The Diary of Virginia Woolf

edited by Anne Olivier Bell assisted by Andrew McNeillie. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, $15.95. Woolf’s diary for the years 1925 through 1930 as witty intelligent as its predecessors, and more varied, for her growing reputation brought meetings with people such as Wells and Hardy, whom she described as carefully as if they were her own invention and destined to appear in the next novel. Two other new themes crop up as well. One is a melancholy concern with time and age; she looked for signs of decay in old friends and inevitably found them. The second is the pleasure of having enough money to buy object A without necessarily giving up the purchase of object B. This agreeable condition was the result of acquiring her first personal bank account. She had been a hardworking professional author and critic for nearly twenty years, but it took a tearful row with her husband to establish that bank account. The Woolfs’ erratic lapses into Victorianism are surely part of their charm. Notes, index, appendixes.