Orlando novel summary

Orlando novel summary

Author: Virginia Woolf

Subject: The only heir of one of the most noble and influential families in England, the extraordinarily beautiful, sensitive, poet-spirited Orlando, Queen I to his adventurous life.He begins as Elizabeth’s favorite and treasurer.In the middle of his bumpy four-hundred-year life spent in search, he undergoes a great transformation.

Type : Novel, Biographical Fiction

Charcters: Orlando, SASA,Shel, Archduchess Henrietta, Sir Nicholas Greene, Mr. Pope,Clorinda, Queen Elizabeth, Euphrosyne


Virginia Woolf has her androgynous character enter the book as a young aristocratic man and lover of Queen Elizabeth.Yet he is not faithful to the Queen and gets kicked out of her court. After spending some time with low-class Londoners, he returns to the royal court of James I and dates around. Eventually, he becomes smitten with Sasha, a Russian princess, but she leaves suddenly, breaking his heart.


Orlando tries his hand at writing, and a famous poet, Nick Greene, tries to help him.Yet Greene betrays Orlando by parodying him, and the young man is heartbroken again, burning all his writing except for one poem, “The Oak Tree.” He then gets a commission as ambassador to Constantinople.


In Constantinople, Orlando does quite well, becoming a duke. However, he falls into a trance for seven days as Turkey undergoes an insurrection. When he wakes, he has become a she.Unfazed, Orlando runs away with a Romani clan.The Romani, commonly known as gypsies, are a nomadic people, and they accept Orlando as a woman.However, as nomads, they do not see the value of houses, and a cultural rift yawns between them and their aristocratic friend. After a time, Orlando returns to England.


It is on a ship that Orlando falls in love with a man, Captain Nicholas.She decides that it might just be better to be a woman than a man.Back in England, the 1700s go by as Orlando hangs out with poets like Addison, Dryden, and Pope. Then, the 1800s herald the Victorian era, a century in which the sun doesn’t shine.


Orlando decides that she needs a husband, and she marries Marmaduke Bonthrop Shelmerdine, Esquire, or Shel for short.She spends the century trying to get Nick Greene, who is somehow still alive, to publish her poem, “The Oak Tree.” When the 1900s start, the sun returns, but people grow more desperate.Suddenly, something hits Orlando on the head.It is the present.The clock strikes midnight on October 11, 1928.This is the date that the book was published, and it marks the end of Orlando.


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