Virginia Woolf

Intell Book Publishers
United Kingdom
3 January 2024


Virginia Woolf

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"Orlando: A Biography" is a novel written by Virginia Woolf and was first published in 1928. The book is a unique and imaginative work that defies easy categorization. It is often considered a blend of historical fiction, fantasy, and satire. "Orlando" is notable for its exploration of gender, identity, and the passage of time.

Plot Summary:

The novel follows the life and adventures of Orlando, a young nobleman in Elizabethan England who lives for several centuries, experiencing a variety of historical and cultural changes. Early in the story, Orlando is granted the gift of immortality by Queen Elizabeth I, and the narrative takes the reader through different periods of English history, from the 16th century to the 20th century.

As the centuries pass, Orlando undergoes a remarkable transformation from male to female without aging, providing a unique exploration of gender identity and fluidity. The novel combines historical events and characters with elements of fantasy and satire.


Gender and Identity: One of the central themes of "Orlando" is the exploration of gender identity. The character of Orlando undergoes a sex change, and Woolf uses this transformation to comment on the fluidity of gender and challenge societal expectations. Time and Change: The novel spans several centuries, providing a commentary on the passage of time and the changing nature of society, culture, and politics. Through Orlando's experiences, Woolf explores the mutability of historical and social constructs. Literary Satire: Virginia Woolf uses "Orlando" to satirize various aspects of literature, including the conventions of historical biographies and the treatment of gender roles in literature. The novel is often seen as a playful and subversive take on traditional literary forms.

Style and Narrative Experimentation:

Virginia Woolf is known for her innovative narrative techniques, and "Orlando" is no exception. The novel employs a stream-of-consciousness style, and its structure is both experimental and non-linear. The narrative blends historical events with Woolf's own imaginative and fantastical elements.


"Orlando" has become a landmark work in the exploration of gender and identity in literature. Its experimental narrative techniques and themes of transformation have made it a subject of study and discussion in academic and literary circles. The novel's influence extends to discussions of feminism, LGBTQ+ literature, and the broader understanding of identity and time in literature. "Orlando" remains a significant and influential work in Virginia Woolf's body of writing.

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