Who's Afraid of Leonard Woolf? by Irene Coates
A Case for the Sanity of Virginia Woolf

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Synopsis

Was Virginia Woolf mad and suicidal, or betrayed and broken to the point of taking her own life? Irene Coates argues the latter case and points to Leonard Woolf as the traitorous figure who first married Virginia, then abandoned her. With forensic precision, she meticulously and brilliantly dissects the amazingly charged relationship between the two people who were at the heart of the Bloomsbury Group. The conclusion Coates comes to is stunning, laying at Leonard Woolf's feet the responsibility for slowly undoing his wife with his pessimism, superiority, repression, and hypercritical attitude, all the while holding himself out to be the selfless husband caring for a mad genius of a wife.
 

About Irene Coates

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Irene Coates is a painter and a playwright. She lives in Australia.
 
Published December 1, 2000 by Soho Press. 456 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Self Help, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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If attempted, character assassination should be accomplished with facts and moral assurance, neither of which Coates holds in her arsenal.

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Kirkus Reviews

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The Woolfs’ marriage may not have been a bower of connubial bliss, but Coates ignores the complexities of their lives by monomaniacially painting Leonard in the most Machiavellian hues.

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Publishers Weekly

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Although Leonard Woolf's reputation has fluctuated even more than that of his wife, Virginia, no biographer has shown as much animus toward him as Australian poet and playwright Coates (Poems of Change;

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