July 3rd, 2014
Episode 395 of 528 episodes
Virginia Woolf's novel Mrs Dalloway, first published in 1925, charts a single day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a prosperous member of London society, as she prepares to throw a party. Woolf explained in her diary what she had set out to do: 'I want to give life and death, sanity and insanity. I want to criticize the social system, and to show it at work at its most intense.' Celebrated for its innovative narrative technique and distillation of many of the preoccupations of 1920s Britain, Mrs Dalloway is now seen as a landmark of 20th-century fiction, and one of the finest products of literary modernism. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Professor Dame Hermione Lee, President of Wolfson College, Oxford; Jane Goldman, Reader in English Literature at the University of Glasgow and Kathryn Simpson, Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Cardiff Metropolitan University.