ISSUE DATE: Apr. 12, 1937
Last year Margaret Mitchell of Atlanta, Ga. wrote her first novel. Gone With The Wind. Last week Virginia Woolf of London, England published her seventh. The Years. Margaret Mitchell’s book has sold more copies (1,300,000) than all Virginia Woolf’s put together. But literary brokers who take a long view of the market are stocking up with Woolfs, unloading Mitchells (TIME, April 5). Their opinion is that Margaret Mitchell was a grand wildcat stock but Virginia Woolf a sound investment.
Virginia Woolf has been called “the best-equipped and the most disappointing woman novelist in the history of English literature.” That she can be considered a disappointment indicates that she may be not just a highbrow writer but perhaps a great one. She is certainly the foremost woman author of her day. Her books are addressed not to a literary clique but to the Intelligent Common Reader. And the address is written in such a fine and flowing hand that even when it is illegible the hopeful addressee can find some profitable pleasure in puzzling over it. Even her obscurer books have something about them that attracts popular attention, for more than most stylists, she writes about the common gist of things.
Read the full story here
Next Salvador Dali