The Tunnel
  • Publication Date: September 19, 2014
  • ISBN: 9781554811106 / 1554811104
  • 392 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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The Tunnel

  • Publication Date: September 19, 2014
  • ISBN: 9781554811106 / 1554811104
  • 392 pages; 5½" x 8½"

The Tunnel is the fourth volume in Dorothy Richardson’s novel series Pilgrimage. The series, set in the years 1893-1912, chronicles the life of Miriam Henderson, a “New Woman” rejecting the Victorian ideals of femininity and domesticity in favour of a modern life of independence. In addition to the formal and stylistic innovations in The Tunnel, its attention to women’s experience of modernity is groundbreaking. It chronicles Miriam’s working day as a dental receptionist and her forays into the public space of cafés, city streets, and political and intellectual talks. Richardson matches her focus on Miriam’s consciousness with remarkable detail, giving the narrative a powerful realism.

Contemporary reviews (including those by Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield), personal letters, and Richardson’s essays on modernism, feminism, and aesthetics place this important novel in context.


“Published in 1919, in the wake of the Great War, The Tunnel explores the mental world of words. This edition gives Richardson’s spatial understanding of consciousness the capacious intellectual framework to match. Editors Stephen Ross and Tara Thomson have brilliantly contextualized this novel with notes, introduction and supplementary texts that exhibit a deep knowledge of, and passion for, modernism in all its facets. The Broadview Edition of The Tunnel bristles with intelligence.” — Irene Gammel, Ryerson University

“This new edition of The Tunnel marks an important moment in the history of modernist studies. Dorothy Richardson has long been credited as one of the pioneers of modernist prose. Her thirteen-volume work, Pilgrimage, was as important as James Joyce’s Ulysses or Marcel Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu in setting the agenda for twentieth-century fiction. Yet the lack of a good critical edition has made her almost impossible to teach. At one stroke, Stephen Ross and Tara Thomson have changed all that. This edition comes with a clear, informative, critical introduction, excellent explanatory notes, and invaluable appendices. At last, Richardson can reach the audience she deserves.” — Scott McCracken, Keele University

Introduction by Stephen Ross
Dorothy Richardson: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text

The Tunnel

Appendix A: Reviews

  1. Virginia Woolf, “The Tunnel,” Times Literary Supplement (13 February 1919)
  2. John Rodker, “The Tunnel,” The Little Review (September 1919)
  3. Katherine Mansfield, “Three Women Novelists (Review of The Tunnel),” Athenaeum (4 April 1919)
  4. Katherine Mansfield, “Dragonflies,” in Novels and Novelists (1930)

Appendix B: Letters

  1. To Samuel Solomonovich Koteliansky (11 December 1933)
  2. To Bryher [Annie Winnifred Ellerman] (May 1936)
  3. To Vincent Brome (16 January 1950)

Appendix C: Essays

  1. “About Punctuation,” Adelphi (April 1924)
  2. “The Disabilities of Women,” The Freewoman
    (15 August 1912)
  3. “The Reality of Feminism,” The Ploughshare (September
  4. “Talent and Genius: Is Not Genius Far More Common than
    Talent?,” Vanity Fair (October 1923)
  5. “Women and the Future: A Trembling of the Veil before
    the Eternal Mystery of ‘La Giaconda,’” Vanity Fair (April
  6. “Women in the Arts: Some Notes on the Eternally
    Conflicting Demands of Humanity and Art,” Vanity Fair
    (May 1925)
  7. Foreword, Pilgrimage (1938)

Select Bibliography

Stephen Ross is Professor of English at the University of Victoria.

Tara Thomson is a Literature Tutor and Research Assistant in the School of Literature, Languages, and Cultures at the University of Edinburgh.