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Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary Woolf$
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Ann Martin and Kathryn Holland

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780989082624

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780989082624.001.0001

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Challenging the Family Script

Challenging the Family Script

Woolf, the Stephen Family, and Victorian Evangelical Theology

(p.35) Challenging the Family Script
Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary Woolf

Jane de Gay

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines intertextuality in Jacob's Room, Orlando, and Three Guineas by focusing on the lineage of Virginia Woolf's religious references, where texts written by members of the Stephen family in the Victorian period inform her modern critique of patriarchy and its interconnections with organized religion. Woolf has often been described as an agnostic like her parents; more recently, she has been regarded as an atheist, on the basis of statements such as “certainly and emphatically there is no God.” It is therefore curious that the Woolfs' library at Washington State University includes a small but significant selection of books on religion. The religious books in the Woolfs' library include several that were written by her ancestors in the Stephen family. The chapter also considers Woolf's attitude towards Victorian evangelical theology, with particular emphasis on her representation of women as the slaves of patriarchy.

Keywords:   intertextuality, Jacob's Room, Orlando, Three Guineas, Stephen family, Victorian period, patriarchy, organized religion, evangelical theology

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