Recommend to your Librarian

Request a Review Copy

Sentencing Orlando

Virginia Woolf and the Morphology of the Modernist Sentence

Edited by Elsa Högberg, Amy Bromley

Hardback (Forthcoming)

Highlights the dazzling variety of interconnected styles and contexts of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, by examining its key sentences

If the line is the privileged semantic unit in verse, we could ask whether the sentence plays the same role in prose. This possibility holds particular relevance for Virginia Woolf’s Orlando: A Biography, which presents an intriguing collage of different sentence styles. The present collection of 16 original essays offers fresh perspectives on Orlando through a unique attention to Woolf’s sentences. By focusing on single sentences in order to address the book’s many interlacing connections between aesthetics and context, it aims to recuperate Orlando as one of Woolf’s most dynamic textual experiments. To what extent does Orlando enact a politics of the sentence? How does Woolf’s manipulation of generic, gendered, sexual and racial boundaries play out on the level of the sentence? These are some of the questions that this timely volume engages. Contributors include: Jane de Gay, Jane Goldman, Vassiliki Kolocotroni, Randi Koppen and Steven Putzel.

Show more


Introduction, Elsa Högberg and Amy Bromley
1. ‘The Queen had come’: Orgasm and Arrival, Jane Goldman
2. ‘Something intricate and many-chambered’: Sexuality and the Embodied Sentence, Anna Frøsig
3. Woolf, De Quincey and the Legacy of ‘Impassioned Prose’, Elsa Högberg
4. Rhythms of Revision and Revisiting: Unpicking the Past in Orlando, Jane de Gay
5. ‘Let us go, then, exploring’: Intertextual Conversations on the Meaning of Life, Sanja Bahun
‘. . . and nothing whatever happened’: Orlando’s Continuous Eruptive Form, Suzanne Bellamy
7. Orlando, Greece and the Impossible Landscape, Vassiliki Kolocotroni
8. Orlando Famoso: Obscurity, Fame and History in Orlando, Angeliki Spiropoulou
9. Bibliographic Parturition in Orlando: Books, Babies, Freedom, and Fame, Alice Staveley
10. The Day of Orlando, Bryony Randall
11.Satzdenken, Indeterminacy, and the Polyvalent Audience, Steven Putzel
12. In Amorous Dedication: The Phrase, the Figure and The Lover’s Discourse, Amy Bromley
13. A Spirit in Flux: Aestheticism, Evolution, and Religion, Todd Avery
14. Sir Thomas Browne and the Reading of Remains in Orlando
Benjamin D. Hagen
15. The Negress and the Bishop: On Marriage, Colonialism, and the Problem of Knowledge, Randi Koppen
16. Orlando and the Politics of (In)Conclusiveness, Judith Allen
Aftersentence, Rachel Bowlby.

About the Author

Elsa Högberg is a research fellow at Uppsala University. Her research explores literary modernism and the ethics and politics of intimacy, with a particular focus on Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield. She is the author of Virginia Woolf and the Ethics of Intimacy, forthcoming with Bloomsbury Academic.

Amy Bromley is a PhD student at the University of Glasgow specialising in Virginia Woolf’s short texts. She has published scholarly reviews and articles in The Journal of the Short Story in English, Virginia Woolf Miscellany and Glasgow Review of Books.


An exceptional collection of essays with a far-ranging textual and pedagogical approach, interweaving poised close readings and vibrant literary theory, cultural materiality and critical praxis. Embracing the heightened reverence of spirituality and the wild bawdiness of puns, the volume unpacks Orlando’s embedded erotics, disruptive, syntax, artful ventriloquy and rapturous breathlessness to become ‘a love letter to all women’.

- Claire Davidson, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle

You might also like ...