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Pilgrimage: Pointed Roofs - Softcover

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Pilgrimage

Pointed Roofs

By Dorothy Richardson

In a review of Pointed Roofs (The Egoist April 1918), May Sinclair first applied the term "stream of consciousness" in her discussion of Richardson's stylistic innovations. Richardson, however, preferred the term interior monologue. Pointed Roofs was the first volume in a sequence of 13 novels titled Pilgrimage. Miriam Henderson, the central character in Pilgrimage, is based on author's own life between 1891 and 1915.

Richardson is also an important feminist writer, because of the way her work assumes the validity and importance of female experiences as a subject for literature. Her wariness of the conventions of language, her bending of the normal rules of punctuation, sentence length, and so on, are used to create a feminine prose, which Richardson saw as necessary for the expression of female experience. Virginia Woolf in 1923 noted, that Richardson "has invented, or, if she has not invented, developed and applied to her own uses, a sentence which we might call the psychological sentence of the feminine gender."

Dorothy Miller Richardson (17 May 1873 – 17 June 1957) was a British author and journalist. Author of Pilgrimage, a sequence of 13 novels, she was one of the earliest modernist novelists to use stream of consciousness as a narrative technique. Richardson also emphasizes in Pilgrimage the importance and distinct nature of female experiences.

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About the Author:
Dorothy Miller Richardson (17 May 1873 – 17 June 1957) was a British author and journalist. Author of Pilgrimage, a sequence of 13 novels, she was one of the earliest modernist novelists to use stream of consciousness as a narrative technique. Richardson also emphasizes in Pilgrimage the importance and distinct nature of female experiences. Richardson was born in Abingdon in 1873. Her family moved to Worthing, West Sussex in 1880 and then Putney, London in 1883. At seventeen, because of her father's financial difficulties she went to work as a governess and teacher, first in 1891 for six months at a finishing school in Germany. In 1895 Richardson gave up work as a governess to take care of her severely depressed mother, but her mother committed suicide the same year. Richardson's father had become bankrupt at the end of 1893. Richardson subsequently moved in 1896 to Bloomsbury, London, where she worked as a receptionist/secretary/assistant in a Harley Street dental surgery. While in Bloomsbury in the late 1890s and early 1900s, Richardson associated with writers and radicals, including the Bloomsbury Group. H. G. Wells (1866–1946) was a friend and they had a brief affair which led to a pregnancy and then miscarriage, in 1907. While she had first published an article in 1902, Richardson's writing career, as a freelance journalist really began around 1906, with periodical articles on various topics, book reviews, short stories, and poems, as well as translation from German and French. During this period she became interested in the Quakers and published two books relating to them in 1914. In 1915 Richardson published her first novel Pointed Roofs, the first complete stream of consciousness novel published in English. She married the artist Alan Odle (1888-1948) in 1917 – a distinctly bohemian figure, who was fifteen years younger than her. From 1917 until 1939, the couple spent their winters in Cornwall and their summers in London; and then stayed permanently in Cornwall until Odle’s death in 1948. She supported herself and her husband with freelance writing for periodicals for many years. In 1954, she had to move into a nursing home in the London suburb of Beckenham, Kent, where she died in 1957.

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