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by Virginia Woolf
Mrs Dalloway (Clarissa) Timeline and Summary
It's a June day in 1923. Clarissa Dalloway sets out to buy flowers, and runs into Hugh Whitbread. She thinks about death as she looks into shop windows. At one point, while she's in a store, Clarissa hears a car backfire. At this point, she notices many people gathering around, heading toward Buckingham Palace. After her errand, she returns home, and thinks back to her days at Bourton, her family's old country home. Peter Walsh, an old friend and former flame, stops by for a visit. After an intense emotional moment (where it becomes obvious that Peter is still in love with her), Peter leaves. Kind of awkward, we'd say. Still at home, Clarissa continues to prepare for the party; Richard returns home, gives her flowers, and then leaves again. In the afternoon, Clarissa talks to her daughter Elizabeth, who has recently taken up a romantic relationship with a certain Miss Kilman. After their conversation, she thinks about religion and looks out the window at a woman who lives across the way. When the party begins, Clarissa greets her guests. She hears about the death of one of Sir William Bradshaw’s patients. She is upset that death has been mentioned at her party, but she admires his courage to throw his life away. After going to her room for a breather, Mrs Dalloway sees the woman across the way who, for the first time, looks back at her. And of course, she goes back to her party.