Woolf's Longest Novel.
HOGARTH PRESS. WOOLF, Virginia. The Years. Tavistock Square, London: Published by Leonard and Virginia Woolf at The Hogarth Press, 1937.
Crown 8vo., original turquoise cloth, spine lettered in gilt, cream dust-jacket with a design by Vanessa Bell printed in black and brown; housed in a custom-made felt-lined clamshell case; pp. [iv], 469, [iii]; some light rubbing to edges; wrapper spine with just the beginnings of a split, small repairs to head and foot of wrapper spine, which is slightly darkened, and has some residue from a previous tape reinforcement to one side; a very good copy in good wrapper, both of which have remained quite fresh.
The Years bases its plot around the Pargiters - an upper-middle class London family. Between the years of 1880 to 1937 the reader is introduced to Colonel Pargiter, his dying wife and the mistress he keeps in a dingy part of town, as well as his children: selfless Eleanor, barrister Maurice, homely Milly, romantic Delia, academic Edward, feminist Rose and free-spirited Martin.
Published in 1937, the book was the last to be produced in Woolf’s lifetime, and though it was her best-selling novel, it is today one her her least read (and certainly less commented upon). It was also her longest, at 469 pages long, roughly double the length of To the Lighthouse and certainly Mrs Dalloway.
On 30 November 1936, Woolf wrote in her diary; “There is no need whatever in my opinion to be unhappy about The Years…It's different from the others of course: has I think more ‘real’ life in it; more blood & bone.”