Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf

Overview
Adeline Virginia Woolf (ˈwʊlf; 25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941) was an English author, essayist, publisher, and writer of short stories, regarded as one of the foremost modernist
Modernist literature
Modernist literature is sub-genre of Modernism, a predominantly European movement beginning in the early 20th century that was characterized by a self-conscious break with traditional aesthetic forms...

 literary figures of the twentieth century.

During the interwar period
Interwar period
Interwar period can refer to any period between two wars. The Interbellum is understood to be the period between the end of the Great War or First World War and the beginning of the Second World War in Europe....

, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury Group
Bloomsbury Group
The Bloomsbury Group or Bloomsbury Set was a group of writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists who held informal discussions in Bloomsbury throughout the 20th century. This English collective of friends and relatives lived, worked or studied near Bloomsbury in London during the first half...

. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway
Mrs Dalloway
Mrs Dalloway is a novel by Virginia Woolf that details a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway in post-World War I England. It is one of Woolf's best-known novels....

 (1925), To the Lighthouse
To the Lighthouse
To the Lighthouse is a novel by Virginia Woolf. A novel set on the Ramsays and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920, it skilfully manipulates temporal and psychological elements....

 (1927) and Orlando
Orlando: A Biography
Orlando: A Biography is an influential novel by Virginia Woolf, first published on 11 October 1928. A semi-biographical novel based in part on the life of Woolf's lover Vita Sackville-West, it is generally considered one of Woolf's most accessible novels...

 (1928), and the book-length essay A Room of One's Own
A Room of One's Own
A Room of One's Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf. First published on 24 October 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women's colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928...

 (1929), with its famous dictum, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."


Virginia Woolf was born Adeline Virginia Stephen in London in 1882 to Sir Leslie Stephen
Leslie Stephen
Sir Leslie Stephen, KCB was an English author, critic and mountaineer, and the father of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell.-Life:...

 and Julia Prinsep Stephen (née Jackson).

Virginia's father, Sir Leslie Stephen (1832–1904), was a notable historian, author, critic and mountaineer.
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Quotations

The strange thing about life is that though the nature of it must have been apparent to every one for hundreds of years, no one has left any adequate account of it. The streets of London have their map; but our passions are uncharted. What are you going to meet if you turn this corner?

Chapter 8

But can we go to posterity with a sheaf of loose pages, or ask the readers of those days, with the whole of literature before them, to sift our enormous rubbish heaps for our tiny pearls? Such are the questions which the critics might lawfully put to their companions at table, the novelists and poets.

"How It Strikes a Contemporary"

Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end.

"Modern Fiction"

Theirs, too, is the word-coining genius, as if thought plunged into a sea of words and came up dripping.

"Notes on an Elizabethan Play"

But delightful though it is to indulge in righteous indignation, it is misplaced if we agree with the lady's-maid that high birth is a form of congenital insanity, that the sufferer merely inherits the diseases of his ancestors, and endures them, for the most part very stoically, in one of those comfortably padded lunatic asylums which are known, euphemistically, as the stately homes of England.

"Outlines: Lady Dorothy Nevill" Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.

It was enemies one wanted, not friends.

A light here required a shadow there.

Part I, Chapter 9
Encyclopedia
Adeline Virginia Woolf (ˈwʊlf; 25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941) was an English author, essayist, publisher, and writer of short stories, regarded as one of the foremost modernist
Modernist literature
Modernist literature is sub-genre of Modernism, a predominantly European movement beginning in the early 20th century that was characterized by a self-conscious break with traditional aesthetic forms...

 literary figures of the twentieth century.

During the interwar period
Interwar period
Interwar period can refer to any period between two wars. The Interbellum is understood to be the period between the end of the Great War or First World War and the beginning of the Second World War in Europe....

, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury Group
Bloomsbury Group
The Bloomsbury Group or Bloomsbury Set was a group of writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists who held informal discussions in Bloomsbury throughout the 20th century. This English collective of friends and relatives lived, worked or studied near Bloomsbury in London during the first half...

. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway
Mrs Dalloway
Mrs Dalloway is a novel by Virginia Woolf that details a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway in post-World War I England. It is one of Woolf's best-known novels....

 (1925), To the Lighthouse
To the Lighthouse
To the Lighthouse is a novel by Virginia Woolf. A novel set on the Ramsays and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920, it skilfully manipulates temporal and psychological elements....

 (1927) and Orlando
Orlando: A Biography
Orlando: A Biography is an influential novel by Virginia Woolf, first published on 11 October 1928. A semi-biographical novel based in part on the life of Woolf's lover Vita Sackville-West, it is generally considered one of Woolf's most accessible novels...

 (1928), and the book-length essay A Room of One's Own
A Room of One's Own
A Room of One's Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf. First published on 24 October 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women's colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928...

 (1929), with its famous dictum, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."

Early life



Virginia Woolf was born Adeline Virginia Stephen in London in 1882 to Sir Leslie Stephen
Leslie Stephen
Sir Leslie Stephen, KCB was an English author, critic and mountaineer, and the father of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell.-Life:...

 and Julia Prinsep Stephen (née Jackson).

Virginia's father, Sir Leslie Stephen (1832–1904), was a notable historian, author, critic and mountaineer. He was the editor of the Dictionary of National Biography
Dictionary of National Biography
The Dictionary of National Biography is a standard work of reference on notable figures from British history, published from 1885...

, a work which would influence Woolf's later experimental biographies.

