Great Parties in Literature We Wish We Could Have Attended

After our recent roundup of 25 great parties on film, it occurred to us that movies aren’t the only medium to have depicted fantastic fêtes. So, to help you gear up for a celebratory July 4th weekend, we reached out to Flavorpill staff and readers alike to get their nominations for liteature’s best bash. With their help, we’ve come up with a list of ten great gatherings we would love to have attended. Keep the party going by adding your favorites in the comments.

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

From its first sentence (“Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself”), the action of Mrs. Dalloway happens on a day when the socially gifted titular heroine is preparing to throw a party full of royals and politicians. Woolf gives us a psychologically realistic portrait of the way a hostess magnifies her tiny anxieties and pleasures to the extent that they seem enormous; indeed, this day encapsulates the entirety of Clarissa Dalloway’s life, which finds both climax and resolution at the party. As the novel’s simple but loaded final words put it: “there she was.”