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The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf

The Voyage Out (1915)

by Virginia Woolf

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,143294,939 (3.66)1 / 188
We meet young free-spirited Rachel Vinrace aboard her father's ship, the Euphrosyne, departing London for South America. Surrounded by a clutch of genteel companions -- among them her aunt Helen, who judges Rachel to be "vacillating," "emotional," and "more than normally incompetent for her years" -- Rachel displays a startling maturity when she finds her engagement to the writer Terence Hewet listing toward disaster.… (more)



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English (26)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
It's been three years since I read The Voyage Out, but a recent read and review of Winifred Holtby's 1932 biography of Virginia Woolf and her work piqued my interest. Holtby's discussion of characters, developed and one dimensional, symbolism, and method of story telling made re-reading The Voyage Out a much easier project. Interesting in the story was a quote about the main character, Rachel, who at twenty-four has no real education except for playing the piano. At one point, her guardian mentions, without exaggeration, that Rachel had no idea how children are conceived. The quote: "She became less desirable as her brain began to work..." Not quite what is expected from a feminist writer.

Over the next several months, I am going to reread the rest of Woolf's work keeping in mind what I learned from Holtby. ( )
  evil_cyclist | Mar 16, 2020 |
I'm not sure what to write about this book. It has me a bit confused, disliking the way the women were portrayed, that corresponds (as far as I can tell) with the times that the book is talking about.
I disliked the many characters that appeared, was it really necessary to have so many of them?
On the other hand it was a nice book, letting me in on a period in time that has long passed, how people thought and behaved then.

What interefered with my liking the book better was the voice of the narrator. Tried to find another, also unabridged audiobook, but I was unsuccesfull at that.
My dislike of the voice was less strong than my resolve to finish another one of the 1001-list, so I'm happy to say that I'm done :-) ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Jul 24, 2019 |
Very good for a first novel. Woolf does not disappoint-- not in the least. The characters are the vivid and the romance is an especial highlight. The setting is variable, but interesting nonetheless, and the prose is marked by poetical language that bears the majesty that accompanies the gifts that Woolf had at writing.

Overall, I was very satisfied. I typically am not such a fan of Woolf's work-- but this one seems to be an exception. Still, I was impressed. ( )
  DanielSTJ | Dec 17, 2018 |
This is the first book I read from Ms. Woolf, and I must say that there are not exact words to describe the experience of reading The Voyage Out. One may call it a tragedy, or call it the cruelty of life, and who knew better about this from experience than the author herself. Even though the narrative is fairly traditional for its time, this literary work is still ahead of its time, taking away all those Victorian elements from Woolf's contemporaries, and becoming itself modern with its approach to relationships, gender and politics.

It is a must read for anyone looking into the great work of Virginia Woolf. ( )
  DoctorFate | May 17, 2018 |
I love Virginia Woolf so much that I have invented a book club where we will read all her books, in chronological order. Just read these sentences and tell me you don't want to read everything this woman has written:

"And now the room was dim and quiet, and beautiful silent people passed through it, to whom you could go and say anything you liked. She felt herself amazingly secure as she sat in her arm-chair, and able to review not only the night of the dance, but the entire past, tenderly and humorously, as if she had been turning in a fog for a long time, and could now see exactly where she had turned. For the methods by which she had reached her present position, seemed to her very strange, and the strangest thing about them was that she had not known where they were leading her. That was the strange thing, that one did not know where one was going, or what one wanted, and followed blindly, suffering so much in secret, always unprepared and amazed and knowing nothing; but one thing led to another and by degrees something had formed itself out of nothing, and so one reached at last this calm, this quiet, this certainty, and it was this process that people called living." (p. 354)

The Voyage Out is first on the list, and it's one I hadn't read before. Telling the story of a married couple and their 24-year-old niece who take a boat from England to South America (with Mr. and Mrs. Dalloway!) for a holiday and there meet a hotel full of English folk. Various relationships start and stop and some exciting things happen, but most of the action is observational and interior. The central section of the book in particular had a Women in Love quality to me (with much less sex and frantic melodrama), but that faded a bit as the story moved to focus on Rachel, the niece, and Terence, who has fallen in love with her. This is Woolf's first novel and was heavily revised and edited before its release -- a reconstruction of the original manuscript has been published as Melymbrosia (the original title) and I'm keen to read that one and see a more radical view of these fascinating characters.

Novel #1 did not disappoint! ( )
  kristykay22 | Nov 22, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
The voyage out is een roman als een schip, traag en majestueus golft ze van de bladzijden. Virginia Woolfs eerste is een weldaad. Nu die roman uit 1915 eindelijk als De uitreis in vertaling is verschenen, kunnen we kort zijn over de reden waarom het zo lang duurde: stekeblinde beroepslezers ter plaatse. The New York Times kon het ook niet bekoren. In 1920 poogt de krant de vuistdikke roman samen te vatten in vier zinnen en begint daartoe als volgt: ‘Ridley Ambrose, a professor, and his wife, Helen, a woman of the smart London world, are going to the antipodes on a vessel owned by Helen’s brother-in-law, Willoughby Vinrace.’ Een zin die je een beetje doet grinniken als je het boek net hebt uitgelezen.
added by Jozefus | editNRC Handelsblad, Hannah van Wieringen (pay site) (Jun 22, 2018)
So the story maunders on, and the fact that it is crowded with incident, most of it futile, and that the clever talk by every one continues in a confusing cataract in every chapter, does not save it from becoming extremely tedious.
added by Nickelini | editNew York Times (Jun 18, 1920)

» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Woolf, Virginiaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bianciardi, LucianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Zordo, OrnellaPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Forrester, Vivianesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gadda Conti, GiuseppeForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garnett, AngelicaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harleman, PaganIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heine, Elizabethsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Previtali, OrianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reichert, KlausHerausgebersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sage, LornaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wheare, JaneEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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As the streets that lead from the Strand to the Embankment are very narrow, it is better not to walk down them arm-in-arm.
In the streets of London where beauty goes unregarded, eccentricity must pay the penalty.
She looked forward to seeing them as civilised people generally look forward to the first sight of civilised people, as though they were of the nature of an approaching physical discomfort—a tight shoe or a draughty window.
"I have a weakness for people who can't begin."
Each of the ladies, being after the fashion of their sex, highly trained in promoting men's talk without listening to it, could think—about the education of children, about the use of fog sirens in an opera—without betraying herself.
[...], for if Rachel were ever to think, feel, laugh, or express herself, instead of dropping milk from a height as though to see what kind of drops it made, she might be interesting though never exactly pretty.
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