Virginia's mother Julia Stephen (1846–1895) was a renowned beauty, born in India to Dr. John and Maria Pattle Jackson. She was also the niece of Julia Margaret Cameron
Julia Margaret Cameron
Julia Margaret Cameron was a British photographer. She became known for her portraits of celebrities of the time, and for photographs with Arthurian and other legendary themes....

 nee Pattle, the famous photographer. Julia moved to England with her mother, where she served as a model for Pre-Raphaelite
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was a group of English painters, poets, and critics, founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti...

 painters such as Edward Burne-Jones
Edward Burne-Jones
Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet was a British artist and designer closely associated with the later phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, who worked closely with William Morris on a wide range of decorative arts as a founding partner in Morris, Marshall, Faulkner, and Company...

.

Woolf was educated by her parents in their literate and well-connected household at 22 Hyde Park Gate
Hyde Park Gate
Hyde Park Gate is an address in central London, England, which applies to two parallel roads in Kensington on the southern boundary of Kensington Gardens. It is probably most famous for being the death place of Sir Winston Churchill...

, Kensington
Kensington
Kensington is a district of west and central London, England within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. An affluent and densely-populated area, its commercial heart is Kensington High Street, and it contains the well-known museum district of South Kensington.To the north, Kensington is...

. Her parents had each been married previously and been widowed, and, consequently, the household contained the children of three marriages. Julia had three children by her first husband, Herbert Duckworth: George
George Herbert Duckworth
Sir George Herbert Duckworth CB FSA was an English public servant.-Early life and family:The son of Herbert Duckworth, a barrister, of Orchardleigh Park, Somerset, by his marriage to Julia Princep Jackson, a niece of the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, Duckworth had a brother, Gerald, who...

, Stella, and Gerald Duckworth
Gerald Duckworth
Gerald de l'Etang Duckworth was a British publisher.-Background and early life:Duckworth was a son of Herbert Duckworth, a London barrister, by his wife Julia Jackson. His middle name, de l'Etang, was the surname of one of his mother's ancestors, Antoine de l'Etang, a page to Queen Marie Antoinette...

. Leslie first married Harriet Marian (Minny) Thackeray (1840–1875), the daughter of William Thackeray, and they had one daughter: Laura Makepeace Stephen, who was declared mentally disabled
Developmental disability
Developmental disability is a term used in the United States and Canada to describe lifelong disabilities attributable to mental or physical impairments, manifested prior to age 18. It is not synonymous with "developmental delay" which is often a consequence of a temporary illness or trauma during...

 and lived with the family until she was institutionalised in 1891. Leslie and Julia had four children together: Vanessa Stephen
Vanessa Bell
Vanessa Bell was an English painter and interior designer, a member of the Bloomsbury group, and the sister of Virginia Woolf.- Biography and art :...

 (1879), Thoby Stephen
Thoby Stephen
Julian Thoby Stephen , known as the Goth, was the elder brother of several members of the Bloomsbury Group, namely his sisters Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf and his younger brother Adrian....

 (1880), Virginia (1882), and Adrian Stephen
Adrian Stephen
Adrian Stephen was a member of the Bloomsbury Group, an author and psychoanalyst, and the brother of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell...

 (1883).

Sir Leslie Stephen's eminence as an editor, critic, and biographer, and his connection to William Thackeray, meant that his children were raised in an environment filled with the influences of Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 literary society. Henry James
Henry James
Henry James, OM was an American-born writer, regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism. He was the son of Henry James, Sr., a clergyman, and the brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James....

, George Henry Lewes
George Henry Lewes
George Henry Lewes was an English philosopher and critic of literature and theatre. He became part of the mid-Victorian ferment of ideas which encouraged discussion of Darwinism, positivism, and religious scepticism...

, and her honorary godfather, James Russell Lowell
James Russell Lowell
James Russell Lowell was an American Romantic poet, critic, editor, and diplomat. He is associated with the Fireside Poets, a group of New England writers who were among the first American poets who rivaled the popularity of British poets...

, were among the visitors to the house. Julia Stephen was equally well connected. Descended from an attendant of Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette ; 2 November 1755 – 16 October 1793) was an Archduchess of Austria and the Queen of France and of Navarre. She was the fifteenth and penultimate child of Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa and Holy Roman Emperor Francis I....

, she came from a family of beauties who left their mark on Victorian society as models for Pre-Raphaelite artists and early photographers, including her aunt Julia Margaret Cameron
Julia Margaret Cameron
Julia Margaret Cameron was a British photographer. She became known for her portraits of celebrities of the time, and for photographs with Arthurian and other legendary themes....

 who was also a visitor to the Stephen household. Supplementing these influences was the immense library at the Stephens' house, from which Virginia and Vanessa were taught the classics
Classics
Classics is the branch of the Humanities comprising the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and other culture of the ancient Mediterranean world ; especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during Classical Antiquity Classics (sometimes encompassing Classical Studies or...

 and English literature
English literature
English literature is the literature written in the English language, including literature composed in English by writers not necessarily from England; for example, Robert Burns was Scottish, James Joyce was Irish, Joseph Conrad was Polish, Dylan Thomas was Welsh, Edgar Allan Poe was American, J....

. Unlike the girls, their brothers Adrian and Julian (Thoby) were formally educated and sent to Cambridge, a difference which Virginia would regret. The sisters did, however, benefit indirectly from their brothers' Cambridge contacts, as the boys brought their new intellectual friends home to the Stephens' drawing room.
According to Woolf's memoirs, her most vivid childhood memories were not of London but of St. Ives
St Ives, Cornwall
St Ives is a seaside town, civil parish and port in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The town lies north of Penzance and west of Camborne on the coast of the Celtic Sea. In former times it was commercially dependent on fishing. The decline in fishing, however, caused a shift in commercial...

 in Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, where the family spent every summer until 1895. The Stephens' summer home, Talland House, looked out over Porthminster Bay, and is still standing today, though somewhat altered. Memories of these family holidays and impressions of the landscape, especially the Godrevy Lighthouse
Godrevy
Godrevy is an area of west Cornwall, United Kingdom, found on the north coast within St. Ives Bay and is popular with both the surfing community and walkers. It is home also to some areas administered by the National Trust, and a lighthouse maintained by Trinity House.- Godrevy Head :The headland ...

