Jacob’s Room by Virginia Woolf.

“Jacob’s Room was published in 1922, Woolf’s third novel.  Jacob is usually thought to represent Woolf’s brother, Thoby, who died at the age of 25 in 1906.  The story follows Jacob from his childhood in Cornwall through his education at Cambridge, his life in London, a trip to Greece, and finally his death in World War I. Betty Flanders, his mother, is a widow. Jacob’s brother, Archer, will also fight in the war. Other characters are the Reverend Andrew Floyd, who proposes to Betty and is turned down. Captain Barfoot, a man with a disabled wife, is a friend and frequent visitor of Betty’s. At Cambridge, Timothy Durrant is a friend; his sister, Clara, is an ongoing character who is attracted to Jacob, but the relationship never develops. Richard Bonamy is a Cambridge friend who becomes a closer friend in London. Florinda is a loose and sexy interlude. Nick Branham is an artist who introduces Jacob to his model, Fanny Elmer, who falls in love with him. Jacob visits friends in Paris, then goes on to Greece where he falls in love with a married woman, Sandra Wentworth Williams. In the last chapter, Richard and Betty are in Jacob’s room, going through his things; thus we know that Jacob is dead.  Many critics have noted that Jacob seems to move like a ghost through the book, that the emphasis is on the impossibility of knowing anyone. At the last, we may feel that even though we know the sequence and some moment by moment events of Jacob’s life, we never know him — we see his life as if the moments had already evaporated — as if he were already dead.” ( From this site )

Special editions with appendix of vintage covers and images. Edited by Paul Hessel and Francesca Mazzucato+

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