I’d never have thought to give a mere three stars to a Virginia Woolf book, or to write about its charming qualities, its cuteness, its rather sentimental portrait of dogs, their owners, and poets with strange ailments who languish in their bedrooms; but there you go. This book was an amusement made delightful by its contrast to the serious-literature quality of nearly everything else I’ve read by Woolf, whom I admire to distraction. What English major could resist the biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s dog as told by one of the pre-eminent authors of any possible canon of literature? Here is Woolf having, of all things, some fun with her writing. The appeal of this, however, does fade as the book goes on, as Flush jealously guards his mistress from other animals, from suitors, from one suitor in particular; as Flush escapes from the Barrett household with the happy poet couple of Browning and Browning; as Flush adventures in Italy in search of love. It is both a statement of the book’s strengths and weaknesses to state that this alone among Woolf’s work would be suitable, and even recommendable, as a Disney property. An animated story in which Elizabeth becomes the next Disney princess, perhaps, and Flush her faithful dog companion. My tongue is where it ought to be for such a statement, but nevertheless that would be a cartoon worth watching.