Spanning three and a half centuries of boisterous, exuberant adventure in England, in Constantinople, with aristocrats and gypsies–first as a man and then as a woman — Orlando’s story is a wild farce, a humorous history, a gay romance filled with the delightful experiences of one of the most fascinating and fantastic characters ever to rule the realm of fiction. It is “a book for those who are young in a big way.”
The importance of this book goes beyond its years. First published on 11 October 1928, this book followed the adventures of a poet who changes sex from man to woman, and lives for centuries as he/she meets the key figures of English literary history. Woolf’s writing was said to be inspired by the tumultuous family history of Woolf’s lover and close friend the aristocratic poet and novelist Vita Sackville-West. Orlando becomes a feminist classic, and has been written about by scholars of women’s writing and gender and transgender studies.