An annotated edition of “Woolf’s most intense work,” a fantastical biography that spans from the court of Elizabeth I to the year 1928 (Jorge Luis Borges).
Begun as a “joke,” Orlando is Virginia Woolf’s fantastical biography of a poet who first appears as a sixteen-year-old boy at the court of Elizabeth I, and is left at the novel’s end a married woman in the year 1928. From Orlando’s early days as a page in the Elizabethan court, through first love, heartbreak, and gender transformation, we follow Woolf’s protagonist across centuries, through adventures in Constantinople and friendship with the poet Alexander Pope. All along, Orlando pursues literary success with her long poem, The Oak Tree.
Part love letter to Vita Sackville-West, part exploration of the art of biography, Orlando is one of Woolf’s most enduringly popular and entertaining works. It has inspired a number of adaptions, including a film version starring Tilda Swinton. This edition, annotated and with an introduction by Maria DiBattista, author of Imagining Virginia Woolf, will deepen readers’ understanding of Woolf’s brilliant creation.