many pieces. The large company at Santa Marina, given over
much to argumentative dialogue, a little overpower the mind with 
their partial contributions to the stating and solving of the riddles: 
yet the essential focuses of the great mysteries—as they appear to Mrs. 
Woolf—are there. Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose, the elderly, egotistical 
scholar and his wife, besides Mr. and Mrs. Dalloway, focus that 
supreme riddle of human relations which is marriage; Rachel focuses 
the mystery of a child growing up; Hewet and she, Susan and Arthur, 
the mystery of falling in love; and Rachel again, dying in glow of 
this mystery, focuses that other mystery, the deepest, of death. 
Night and Day, this author’s second and last essay in the traditional 
novel-style—of all her novels the most serré, the most careful, and, 
in the sense of achieving its purpose, the most striking—is concerned 
with nothing else but the riddle young people of different temperaments 
in love and at cross purposes. The contrast drawn between those 
who find marriage easy, and those who find it difficult, to envisage is 
most subtly drawn, and with notable humour. If the situation 
between Katherine Hilbery and Ralph Denham is drawn out in 
too tenuous an intricacy, these characters are nobly seen. Katherine 
and Ralph are finer natures whose high visions, even of one another, 
can only be momentary, and yet seem to degrade the grosser realities 
of every day. Does Katherine love the everyday Ralph, or Ralph 
the everyday Katherine? They torture themselves in this debate 
till dear, inconsequent Mrs. Hilbery solves the question by saying 
‘We have to have faith in our vision’—the motto, in a larger sense, 
of all Mrs. Woolf’s art.

Jacob’s Room, her first long excursion in the fragmentary style, 
is nothing more than a picture of a young man’s life: Cambridge, 
London, Paris, Greece, flashes from numberless facets, gay, serious, 
fleshly, trivial, now the inconsequent mind, now the body, now 
one vision, now another; and it puts the riddle in another way. 
If such a life is ended by a fragment of shell—what does it mean? 
Where is, where was, its reality? Mrs. Dalloway, again, is an 
attempt to see how much of the riddle can be got into twenty-four 
hours.—‘Life, heaven only knows why one loves it so?’, love (Peter 
Walsh), marriage (the Dalloways), death and madness or visions 
pushed to excess (Septimus Smith), the change wrought by years, 
the intricacies and inconsistencies of character, not to be summed 
up by arithmetic, the old lady next door seen daily but unknown,