New York: Doran, 1920. First Edition. Hardcover. 1st American edition of her second book, mining Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Near fine (edges slightly faded), in a very good jacket, faint shadow of a number on the spine, edgetears and corner chips, but no repair, and for this jacket, more pleasing than doing good in secret and being found out by accident. Near fine / very good. Item #62
In answer to Albee’s question, I’m afraid of Virginia Woolf. There’s not enough space here, and I’m not smart enough, nor enough of a researcher to tell you much about her you don’t already know, but I’ll take my shot at stepping into the shoes of a great lady, and externally considering her for a paragraph attentive to outside events that invaded her inner peace and twisted her life, all because no one ever told her that detachment is the sure, and only, road to serenity She was entitled. Her mother was a Pre–Raphaelite model so she got her babeness by gene. Her father was a Sir of letters with a gigantic personal library, and as a result her home–schooled education was an erudite exhibition of late Victorian society (the way of the mouse, symbolic of industry in quiet places). At 13 her mother died and she crumpled into a (her first) nervous breakdown. She was 18 when the 20th century arrived, so she regrouped, laced her shoes tight and, like most of her generation, met it teeming with hope. But in the background, fate was already icing the stairs, and during the 20th century’s first decade the dull were full of themselves, and the bright were full of doubt, so the wealth of the empires (amassed over 5 centuries) was trashed in the woodchipper of W. W. I. Virginia reeled, but she knew that a part of every process is only discipline, so she buffed–up with the competence of stout feminist instincts, and the resolve of The Little Engine That Could, became an exalted author and publisher, surrounded herself with a circle of brilliance, and pursued ideas for their own sake. Then the depression flipped her out, and W. W. II shook the ground beneath her feet (and a German bomb flattened her house), and the pressure inside her spirit began to build (you can hide the fire but you can’t hide the smoke), and like the pressure in the atmosphere, she didn’t sense it, but it was still there, at 15 pounds per square inch, and mistaking feeling for thinking (the undiagnosed bipolar), she guessed that 59 was old enough, and that coping might be the mesh through which real life escapes, so she spit the bit, channeled her inner Billy Joe McAllister, donned an overcoat, filled the pockets with stones, walked into the River Ouse, and never came back.