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Mrs Woolf and the Servants by Alison Light


Mrs Woolf and the Servants by Alison Light

Virginia Woolf was a feminist and a bohemian but without her servants - cooking, cleaning and keeping house - she might never have managed to write.Mrs Woolf and The Servants explores the hidden history of service. Through Virginia Woolf's extensive diaries and letters and brilliant detective work, Alison Light chronicles the lives of those forgotten women who worked behind the scenes in Bloomsbury, and their fraught relations with one of the twentieth century's greatest writers.


Fascinating, beautifully written and meticulously researched * Literary Review * An absorbing investigation, serious, radical and feminist in its politics, entertaining in its delivery * The Independent * Offers us an invaluable glimpse into the hidden history of domestic service in an absorbing narrative, beautifully written with the sensibility of a poet * The Times * A compelling portrait of how rich and poor women of this time were locked into a strange and pernicious symbiosis, and a vital warning against social inequality * Telegraph * An absorbing investigation, serious, radical and feminist in its politics, entertaining in its delivery * The Independent *

About the Author

Alison Light is the author of Forever England: Femininity, Literature and Conservatism between the Wars and edited Virginia Woolf's Flush for Penguin Classics. She has worked at the BBC and lectured at London University. She is currently a part-time Professor at the Raphael Samuel History Centre in the University of East London and also teaches in the School of English at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. She is a contributor to the London Review of Books. Her grandmother worked as a domestic servant.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th August 2008


Alison Light

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Penguin Books Ltd


400 pages


Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers
Literary studies: from c 1900 -



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