In Virginia Woolf's life, writing was the activity that mattered more than anything else: she would not have survived without it. She was her own publisher and had an unusual degree of control over her own work. This enabled her to pursue a career of extraordinary experimentation and inventiveness. It has never been sufficiently stressed that every one of her books was quite different in technique from every other. John Mepham argues that she never settled on one way of writing because she never settled on one view of life. Her purposes as a writer constantly changed. Mepham tells the story of her career as a series of choices and experiments, always grounded in specific historical contexts.