Between the Acts is the final novel by Virginia Woolf, published in 1941 shortly after her suicide. This is a book laden with hidden meaning and allusion. It describes the mounting, performance, and audience of a festival play (hence the title) in a small English village just before the outbreak of the Second World War. Much of it looks forward to the war, with veiled allusions to connection with the continent by flight, swallows representing aircraft, and plunging into darkness. The pageant is a play within a play, representing a rather cynical view of English history. Woolf links together many different threads and ideas - a particularly interesting technique being the use of rhyme words to suggest hidden meanings. Relationships between the characters and aspects of their personalities are explored. The English village bonds throughout the play through their differences and similarities. He novel takes place in a country house somewhere in England, just before the Second World War. It is the day when the annual pageant is to be performed in the grounds of the house. The pageant is traditionally a celebration of English history, and is attended by the entire local community. The owner of the house is Bartholomew Oliver, a widower and retired Indian Army officer. His sister Lucy, who is also living in the house, is slightly eccentric but harmless. Oliver has a son, Giles, who has a job in the city and is restless and frustrated. His wife, Isa, is staying at the house with her two children and has lost interest in Giles. She is attracted to a local gentleman farmer, Haines, although the relationship goes no further than eye contact. In the course of the day, Mrs Manresa and her friend William Dodge turn up and stay for the pageant. The pageant has been written by Miss La Trobe, a strange and domineering spinster.