Flush is a biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s spaniel, Flush. Yes, it is a book which tells the story of a dog, through the dogs eyes but it is actually wonderful however absurd that sounds! This book was picked up purely on the basis that it was written by Virginia Woolf and was published by Persephone, both of whom I love.
It’s a short book at just over 100 pages but every word is wonderful. It was written in the come down from her writing The Waves (a book which I am yet to read) when she was relatively drained. It was something she wrote for fun and you really get that humour come across in her writing in this instance.
Flush was a dog that lived a very varied life, it gave an insight in to Elizabeth Barrett’s life also. From the fields he roamed as a puppy to his life in a London townhouse and then moving to Italy and the freedom he gained, Flush lived a very good life. This is a parody of sorts as the Victorians did love writing a good biography of an esteemed gentleman and from Flushes point of view, he is an esteemed gentleman. Some of the feelings he had were just so human and, really, believable. A particular chapter that really resonated with me is when Miss Barrett meets Mr Browning and Flushes jealousy!
This book is by no means the masterpiece that Orlando is but it is, however, a really charming book. This book is a very accessible book to read if you’ve not read any Woolf or even if you have but didn’t particularly have that resonance with her writing. It’s a solid 4/5 read and, honestly, one I think I would reread because it was just so lovely!