, informed the fiction Woolf wrote in later years, most notably To the Lighthouse
To the Lighthouse
To the Lighthouse is a novel by Virginia Woolf. A novel set on the Ramsays and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920, it skilfully manipulates temporal and psychological elements....

.

The sudden death of her mother in 1895, when Virginia was 13, and that of her half-sister Stella two years later, led to the first of Virginia's several nervous breakdown
Nervous breakdown
Mental breakdown is a non-medical term used to describe an acute, time-limited phase of a specific disorder that presents primarily with features of depression or anxiety.-Definition:...

s. She was, however, able to take courses of study (some at degree level) in Greek, Latin, German and history at the Ladies’ Department of King’s College London between 1897 and 1901, and this brought her into contact with some of the early reformers of women’s higher education such as Clara Pater, George Warr and Lilian Faithfull (Principal of the King’s Ladies’ Department and noted as one of the Steamboat ladies
Steamboat ladies
Steamboat ladies was the name given to those female students at the women's colleges of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge who between the years 1904 and 1907 were conferred with ad eundem University of Dublin degrees at Trinity College, Dublin, at a time when their own universities refused...

). Her sister Vanessa also studied Latin, Italian, art and architecture at King’s Ladies’ Department.

The death of her father in 1904 provoked her most alarming collapse and she was briefly institutionalised. Modern scholars (including her nephew and biographer, Quentin Bell
Quentin Bell
Quentin Claudian Stephen Bell was an English art historian and author.Bell was the son of Clive Bell and Vanessa Bell , and the nephew of Virginia Woolf . He was educated in London and at the Quaker Leighton Park School.Principally an artist, as a potter, he was drawn to academia...

) have suggested her breakdowns and subsequent recurring depressive
Depression (mood)
Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behaviour, feelings and physical well-being. Depressed people may feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, or restless...

 periods were also influenced by the sexual abuse to which she and her sister Vanessa were subjected by their half-brothers George and Gerald Duckworth (which Woolf recalls in her autobiographical essays A Sketch of the Past
A Sketch of the Past
A Sketch of the Past is an autobiographical essay written by Virginia Woolf in 1939. It was written as a break from writing her biography of Roger Fry, English artist and critic, and fellow member of The Bloomsbury Group...

 and 22 Hyde Park Gate).

Throughout her life, Woolf was plagued by periodic mood swing
Mood swing
-Associated disorders:Mood swings are commonly associated with mood disorders including bipolar disorder and depression. In patients with cases of bipolar disorder, the patient experiences serious mood swings that last for days or even weeks...

s and associated illnesses. Though this instability often affected her social life, her literary productivity continued with few breaks throughout her life.

Bloomsbury



After the death of their father and Virginia's second nervous breakdown, Vanessa and Adrian sold 22 Hyde Park Gate and bought a house at 46 Gordon Square in Bloomsbury
Bloomsbury
-Places:* Bloomsbury is an area in central London.* Bloomsbury , related local government unit* Bloomsbury, New Jersey, New Jersey, USA* Bloomsbury , listed on the NRHP in Maryland...

.

Woolf came to know Lytton Strachey
Lytton Strachey
Giles Lytton Strachey was a British writer and critic. He is best known for establishing a new form of biography in which psychological insight and sympathy are combined with irreverence and wit...

, Clive Bell
Clive Bell
Arthur Clive Heward Bell was an English Art critic, associated with formalism and the Bloomsbury Group.- Origins :Clive Bell was born in East Shefford, Berkshire, in 1881...

, Rupert Brooke
Rupert Brooke
Rupert Chawner Brooke was an English poet known for his idealistic war sonnets written during the First World War, especially The Soldier...

, Saxon Sydney-Turner
Saxon Sydney-Turner
Saxon Arnold Sydney-TurnerMiddle name sometimes spelt, seemingly deliberately, as Arnoll was a member of the Bloomsbury Group who worked as a British civil servant throughout his life.-Early life:...

, Duncan Grant
Duncan Grant
Duncan James Corrowr Grant was a British painter and designer of textiles, potterty and theatre sets and costumes...

, Leonard Woolf
Leonard Woolf
Leonard Sidney Woolf was an English political theorist, author, publisher and civil servant, and husband of author Virginia Woolf.-Early life:...

 and Roger Fry
Roger Fry
Roger Eliot Fry was an English artist and art critic, and a member of the Bloomsbury Group. Establishing his reputation as a scholar of the Old Masters, he became an advocate of more recent developments in French painting, to which he gave the name Post-Impressionism...

, who together formed the nucleus of the intellectual circle of writers and artists known as the Bloomsbury Group
Bloomsbury Group
The Bloomsbury Group or Bloomsbury Set was a group of writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists who held informal discussions in Bloomsbury throughout the 20th century. This English collective of friends and relatives lived, worked or studied near Bloomsbury in London during the first half...

. Several members of the group attained notoriety in 1910 with the Dreadnought hoax
Dreadnought hoax
The Dreadnought Hoax was a practical joke pulled by Horace de Vere Cole in 1910. Cole tricked the Royal Navy into showing their flagship, the warship HMS Dreadnought to a supposed delegation of Abyssinian royals...

