Dramatized here by Vanessa Redgrave and a full cast, To the Lighthouse is a great literary achievement, and Virginia Woolfs most popular novel. This semi-autobiographical novel is based on her recollections of family holidays in Cornwall. From the seemingly trivial postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse, Virginia Woolf constructs a moving examination of the complex tensions and allegiances of family life. The novel is split into three sections. In the first, the gracious and imaginative Mrs. Ramsay and her self-centered and absurd husband are preparing for a dinner party, where the guests include a philosopher, a young couple, and painter Lily Briscoe (based on Virginia Woolfs sister Vanessa). In the second section the story moves on to after the war and we discover that Mrs. Ramsay, her son and one of the guests have died. In the last section Lily Briscoe finally achieves what she has been trying to do with her painting and Mr. Ramsay and the children reach the lighthouse -- a trip planned in the first section that only now reaches fruition.