This article places Woolf’s Night and Day (1919) in the context of the Edwardian free-union novel—works that represent and debate monogamous relationships without legal recognition. In seeking alternatives to marriage, this genre explored what modernity might mean for young, middle-class women. Typically, the narratives’ protagonists ultimately abandon the idea of the free union, the novels often ending after all with a conventional engagement. Night and Day follows this pattern, but only to a point. It examines the free union as an opportunity for a more liberated life for young women and still ends with an engagement, but it also remains committed to seeking a compromise between old and new—reimagining marriage on more equal terms. In this, Night and Day can be seen as a transitional novel, in relation both to Woolf’s own writing and to the shift from Edwardian fiction toward modernism.

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