, which Virginia participated in disguised as a male Abyssinian
Ethiopian Empire
The Ethiopian Empire also known as Abyssinia, covered a geographical area that the present-day northern half of Ethiopia and Eritrea covers, and included in its peripheries Zeila, Djibouti, Yemen and Western Saudi Arabia...

 royal. Her complete 1940 talk on the Hoax was discovered and is published in the memoirs collected in the expanded edition of The Platform of Time (2008). In 1907 Vanessa married Clive Bell
Clive Bell
Arthur Clive Heward Bell was an English Art critic, associated with formalism and the Bloomsbury Group.- Origins :Clive Bell was born in East Shefford, Berkshire, in 1881...

, and the couple's interest in avant garde art would have an important influence on Woolf's development as an author.

Virginia Stephen married writer Leonard Woolf
Leonard Woolf
Leonard Sidney Woolf was an English political theorist, author, publisher and civil servant, and husband of author Virginia Woolf.-Early life:...

 in 1912. Despite his low material status (Woolf referring to Leonard during their engagement as a "penniless Jew") the couple shared a close bond. Indeed, in 1937, Woolf wrote in her diary: "Love-making – after 25 years can’t bear to be separate ... you see it is enormous pleasure being wanted: a wife. And our marriage so complete." The two also collaborated professionally, in 1917 founding the Hogarth Press
Hogarth Press
The Hogarth Press was founded in 1917 by Leonard Woolf and Virginia Woolf. It was named after their house in Richmond, in which they began hand-printing books....

, which subsequently published Virginia's novels along with works by T.S. Eliot, Laurens van der Post
Laurens van der Post
Sir Laurens Jan van der Post, CBE was a 20th century Afrikaner author of many books, farmer, war hero, political adviser to British heads of government, close friend of Prince Charles, godfather of Prince William, educator, journalist, humanitarian, philosopher, explorer, and...

, and others. The Press also commissioned works by contemporary artists, including Dora Carrington
Dora Carrington
Dora de Houghton Carrington , known generally as Carrington, was a British painter and decorative artist, remembered in part for her association with members of the Bloomsbury Group, especially the writer Lytton Strachey....

 and Vanessa Bell
Vanessa Bell
Vanessa Bell was an English painter and interior designer, a member of the Bloomsbury group, and the sister of Virginia Woolf.- Biography and art :...

.

The ethos of the Bloomsbury group encouraged a liberal approach to sexuality, and in 1922 she met the writer and gardener Vita Sackville-West
Vita Sackville-West
The Hon Victoria Mary Sackville-West, Lady Nicolson, CH , best known as Vita Sackville-West, was an English author, poet and gardener. She won the Hawthornden Prize in 1927 and 1933...

, wife of Harold Nicolson
Harold Nicolson
Sir Harold George Nicolson KCVO CMG was an English diplomat, author, diarist and politician. He was the husband of writer Vita Sackville-West, their unusual relationship being described in their son's book, Portrait of a Marriage.-Early life:Nicolson was born in Tehran, Persia, the younger son of...

. After a tentative start, they began a sexual relationship, which, according to Sackville- West, was only twice consummated. In 1928, Woolf presented Sackville-West with Orlando
Orlando: A Biography
Orlando: A Biography is an influential novel by Virginia Woolf, first published on 11 October 1928. A semi-biographical novel based in part on the life of Woolf's lover Vita Sackville-West, it is generally considered one of Woolf's most accessible novels...

, a fantastical biography in which the eponymous hero's life spans three centuries and both genders. Nigel Nicolson
Nigel Nicolson
Nigel Nicolson OBE was a British writer, publisher and politician.-Biography:Nicolson was the son of the writers Sir Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West; he had a brother Ben, later an art historian...

, Vita Sackville-West's son, wrote "The effect of Vita on Virginia is all contained in Orlando, the longest and most charming love letter in literature, in which she explores Vita, weaves her in and out of the centuries, tosses her from one sex to the other, plays with her, dresses her in furs, lace and emeralds, teases her, flirts with her, drops a veil of mist around her". After their affair ended, the two women remained friends until Woolf's death in 1941. Virginia Woolf also remained close to her surviving siblings, Adrian and Vanessa; Thoby had died of an illness at the age of 26.

Work


Woolf began writing professionally in 1900, initially for the Times Literary Supplement with a journalistic piece about Haworth
Haworth
Haworth is a rural village in the City of Bradford metropolitan borough of West Yorkshire, England. It is located amongst the Pennines, southwest of Keighley and west of Bradford. The surrounding areas include Oakworth and Oxenhope...

, home of the Brontë
Brontë
The Brontës were a nineteenth-century literary family associated with Haworth in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England. The sisters, Charlotte , Emily , and Anne , are well-known as poets and novelists...

 family. Her first novel, The Voyage Out
The Voyage Out
The Voyage Out is the first novel by Virginia Woolf, published in 1915 by Duckworth; and published in the U.S. in 1920 by Doran.Rachel Vinrace embarks for South America on her father's ship and is launched on a course of self-discovery in a kind of modern mythical voyage. The mismatched jumble of...

, was published in 1915 by her half-brother's imprint, Gerald Duckworth and Company Ltd
Gerald Duckworth and Company Ltd
-History:Founded in 1898 by Gerald Duckworth, Duckworth is an independent British publisher. It was important in the development of English literature in the first half of the twentieth century, being the publisher of figures such as Virginia Woolf , W. H. Davies, Anthony Powell, John Galsworthy...

. This novel was originally entitled Melymbrosia, but Woolf repeatedly changed the draft. An earlier version of The Voyage Out has been reconstructed by Woolf scholar Louise DeSalvo
Louise DeSalvo
Louise A. DeSalvo is an American writer, editor, professor, and lecturer who currently lives in New Jersey. Much of her work focuses on Italian-American culture, though she is also a renowned Virginia Woolf scholar.-Life:...

 and is now available to the public under the intended title. DeSalvo argues that many of the changes Woolf made in the text were in response to changes in her own life.

