To the Lighthouse
‘To the Lighthouse’ is Virginia Woolf’s fifth novel, and was the first book to win her a large public. The story of an English middle class family in the years leading up to the First World War, it has remained the most popular of all her works.
‘The Lighthouse was then a silvery, misty-looking tower with a yellow eye that opened suddenly and softly in the evening’
To the Lighthouse is at once a vivid impressionistic depiction of a family holiday, and a meditation on marriage, on parenthood and childhood, on grief, tyranny and bitterness. For years now the Ramsays have spent every summer in their holiday home in Scotland, and they expect these summers will go on forever; but as the First World War looms, the integrity of family and society will be fatally challenged. With a psychologically introspective mode, the use of memory, reminiscence and shifting perspectives gives the novel an intimate, poetic essence, and at the time of publication in 1927 it represented an utter rejection of Victorian and Edwardian literary values.
The Penguin English Library – collectable general readers’ editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century to the end of the Second World War.