Flush: A Biography

Flush: A Biography

by Virginia Woolf


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Flush: A Biography, an imaginative biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's cocker spaniel, is a cross-genre blend of fiction and nonfiction by Virginia Woolf published in 1933. It was Written after the completion of her emotionally draining The Waves, the work returned Woolf to the imaginative consideration of English history that she had begun in Orlando: A Biography, and to which she would return in Between the Acts…(wikipedia.org)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781618958396
Publisher: Bibliotech Press
Publication date: 09/19/2019
Pages: 126
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.44(d)

About the Author

VIRGINIA WOOLF (1882–1941) was one of the major literary figures of the twentieth century. An admired literary critic, she authored many essays, letters, journals, and short stories in addition to her groundbreaking novels.

Date of Birth:

January 25, 1882

Date of Death:

March 28, 1941

Place of Birth:


Place of Death:

Sussex, England


Home schooling

Table of Contents




1. Three Mile Cross.

2. The Back Bedroom.

3. The Hooded Man.

4. Whitechapel.

5. Italy.

6. The End.



Editors Notes.

Appendix A: Authorities (Manuscript).

Appendix B: To Flush, My Dog.

Appendix C: Textual Variants and Emendation.

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Flush 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This biography of Flush, Elizabeth Barrett Browning's dog, is a wonderful read. It expands the notions/boundaries of biography, something Woolf was interested in, and it tells the unusual story of a figure whose story would not, in the normal course of things, get told: Flush. We also get a picture of the courtship between the poet and Robert Browning, as well as an evocative description of Victorian England at that period. This is both a whimsical and a serious book, and it's possibly one of Woolf's most fun books. There is humor, emotion, thoughtful analysis of class and gender issues, and Woolf's writing is, as always, exquisite yet highly accessible. I highly recommend this book!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had just finished Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway" when i picked up "Flush." I was a bit leery because it was through the eyes of a dog, and i'm not a big animal story person, but this book was GREAT!! It was amusing, charming, emotional, and realistic. We get to see into the life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the life of her dog in such a way that one could almost wish for another book as a continuation. It was beautifully written and it really makes me respect Woolf as an author all the more.
thorold on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This evidently isn't quite the lightweight literary joke Woolf pretends it is: I've been working my own way through EBB's letters lately, and I can confirm that it's not something you can do in a couple of afternoons in a deck chair. By my count, she must have trawled through something like 3000 pages of letters to get together the material for this little book, not to mention some supremely-boring tomes on dog-breeding. There's obviously more to it than just a playful response to Strachey's Eminent Victorians and the serious art of literary biography as practised by Woolf's father.One thing she's doing, clearly, is using the dog's point of view on the Brownings as a pretext for filtering the information we are given, so that their "Great Romance" can be made to fit her own agenda. Robert Browning is deliberately marginalised (as, oddly enough, is Elizabeth Wilson, who is relegated to a six-page footnote) so that we see EBB digging her own escape-tunnel out of Wimpole Street. This is also underlined by the way EBB's ill-health is treated: in Woolf's account, we are allowed to suppose that she becomes perfectly fit and well once she manages to free herself from the claustrophobic confinement of Wimpole Street/England/her father. A lot is made of the contrast between England, with its Kennel Club rules and park-keepers to enforce rigid class-distinctions, where dogs must be kept on chains for their own protection from evil dog-snatchers (i.e. the lower classes), and the friendly, noisy, and constructive chaos of Italy. (This looks a little odd for someone writing in 1932: Britain is effectively being associated with the mindless fascism of the dog-breeding books, Italy with liberalism. Musso-who?)I think Woolf does allow us to be a little critical of EBB: like Woolf herself, she was a clever woman who profited from a privileged background and a Room of Her Own to establish herself as a writer. From the dog's point of view, the poet's "writing, writing, writing" is a futile exercise not to be compared with the joys of pursuing carefree canine sexual encounters, discarded macaroni, and the many fascinating smells of Florence. And she does get in a few digs at EBB's weakness for the Spiritualist fashion of the time. All the same, we're definitely not meant to see how dependent EBB was on her husband and servants for the practicalities of life, and by quoting the sonnet "To Flush" in the closing pages Woolf ensures that we are left with the idea that poetry is important, whatever a dog may think.So, it's selective, it's polemic, but it's Woolf pulling out all the stops to write lively, intelligent, subversive prose, and to give proper credit to a great poet who was going through rather a phase of neglect at the time. We can enjoy it without getting too worked up about the message.
harro004 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wonderful! With great wit and insight into the dog/human bond
MusicMom41 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the story of the romance of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning as seen through the eyes of Elizabeth¿s dog, Flush. My public library categorizes this as ¿Biography¿ as does the designation on the back of my copy. Virginia Woolf¿s notes at the end of the book tells where she found the information she includes which qualifies it as biography. Most importantly, my 999 Biography category needs more help than my 999 Poets & Poetry category! That said, this is a delightful read for a leisurely afternoon. Woolf really understands dogs and Flush is very believable and a well rounded ¿character.¿ Highly recommended for those who love dogs and/or Virginia Woolf.
2chances on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wait, wait, this is Virginia Woolf? Somehow I thought it would be...well, VERY different. Flush is the spaniel who famously belonged to Elizabeth Barrett Browning (she wrote a poem to him) and I really can't make out what Woolf was aiming at with this one. The book is written as a straightforward biography - it is not particularly cutesy, and not written tongue-in-cheek either, although there are certainly flashes of humor. There is interesting detail about the Brownings, most of it historically accurate, some of it less so; there are quotes from Elizabeth's letters, and I DO love anyone who quotes from the letters, which happen to be my very favorite reading material of all time. But quite honestly? It's a quick and quite pleasant read, but...Maybe it's me, but i just don't get the point of this canine biography.
AlexTheHunn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Woolf tells the story of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett from the point of view of their dog, Flush. Besides being interesting in conception, Woolf brings to bear her enormous talents as a crafter of Englis.
PierresFamily More than 1 year ago
As both a bibliophile and a dog lover, I found this book to be delightful! It sounds absurd to say that a book by Virginia Woolf was "sweet," and yet that is a fact. This is the fictional story of Flush, the real-life pet of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and is based on the dog's actual experiences. It was written from the point of view of Flush himself, and it was quite unique! I didn't want the book to end. My only complaint about "Flush" is that it was too short!
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