Orlando has a candid relationship with her often absent husband Bonthrop. He visits when he can, and sometimes when he’s needed, which is to say when the wind doesn’t allow him to persist in his endless quest to sail around a treacherous cape.
Here she is overwhelmed by company, and feels almost dead, after having fought for a century to be legally recognised as alive. I liked the idea of her ‘oaring’ herself into solitude; she had been isolated a long time and appears to need plenty of lone-time.
”Bonthrop’, she said in effect, ‘I’m dead’, and pushed her way as a spirit might through the spectre-pale beech trees, and so oared herself deep into solitude as if the little flicker of noise and movement were over… ‘
Source: Virginia Woolf, Orlando: A Biography, ed. with an introduction by Rachel Bowlby (Oxford: World’s Classics, 1992), p. 247