Bibliographic information:
ISBN: 9781804470312
Paperback • 64pp • £5
110 mm x 178 mm
21 April 2023
Territory: World English (excluding US)

On Being Ill

Virginia Woolf



ISBN: 9781804470312




‘Novels, one would have thought, would have been devoted to influenza, epic poems to typhoid, odes to pneumonia, lyrics to toothache. But no – with a few exceptions… literature does its best to maintain that its concern is with the mind; that the body is a sheet of plain glass through which the soul looks straight and clear, and, save for one or two passions such as desire and greed, is null, and negligible and non-existent.’

Penned in 1925 during the aftermath of a nervous breakdown, On Being Ill is a groundbreaking essay by the Modernist giant Virginia Woolf that seeks to establish illness as a topic for discussion in literature.

Delving into considerations of the loneliness and vulnerability experienced by those suffering from illness, as well as aspects of privilege others might have, the essay resounds with an honesty and clarity that still rings true today.

e-book available* 

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) was a Modernist writer, widely considered to be one of the most important of the twentieth century. She and her husband Leonard bought a hand-printing press in 1917, and they set up Hogarth Press in their house in Richmond, which published much of Virginia’s work, as well as those of friends and fellow luminaries. Today she is best remembered for her novels – in particular To the Lighthouse and Mrs Dalloway – and her essay A Room of One’s Own.