Criticism of Woolf is often polarised into viewing her work as either fundamentally progressive or reactionary. In Virginia Woolf and the Victorians, Steve Ellis argues that her commitment to yet anxiety about modernity coexists with a nostalgia and respect for aspects of Victorian culture threatened by radical social change. Ellis tracks Woolf's response to the Victorian era through her fiction and other writings, arguing that Woolf can be seen as more 'Post-Victorian' than 'modernist'. He explains how Woolf's emphasis on continuity and reconciliation related to twentieth-century debates about Victorian values, and he analyses her response to the First World War as the major threat to that continuity. This detailed and original investigation of the range of Woolf's writing attends to questions of cultural and political history and fictional structure, imagery and diction. It proposes a new reading of Woolf's thinking about the relationships between the past, present and future.

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