A slim little volume, which might well serve as a model of what literary appraisal might be. This was delivered as a Rede Lecture in Cambridge, England, in a year (1941) which Mr. Forster says was not a good year for judgment. Nonetheless he has given us not only a succinct portrait of Virginia Woolf, but a searching appraisal of the springs of her genius, the quality of her work. ""She liked writing"", he says. And later ""Literature was her merry-go-round as well as her study"". He shows how hers was a poetic method applied to fiction; her characters were evanescent; her settings socially limited for she was essentially a snob. He shows her work conditioned by her period, but always indicative of basic elements in her personality, her almost sensuous appreciation of things she saw, smelt, tasted. A tribute to her as a woman -- and as an artist, marking a milestone in English literature.