Woolf went on to publish novels and essays as a public intellectual to both critical and popular success. Much of her work was self-published through the Hogarth Press
Hogarth Press
The Hogarth Press was founded in 1917 by Leonard Woolf and Virginia Woolf. It was named after their house in Richmond, in which they began hand-printing books....

. She has been hailed as one of the greatest novelists of the twentieth century and one of the foremost modernists.

Woolf is considered one of the greatest innovators in the English language. In her works she experimented with stream-of-consciousness and the underlying psychological as well as emotional motives of characters. Woolf's reputation declined sharply after World War II, but her eminence was re-established with the surge of Feminist criticism
Feminist literary criticism
Feminist literary criticism is literary criticism informed by feminist theory, or by the politics of feminism more broadly. Its history has been broad and varied, from classic works of nineteenth-century women authors such as George Eliot and Margaret Fuller to cutting-edge theoretical work in...

 in the 1970s.

Woolf's work was criticised for epitomising the narrow world of the upper-middle class English intelligentsia. Some critics judged it to be lacking in universality and depth, without the power to communicate anything of emotional or ethical relevance to the disillusioned common reader, weary of the 1920s aesthetes. She was also criticised by some as an anti-semite, despite her being happily married to a Jewish man. This anti-semitism is drawn from the fact that she often wrote of Jewish characters in stereotypical archetypes and generalisations, including describing some of her Jewish characters as physically repulsive and dirty. The overwhelming and rising 1920s and 30s anti-semitism possibly influenced Virginia Woolf. She wrote in her diary, "I do not like the Jewish voice; I do not like the Jewish laugh." However, in a 1930 letter to the composer, Ethel Smyth
Ethel Smyth
Dame Ethel Mary Smyth, DBE was an English composer and a leader of the women's suffrage movement.- Early career :...

, quoted in Nigel Nicolson's biography, Virginia Woolf, she recollects her boasts of Leonard's Jewishness confirming her snobbish tendencies, "How I hated marrying a Jew- What a snob I was, for they have immense vitality." In another letter to her dear friend Ethel Smyth, Virginia gives a scathing denunciation of Christianity, seeing it as self-righteous "egotism" and stating "my Jew has more religion in one toe nail—more human love, in one hair." Virginia and her husband Leonard Woolf actually hated and feared 1930s fascism with its anti-semitism knowing they were on Hitler's blacklist. Her 1938 book Three Guineas
Three Guineas
Three Guineas is a book-length essay by Virginia Woolf, published in June 1938.-Background:Although Three Guineas is a work of non-fiction, it was initially conceived as a "novel-essay" which would tie up the loose ends left in her earlier work, A Room of One's Own...

 was an indictment of fascism.

Virginia Woolf's peculiarities as a fiction writer have tended to obscure her central strength: Woolf is arguably the major lyrical novelist in the English language. Her novels are highly experimental: a narrative, frequently uneventful and commonplace, is refracted—and sometimes almost dissolved—in the characters' receptive consciousness. Intense lyricism and stylistic virtuosity fuse to create a world overabundant with auditory and visual impressions.

The intensity of Virginia Woolf's poetic vision elevates the ordinary, sometimes banal settings – often wartime environments – of most of her novels. For example, Mrs Dalloway
Mrs Dalloway
Mrs Dalloway is a novel by Virginia Woolf that details a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway in post-World War I England. It is one of Woolf's best-known novels....

 (1925) centres on the efforts of Clarissa Dalloway, a middle-aged society woman, to organise a party, even as her life is paralleled with that of Septimus Warren Smith, a working-class veteran who has returned from the First World War bearing deep psychological scars.

To the Lighthouse
To the Lighthouse
To the Lighthouse is a novel by Virginia Woolf. A novel set on the Ramsays and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920, it skilfully manipulates temporal and psychological elements....

 (1927) is set on two days ten years apart. The plot centres around the Ramsay family's anticipation of and reflection upon a visit to a lighthouse and the connected familial tensions. One of the primary themes of the novel is the struggle in the creative process that beset painter Lily Briscoe while she struggles to paint in the midst of the family drama. The novel is also a meditation upon the lives of a nation's inhabitants in the midst of war, and of the people left behind. It also explores the passage of time, and how women are forced by society to allow men to take emotional strength from them.

Orlando
Orlando: A Biography
Orlando: A Biography is an influential novel by Virginia Woolf, first published on 11 October 1928. A semi-biographical novel based in part on the life of Woolf's lover Vita Sackville-West, it is generally considered one of Woolf's most accessible novels...

 (1928) is one of Virginia Woolf's lightest novels. A parodic biography of a young nobleman who lives for three centuries without aging much past thirty (but who does abruptly turn into a woman), the book is in part a portrait of Woolf's lover Vita Sackville-West
Vita Sackville-West
The Hon Victoria Mary Sackville-West, Lady Nicolson, CH , best known as Vita Sackville-West, was an English author, poet and gardener. She won the Hawthornden Prize in 1927 and 1933...

. It was meant to console Vita for the loss of her ancestral home, though it is also a satirical treatment of Vita and her work. In Orlando the techniques of historical biographers are being ridiculed; the character of a pompous biographer is being assumed in order for it to be mocked.

The Waves
The Waves
- External links :* The Waves, at wikilivres.info...

 (1931) presents a group of six friends whose reflections, which are closer to recitatives than to interior monologues proper, create a wave-like atmosphere that is more akin to a prose poem than to a plot-centered novel.

