The Voyage Out (1915) is the story of a rite of passage. When Rachel Vinrace embarks for South America on her father's ship she is launched on a course of self-discovery in a modern version of the mythic voyage. Virginia Woolf knew all too well the forms that she was supposed to follow when writing of a young lady's entrance into the world, and she struggled to subvert the conventions, wittily and assiduously, rewriting and revising the novel many times. The finished work is not, on the face of it, a 'portrait of the artist'. However, through The Voyage Out readers will discover Woolf as an emerging and original artist: not identified with the heroine, but present everywhere in the social satire and the lyricism and patterning of consciousness.