London: The Hogarth Press, 1977-84. 1st Edition. 5 vols., octavo, publisher's plum cloth, spines gilt, map endpapers (vols. II-V), original pictorial dust jackets.
5-volume set of Virginia Woolf's diaries, covering the years 1915-1941, her lengthiest and longest-sustained work, considered by many a masterpiece to rival her novels. Woolf's husband Leonard had published a carefully edited single-volume edition of her diary as early as 1953, but it was only with the publication of this set, over thirty years after her death, that readers were granted an unimpeded view of the inner life of one of the greatest, most revered writers of the 20th century. The 27 manuscript notebooks that comprise the diaries, written in "a distinguished and elegant hand which in general it is not difficult to read" (from the editor's preface), reside in the Berg Collection at the New York Public Library, and were prepared for publication by Anne Olivier Bell, the wife of Woolf's nephew and first biographer Quentin Bell, who contributes an introduction to vol. I. With detailed notes, biographical appendices, and indexes. Dust jackets illustrated with artwork by Bloomsbury painter Duncan Grant. All volumes first printings. Offsetting to half-title of vol. I; occasional creasing and sunning to spines of unclipped dust jackets. Very nearly fine. Scarce complete and in first printings. Item #1128