Author: Virginia Woolf
Genre: Satirical Biography, Victorian
Read: April, 2016
I’m not going to lie – I bought this as part of another on-line book order purely so my basket cost enough to warrant free postage. In fact, that is the origin story of all of my Penguin Little Black Classics (I have a tidy collection of eight of them, loathe as I am to pay postage fees).
However, I have found that these miniature books are great introductions to a lot of classic authors – their small size makes them a less intimidating endeavour. I haven’t read anything by Woolf before, but reading Flush has certainly made me want to; her style is witty, insightful, and easily enjoyable.
The narrative is told from the perspective of the pet spaniel Flush, a unique and often humorous view point that I personally found very endearing, and follows the course of his life from puppy-hood to old age. Flush the spaniel actually belonged to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, famous poet/writer. What I liked best about this book was the way it analysed love and the human condition with the honesty and intuition we have all long expected dogs to be in possession of.
“Things are not simple but complex. If he bit Mr. Browning he bit her too. Hatred is not hatred; hatred is also love.”
If you like this, try:
This felt like the Victorian version of John Grogan’s Marley and Me. Areas of commonality include dogs being dogs and humans being humans.