"Flush: A Biography" (1933) is a part fiction, part biography of the cocker spaniel owned by Victorian poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Elizabeth Barrett Browning was one of the most prominent poets of the Victorian era. Her poetry was widely popular in both England and the United States during her lifetime. A collection of her last poems was published by her husband, Robert Browning, shortly after her death.-Early life:Members...

. The book is written from the dog's point of view. Woolf was inspired to write this book from the success of the Rudolf Besier play, The Barretts of Wimpole Street
The Barretts of Wimpole Street
The Barretts of Wimpole Street is a 1934 American film depicting the real-life romance between poets Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning , despite the opposition of her father Edward Moulton-Barrett . The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture...

. In the play, Flush is on stage for much of the action. The play was produced for the first time in 1932 by actress Katharine Cornell
Katharine Cornell
Katharine Cornell was an American stage actress, writer, theater owner and producer. She was born to American parents and raised in Buffalo, New York.Cornell is known as the greatest American stage actress of the 20th century...

.

Her last work, Between the Acts
Between the Acts
Between the Acts is the final novel by Virginia Woolf, published in 1941 shortly after her suicide. This is a book laden with hidden meaning and allusion. It describes the mounting, performance, and audience of a festival play in a small English village just before the outbreak of the Second World...

 (1941) sums up and magnifies Woolf's chief preoccupations: the transformation of life through art, sexual ambivalence, and meditation on the themes of flux of time and life, presented simultaneously as corrosion and rejuvenation—all set in a highly imaginative and symbolic narrative encompassing almost all of English history. This book is the most lyrical of all her works, not only in feeling but in style, being chiefly written in verse. While Woolf's work can be understood as consistently in dialogue with Bloomsbury, particularly its tendency (informed by G.E. Moore, among others) towards doctrinaire rationalism, it is not a simple recapitulation of the coterie's ideals.

Her works have been translated into over 50 languages, by writers such as Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo , known as Jorge Luis Borges , was an Argentine writer, essayist, poet and translator born in Buenos Aires. In 1914 his family moved to Switzerland where he attended school, receiving his baccalauréat from the Collège de Genève in 1918. The family...

 and Marguerite Yourcenar
Marguerite Yourcenar
Marguerite Yourcenar was a Belgian-born French novelist and essayist. Winner of the Prix Femina and the Erasmus Prize, she was the first woman elected to the Académie française, in 1980, and the seventeenth person to occupy Seat 3.-Biography:Yourcenar was born Marguerite Antoinette Jeanne Marie...

.

Death


After completing the manuscript of her last (posthumously published) novel, Between the Acts
Between the Acts
Between the Acts is the final novel by Virginia Woolf, published in 1941 shortly after her suicide. This is a book laden with hidden meaning and allusion. It describes the mounting, performance, and audience of a festival play in a small English village just before the outbreak of the Second World...

, Woolf fell into a depression similar to that which she had earlier experienced. The onset of World War II, the destruction of her London home during the Blitz
The Blitz
The Blitz was the sustained strategic bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany between 7 September 1940 and 10 May 1941, during the Second World War. The city of London was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 76 consecutive nights and many towns and cities across the country followed...

, and the cool reception given to her biography of her late friend Roger Fry
Roger Fry
Roger Eliot Fry was an English artist and art critic, and a member of the Bloomsbury Group. Establishing his reputation as a scholar of the Old Masters, he became an advocate of more recent developments in French painting, to which he gave the name Post-Impressionism...

 all worsened her condition until she was unable to work. On 28 March 1941, Woolf put on her overcoat, filled its pockets with stones, and walked into the River Ouse
River Ouse, Sussex
The River Ouse is a river in the counties of West and East Sussex in England.-Course:The river rises near Lower Beeding and runs eastwards into East Sussex, meandering narrowly and turning slowly southward...

 near her home and drowned herself. Woolf's body was not found until 18 April 1941. Her husband buried her cremated remains under an elm in the garden of Monk's House
Monk's House
Monk's House is an 18th century weatherboarded cottage located in the village of Rodmell, three miles south-east of Lewes, East Sussex, England. The writer Virginia Woolf and her husband, the political activist, journalist and editor Leonard Woolf, purchased the house in 1919, and received many...

, their home in Rodmell
Rodmell
Rodmell is a small village and civil parish in the Lewes District of East Sussex, England. It is located three miles south-west of Lewes, on the Lewes to Newhaven road and is situated by the west banks of the River Ouse...

, Sussex.

In her last note to her husband she wrote:

Modern scholarship and interpretations


Recently, studies of Virginia Woolf have focused on feminist and lesbian
Lesbian
Lesbian is a term most widely used in the English language to describe sexual and romantic desire between females. The word may be used as a noun, to refer to women who identify themselves or who are characterized by others as having the primary attribute of female homosexuality, or as an...

 themes in her work, such as in the 1997 collection of critical essays, Virginia Woolf: Lesbian Readings, edited by Eileen Barrett and Patricia Cramer. Controversially, Louise A. DeSalvo
Louise DeSalvo
Louise A. DeSalvo is an American writer, editor, professor, and lecturer who currently lives in New Jersey. Much of her work focuses on Italian-American culture, though she is also a renowned Virginia Woolf scholar.-Life:...

 reads most of Woolf's life and career through the lens of the incestuous sexual abuse Woolf suffered as a young woman in her 1989 book Virginia Woolf: The Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on her Life and Work.

Woolf's fiction is also studied for its insight into shell shock
Shell Shock
Shell Shock, also known as 82nd Marines Attack was a 1964 film by B-movie director John Hayes. The film takes place in Italy during World War II, and tells the story of a sergeant with his group of soldiers....

, war, class
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...

 and modern British society. Her best-known nonfiction works, A Room of One's Own
A Room of One's Own
A Room of One's Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf. First published on 24 October 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women's colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928...

