The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Volume One 1915-1919

edited by Anne Olivier Bell. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, $12.95. Woolf was an irregular but magnificent diarist—that is, when she did not abandon the thing for days, she went at it generously and with deliberate indiscretion. She gave full rein to her intelligence, her catholic taste, her sharp eye, her liking for gossip, and her humor, which ran from delicate irony to flagrant cattiness. The editor’s admirably thorough notes keep events and people in comprehensible order. Other volumes will follow—an alluring promise. Appendixes, index.