"Mrs Dalloway" and "To the Lighthouse" are two of the most-studied Virginia Woolf novels and have often been described as "poetic" and "difficult". The ten essays in this book show how attentive readers can follow their stories and relate them directly to the "real" world. Some work out "who speaks". Some explore the novels' debates about England in the 1920s: about power and imperialism and the War, about contemporary ideas of personal identity, and about women's lives. All demonstrate that new critical methods lead to active engagement with the texts. A number of different feminist readings are included as part of this selection. The contributors are: D. Lodge, J. Mepham, J. Hillis Miller, J. Tambling, G. Beer, T. Moi, M. Minow-Pinkney, E. Abel, M. Homans, R. Bowlby.