 (1929) and Three Guineas
Three Guineas
Three Guineas is a book-length essay by Virginia Woolf, published in June 1938.-Background:Although Three Guineas is a work of non-fiction, it was initially conceived as a "novel-essay" which would tie up the loose ends left in her earlier work, A Room of One's Own...

 (1938), examine the difficulties female writers and intellectuals face because men hold disproportionate legal and economic power and the future of women in education and society. In The Second Sex
The Second Sex
The Second Sex is one of the best-known works of the French existentialist Simone de Beauvoir. It is a work on the treatment of women throughout history and often regarded as a major work of feminist literature and the starting point of second-wave feminism. Beauvoir researched and wrote the book...

 (1949), Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir
Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir, often shortened to Simone de Beauvoir , was a French existentialist philosopher, public intellectual, and social theorist. She wrote novels, essays, biographies, an autobiography in several volumes, and monographs on philosophy, politics, and...

 counts, of all women who ever lived, only three female writers—Emily Brontë
Emily Brontë
Emily Jane Brontë 30 July 1818 – 19 December 1848) was an English novelist and poet, best remembered for her only novel, Wuthering Heights, now considered a classic of English literature. Emily was the third eldest of the four surviving Brontë siblings, between the youngest Anne and her brother...

, Woolf and "sometimes" Katherine Mansfield
Katherine Mansfield
Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp Murry was a prominent modernist writer of short fiction who was born and brought up in colonial New Zealand and wrote under the pen name of Katherine Mansfield. Mansfield left for Great Britain in 1908 where she encountered Modernist writers such as D.H. Lawrence and...

—who have explored "the given".

Irene Coates's book Who's Afraid of Leonard Woolf: A Case for the Sanity of Virginia Woolf holds that Leonard Woolf's treatment of his wife encouraged her ill health and ultimately was responsible for her death. This is not accepted by Leonard's family but is extensively researched and fills in some of the gaps in the traditional account of Virginia Woolf's life. Victoria Glendinning's book Leonard Woolf: A Biography, which is even more extensively researched and supported by contemporaneous writings, argues that Leonard Woolf was not only supportive of his wife but enabled her to live as long as she did by providing her with the life and atmosphere she needed to live and write. Virginia's own diaries support this view of the Woolfs' marriage.

Though at least one biography of Virginia Woolf appeared in her lifetime, the first authoritative study of her life was published in 1972 by her nephew Quentin Bell.

In 1992, Thomas Caramagno published the book The Flight of the Mind: Virginia Woolf's Art and Manic-Depressive Illness."

Hermione Lee
Hermione Lee
Hermione Lee, CBE is President of Wolfson College, Oxford and was lately Goldsmiths' Professor of English Literature in the University of Oxford and Professorial Fellow of New College. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Literature.-Biography:Hermione Lee grew up in...

's 1996 biography Virginia Woolf provides a thorough and authoritative examination of Woolf's life and work.

In 2001 Louise DeSalvo
Louise DeSalvo
Louise A. DeSalvo is an American writer, editor, professor, and lecturer who currently lives in New Jersey. Much of her work focuses on Italian-American culture, though she is also a renowned Virginia Woolf scholar.-Life:...

 and Mitchell A. Leaska edited The Letters of Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf.
Julia Briggs's Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life, published in 2005 is the most recent examination of Woolf's life. It focuses on Woolf's writing, including her novels and her commentary on the creative process, to illuminate her life. Thomas Szasz
Thomas Szasz
Thomas Stephen Szasz is a psychiatrist and academic. Since 1990 he has been Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, New York. He is a well-known social critic of the moral and scientific foundations of psychiatry, and of the social...

's book My Madness Saved Me: The Madness and Marriage of Virginia Woolf (ISBN 0-7658-0321-6) was published in 2006.

Rita Martin’s play Flores no me pongan (2006) considers Woolf's last minutes of life in order to debate polemical issues such as bisexuality, Jewishness and war. Written in Spanish, the play was performed in Miami under the direction of actress Miriam Bermudez.

Depictions



Michael Cunningham's 1998 Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

-winning novel The Hours
The Hours (novel)
The Hours is a 1998 novel written by Michael Cunningham. It won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the 1999 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and was later made into an Oscar-winning 2002 movie of the same name starring Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore.-Plot introduction:The book...

 focused on three generations of women affected by Woolf's novel Mrs Dalloway
Mrs Dalloway
Mrs Dalloway is a novel by Virginia Woolf that details a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway in post-World War I England. It is one of Woolf's best-known novels....

. In 2002, a film version
The Hours (film)
The Hours is a 2002 drama film directed by Stephen Daldry, and starring Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Ed Harris. The screenplay by David Hare is based on the 1999 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same title by Michael Cunningham....

 of the novel was released starring Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman
Nicole Mary Kidman, AC is an American-born Australian actress, singer, film producer, spokesmodel, and humanitarian. After starring in a number of small Australian films and TV shows, Kidman's breakthrough was in the 1989 thriller Dead Calm...

 as Woolf, a role for which she won the 2002 Academy Award for Best Actress
Academy Award for Best Actress
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

. The film also starred Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore is an American actress and a children's book author. Throughout her career, she has been nominated for four Oscars, six Golden Globes, three BAFTAs and nine Screen Actors Guild Awards....

 and Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
Mary Louise "Meryl" Streep is an American actress who has worked in theatre, television and film.Streep made her professional stage debut in 1971's The Playboy of Seville, before her screen debut in the television movie The Deadliest Season in 1977. In that same year, she made her film debut with...

 and featured an award-winning score by American composer Philip Glass
Philip Glass
Philip Glass is an American composer. He is considered to be one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century and is widely acknowledged as a composer who has brought art music to the public .His music is often described as minimalist, along with...

