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children, impelling one to drink, another to madness, a third to
poetry, but the others are untouched. Parental stupidities, too,
condition some of them, but all save one escape frustration and
find fulfillment in love. In her sketch of the poet whose search
for beauty leads him to love of woman and at last to love of God,
Miss Sinclair merges her familiar theme of the genius with her
later philosophic idealism. Like most of her later novels, this
story tells itself largely through skilful dialogue, but with few of
those sharp stacatto thrusts that laid bare the very souls of
Mary Olivier and Harriett Frean. On the whole, The Allinghams
readable as it is, brings us no new tidings of Miss Sinclair’s 
mind or art.

To the Lighthouse, on the contrary, is difficult reading; indeed 
there are Proustian sentences in which Mrs. Woolf seems
to be trying to make language do the impossible: to present
everything at once. Yet out of the seeming welter, there
emerges a remarkable personality.

In this picture of a large family party spending the summer
in the Hebrides—parents, eight children, assorted guests—most
of the children are mere names. The whole story is focused on
Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay—their relations to each other, their influence 
on the others. And it is Mrs. Ramsay on whom the
whole book converges—just as in the marvelously imagined
scene of the family dinner, it is Mrs. Ramsay alone whose
power of sympathy merges all those separate beings into a 
group, composes their discords into harmony, creates of their
fragmentary moods a moment complete and beautiful as a work
of art. That scene with Mrs. Ramsay’s spirit first mingling with
it, then hovering above it, serene, resting on “the thing that
endures”—on eternity, that scene is the climax of the book.
What follows is aftermath; the passage of ten years over
the empty, waiting house, the death of Mrs. Ramsay (told in a 
casual parenthesis), the return of the survivors, the effect on
them of Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay—above all, of Mrs. Ramsay.
The re-creating of Mrs. Ramsay’s influence through the imaginations 
of the child and the guest who were closest to the 
secret of her creative power, the culmination of Lily’s vision
of Mrs. Ramsay—“it was part of her perfect goodness”—sitting