of the most beautiful, complex, incisive and idiosyncratic sentences ever written in English, and that alone would be reason enough to read it. It is one of the most moving, revolutionary artworks of the twentieth century." — Michael Cunningham

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Mariner Books Classics
Publication date
September 19, 1990
BISAC categories
FIC019000 - Fiction | Literary
FIC004000 - Fiction | Classics
FIC076000 - Fiction | Feminist
Library of Congress categories
London (England)
Middle-aged women
Psychological fiction
First loves
Domestic fiction
Triangles (Interpersonal relations)
Suicide victims
Married women

Subscribe to our delicious e-newsletter!