who is afraid
No of Pages: 456
RRP: 29.95
ISBN Print: 1 876040 12 2

Who's Afraid of Leonard Woolf?

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A Case for the Sanity of Virginia Woolf
Was Virginia Woolf suicidal, or was she betrayed and driven to taking her own life? Irene Coates argues, with forensic precision, that Leonard Woolf was responsible for the unravelling of his wife’s sanity and her subsequent suicide. These two people were at the heart of the Bloomsbury Group; one a mad genius, the other a so-called selfless husband. Leonard has been all but canonized as a saint who sacrificed his own happiness to enable his mad genius wife to write, a simplistic tale Coates wholeheartedly rejects. But underneath that caring veneer beat the heart of a pessimistic, repressed, bullying, and hypocritical man, one who may have been responsible for the death of Virginia Woolf. Coates presents her case against Leonard in a forcefully written, meticulously argued, emotional narrative, in which she chronicles a power struggle between a manipulative and selfish man whose books went nowhere and a creative life-loving woman whose writing revolutionized fiction and challenged the patriarchal paradigm.

“There are, undoubtedly, unanswered questions attached to the standard story of Virginia’s death… This impassioned book deserves to be read.” Sydney Morning Herald.

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