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Through this fantastical book written in the form of a biography, Virginia Woolf traces the career of the androgynous Orlando through four centuries, starting from the late sixteenth century. It contains a great many wellobserved literary and historical insights into the ages through which it sweeps. As a handsome boy of sixteen, Orlando turns to poetry and becomes a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I. Under Charles II, he becomes Ambassador Extraordinary to Constantinople and is rewarded with a dukedom. Then he sleeps for a week while revolution explodes around him and on waking he finds that he has become a woman. Orlando as a woman is as beautiful, sensuous and unfashionably irrepressible as when she was a man. Time changes but Orlando's youth is unceasing. Orlando enters the twentieth century still full of energy and irreverence.