Study Guide

Helena Perry (Aunt Helena) in Mrs Dalloway

By Virginia Woolf

Helena Perry (Aunt Helena)

Now past age eighty, Clarissa’s Aunt Helena spent summers with the family at Bourton. Peter thought she was dead, but, lo and behold, she shows up at the party. Aunt Helena is a perfect example of the uptight English society lady. Naturally, she’s shocked by Sally Seton’s behavior at Bourton. Peter Walsh often gets stuck talking to her about her favorite subject – orchids and colonial Burma in the 1870s. Her proudest event was when Charles Darwin commented on her "little book on the orchids of Burma" (6.63). Watch out, Martha Stewart!