Woolf’s last novel, Between the Acts, was published shortly after her death, though she was still revising it when she decided to leave the waking world. In the novel, the denizens of a small town in England celebrate their history during an annual pageant which takes place on a sunny day in June 1939, just a few months before the Second World War began in full. The novel ends with the following lines:
“Isa let her sewing drop. The great hooded chairs had become enormous. And Giles too. And Isa too against the window. The window was all sky without color. The house had lost its shelter. It was night before roads were made or houses. It was the night that dwellers in caves had watched from some high place among rocks.
Then the curtain rose. They spoke.”
Let Woolf’s voice go on by reading some of her novels this week. When was the last time you read A Room of One’s Own? Maybe it’s time to read it again, with new eyes.
Photo credit: © The Estate of Gisèle Freund, courtesy of National Portrait Gallery, London