As the Cambridge Edition of Virginia Woolf’s fiction slowly unfurls, this year will see the publication of Mrs Dalloway. It follows Anna Snaith’s edition of The Years (2012), which nestles Woolf’s 393-page novel in 600 pages of scholarly material: explanatory notes (144 pages), textual apparatus (220 pages), textual notes (50 pages), maps, chronologies, lists of illustrations, abbreviations, archival sources and editorial symbols, a bibliography and an (excellent) introduction. One paratext the Cambridge series doesn’t have, however, is an index.
Amazon.com has branded James Baldwin'sGiovanni's Room, Gore Vidal'sThe City and the Pillar, Jeanette Winterson's Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit and thousands of other books with gay characters as 'adult' – and not in the sense that Virginia Woolf had in mind when she said Middlemarch was 'one of the few English novels written for grown-up people'. One consequence of this is that they don't get to have a 'sales rank', so they can't appear near the top of bestseller lists, so people are less likely to see them and buy them.