Talk:Orlando: A Biography

Add topic
Active discussions

Trial about a contemporary novel?Edit

She was aware of the difficulties of such topics, having been called upon to testify in a trial about a contemporary novel which openly defended a transgender-related topic (not even about lesbianism, which was much more anathema in those days).

What does this refer to? It seems like an account of the trial of The Well of Loneliness, in which Woolf had planned to testify (but did not, because the judge ruled that the literary merit of the novel was irrelevant). But I don't think that Woolf could have had the trial of The Well in mind when she wrote a 1928 novel, as this implies, since it didn't go to trial until November 1928.

Also, it makes no sense to suggest that the public reaction to The Well was less harsh because it was about transgender rather than lesbianism -- the idea of transgender as a separate concept didn't exist yet. The Well was about "congenital sexual inversion," which lumped together some things we would now see as transgender along with homosexuality. Some modern readers see the protagonist of The Well as a transman, but it's certainly been widely viewed as a lesbian novel (sometimes "the lesbian novel") ever since its publication. —Celithemis 23:56, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Roland, or OrlandoEdit

Is there not a bit more to say to the selection of this name instead of some other? Just wondering. --Awaler (talk) 19:02, 15 August 2008 (UTC) Are there sources for this? I found this question interesting, but I only have my speculations. I agree the name Roland -> Orlando is interesting ( + (Orlando Innamorato by Matteo Maria Boiardo, and Orlando furioso by Ludovico Ariosto)Gafanomo (talk) 13:24, 25 January 2021 (UTC)

Norwegian elkhoundsEdit

Any particular known reason for the Norwegian elkhound being Orlando's canine breed of choice in the initial part of the novel? -- Deborahjay (talk) 07:15, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Editions marketing?Edit

Removed "A limited edition of Orlando was published in 2005 by Arion Press".

I have a GRANADA 1977, 78, ... 83 "limited" edition.

We will record all editions at wikipedia? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:20, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Another Interpretation of the novelEdit

What about the interpretation that the book really refers to Vita not inheriting Knole? If she had been male, she would have, hence the gender change references in the novel. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:17, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

That is a valid interpretation and it has been handled now. --A.S. Brown (talk) 07:25, 3 May 2017 (UTC)


Should a link to the movie be added?

It was positively brilliant, in case any one has a spare minute to watch it. :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Coriander Sorrel (talkcontribs) 08:25, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Gender/verb number issueEdit

I think the confusion here comes from the use of singular they and the fact that there are two sensible ways to read the sentence, depending on whether the "travelling through time" and "meeting the key figures of English literary history" are happening simultaneously:

The book describes the adventures of a poet who [changes gender from man to woman as they travel through time] and [meets the key figures of English literary history].
The book describes the adventures of a poet who changes gender from man to woman as [they travel through time and meet the key figures of English literary history].

"they travel and meets" is grammatically incorrect, but as you say, "a poet who changes gender and meet" is also wrong. I've changed the sentence a bit to avoid this issue. Smurrayinchester 12:26, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

While the singular they usage is commonly employed these days in spoken English as a proxy for a neuter pronoun, I think the section in question might read better replacing the they with he/she. Eric talk 16:42, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

Crosby Gaige First EditionEdit

It seems difficult to summary the situation in the main text so I will explain here and see if anyone better equipped can remedy the article.

Orlando was not, in fact, first published on October 11th 1928. It was first published on October 2nd.

October 11th was the publication date of Woolf's own Hogarth Press. However, there was a little-known early fine press release of 800 signed copies from soon-thereafter defunct American publisher Crosby Gaige.

Here's an academic article that details the whole thing for citation:

Elkins, Amy E.. “Old Pages and New Readings in Virginia Woolf's "orlando"”. Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 29.1 (2010): 131–136.

Hope that helps. (talk) 21:38, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

Rewrite AnalysisEdit

I've added a rewrite tag to the "Analysis" section; it's really just poorly written, and probably too long, so it could do with a major edit which I'm not really capable of. Meesher (talk) 21:47, 11 January 2020 (UTC)