Virginia woolf kew gardens summary and analysis

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virginia woolf kew gardens summary and analysis

Kew Gardens by Virginia Woolf

In 1927, at The Hogarth Press, Virginia Woolf produced and published a limited edition of what was to become one of her best-loved stories. The books jacket design and page illustrations were by her sister, artist Vanessa Bell.

More than sixty years later, The Hogarth Press at Chatto & Windus has published a lovely facsimile of that prized edition of Kew Gardens.

The lush and haunting story circles around Kew Gardens one hot day in July, as various odd and interesting couples walk by and talk, exchanging words but letting thoughts and memories float languorously above the glossy leaves and exotic blooms, while at their feet, a determined snail makes its way slowly across a mountainous flower bed.

Elegantly produced, a precise replica of that 1927 special edition, with Vanessa Bells jacket and decorative drawings, this is a rare treat for Bloomsbury devotees and all who love beautiful books.
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Kew Gardens by Virginia Woolf - Short Story - Full Unabridged AudioBook

On one of Woolf's earliest short stories Written in around the same time she wrote 'The Mark on the Wall', 'Kew Gardens' is one of Virginia.
Virginia Woolf

Kew Garden's Summary

It was first published privately in , [1] then more widely in in the collection Monday or Tuesday , [1] and subsequently in the posthumous collection A Haunted House Originally accompanying illustrations by Vanessa Bell , its visual organisation has been described as analogous to a post-impressionist painting. Set in the eponymous botanic garden in London on a hot July day, the narrative gives brief glimpses of four groups of people as they pass by a flowerbed. The story begins with a description of the oval-shaped flowerbed. Woolf mixes the colours of the petals of the flowers, floating to the ground, with the seemingly random movements of the visitors, which she likens to the apparently irregular movements of butterflies. The first group to pass by are a married couple, and the man, called Simon, recalls his visit fifteen years earlier when he begged a girl called Lily to marry him, but was rejected.

As so often with modernist literature, the focus here is on a moment or a series of moments, rather than a grand, unified narrative or plot. He asks his wife, Eleanor, if she thinks of the past, and she tells him she remembers being kissed by an old lady with a wart on her nose, twenty years ago while she and a group of other girls were painting at the side of a lake. A young man and an older man walk past the flowerbed next. The old man is gesturing wildly and talks of the spirits who are communicating with him. His conversation implies that he knows of a spiritualist machine which can be used by widows to communicate with their dead husbands who have been killed in the war. Next come two elderly lower-middle-class women who observe the mad old man from afar, wondering whether he is merely eccentric or genuinely insane.

How It All Goes Down

In "Kew Gardens," the narrator follows different visitors to the gardens, giving the reader brief snapshots of their lives through small descriptions as they reach the same flowerbed. - All rights reserved. What's Up With the Ending?

Rating: Strong Essays. Open Document. Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper. Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly. One of the many ideas found in the story is the presentation of human existence as meaningless, random, and haphazard.

In Kew Gardens by Virginia Woolf we have the theme of passion, desire, love, regret, paralysis, letting go, uncertainty, connection and humanity. Taken from her The Complete Shorter Fiction collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator. However there are sections that have the feel of stream of consciousness and after reading the story the reader realises just how important the setting of the story is. The story is set in its entirety in the Royal Botanic Gardens situated in London. Though this may seem insignificant it is important as by using a public setting, Woolf also manages to introduce characters into the story from all types or walks of life. Despite the passing of time and his subsequent marriage to Eleanor Simon is still unable to let go of Lilly and if anything the passion that he felt for her so many years ago remains. Something that is more noticeable by the fact that rather than walking beside Eleanor, Simon walks ahead of her which may symbolically suggest that he feels disconnected from not only Eleanor but his children too.


  1. Karlotta L. says:

    The story opens with a description of a flowerbed in the Royal Botanic Gardens in London, detailing the colors and shapes of the petals, stalks, and leaves.

  2. Nicholas B. says:

    Open Document.

  3. Yakube H. says:

    Need Writing Help?

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