. Susan Sellers
Susan Sellers
Susan Sellers is a British author, translator, editor and novelist. She is Professor of English and Related Literature at the University of St Andrews, and co-General Editor of the Cambridge University Press edition of the writings of Virginia Woolf...

' novel Vanessa and Virginia (2008) explores the close sibling relationship between Woolf and her sister, Vanessa Bell. It was adapted for the stage by Elizabeth Wright in 2010 and first performed by Moving Stories Theatre Company.

Novels

  • The Voyage Out
    The Voyage Out
    The Voyage Out is the first novel by Virginia Woolf, published in 1915 by Duckworth; and published in the U.S. in 1920 by Doran.Rachel Vinrace embarks for South America on her father's ship and is launched on a course of self-discovery in a kind of modern mythical voyage. The mismatched jumble of...

     (1915)
  • Night and Day (1919)
  • Jacob's Room
    Jacob's Room
    Jacob's Room is the third novel by Virginia Woolf, first published on October 26th 1922.The novel centers, in a very ambiguous way, around the life story of the protagonist Jacob Flanders, and is presented entirely by the impressions other characters have of Jacob [except for those times when we do...

     (1922)
  • Mrs Dalloway
    Mrs Dalloway
    Mrs Dalloway is a novel by Virginia Woolf that details a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway in post-World War I England. It is one of Woolf's best-known novels....

     (1925)
  • To the Lighthouse
    To the Lighthouse
    To the Lighthouse is a novel by Virginia Woolf. A novel set on the Ramsays and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920, it skilfully manipulates temporal and psychological elements....

     (1927)
  • Orlando
    Orlando: A Biography
    Orlando: A Biography is an influential novel by Virginia Woolf, first published on 11 October 1928. A semi-biographical novel based in part on the life of Woolf's lover Vita Sackville-West, it is generally considered one of Woolf's most accessible novels...

     (1928)
  • The Waves
    The Waves
    - External links :* The Waves, at wikilivres.info...

     (1931)
  • The Years
    The Years
    The Years is a 1937 novel by Virginia Woolf, the last she published in her lifetime. It traces the history of the genteel Pargiter family from the 1880s to the "present day" of the mid-1930s....

     (1937)
  • Between the Acts
    Between the Acts
    Between the Acts is the final novel by Virginia Woolf, published in 1941 shortly after her suicide. This is a book laden with hidden meaning and allusion. It describes the mounting, performance, and audience of a festival play in a small English village just before the outbreak of the Second World...

     (1941)

Short story collections

  • Monday or Tuesday
    Monday or Tuesday
    Monday or Tuesday is a 1921 short story collection by Virginia Woolf published by The Hogarth Press. 1000 copies were printed with four full-page woodcuts by Vanessa Bell. Leonard Woolf called it one of the worst printed books ever published because of the typographical mistakes in it.. Most...

     (1921)
  • A Haunted House and Other Short Stories (1944)
  • Mrs Dalloway's Party (1973)
  • The Complete Shorter Fiction (1985)

"Biographies"


Virginia Woolf published three books to which she gave the subtitle "A Biography":
  • Orlando: A Biography
    Orlando: A Biography
    Orlando: A Biography is an influential novel by Virginia Woolf, first published on 11 October 1928. A semi-biographical novel based in part on the life of Woolf's lover Vita Sackville-West, it is generally considered one of Woolf's most accessible novels...

     (1928, usually characterised Novel, inspired by the life of Vita Sackville-West
    Vita Sackville-West
    The Hon Victoria Mary Sackville-West, Lady Nicolson, CH , best known as Vita Sackville-West, was an English author, poet and gardener. She won the Hawthornden Prize in 1927 and 1933...

    )
  • Flush: A Biography
    Flush: A Biography
    Flush: A Biography, an imaginative biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's cocker spaniel, is a cross-genre blend of fiction and nonfiction by Virginia Woolf published in 1933 and reprinted in 2005 by Persephone Books...

     (1933, more explicitly cross-genre: fiction as "stream of consciousness" tale by Flush, a dog; non-fiction in the sense of telling the story of the owner of the dog, Elizabeth Barrett Browning
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning was one of the most prominent poets of the Victorian era. Her poetry was widely popular in both England and the United States during her lifetime. A collection of her last poems was published by her husband, Robert Browning, shortly after her death.-Early life:Members...

    ), reprinted in 2005 by Persephone Books
    Persephone Books
    Persephone Books is an independent publisher based in Bloomsbury, London. Founded in 1999 by Nicola Beauman, Persephone has a catalogue of 93 "neglected novels, diaries, poetry, short stories, non-fiction, biography and cookery books, mostly by women and mostly dating from the early to...

  • Roger Fry: A Biography
    Roger Fry: A Biography
    Roger Fry: A Biography is a biography of Roger Fry written by Virginia Woolf....

     (1940, usually characterised non-fiction, however: "[Woolf's] novelistic skills worked against her talent as a biographer, for her impressionistic observations jostled uncomfortably with the simultaneous need to marshal a multitude of facts.")

Non-fiction books

  • Modern Fiction (1919)
  • The Common Reader (1925)
  • A Room of One's Own
    A Room of One's Own
    A Room of One's Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf. First published on 24 October 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women's colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928...

     (1929)
  • On Being Ill
    On Being Ill
    On Being Ill is an essay by Virginia Woolf that appeared in T. S. Eliot's The Criterion in January, 1926; The essay was later reprinted, with revisions, in Forum in April 1926, under the title Illness: An Unexploited Mine....

     (1930)
  • The London Scene (1931)
  • The Common Reader: Second Series (1932)
  • Three Guineas
    Three Guineas
    Three Guineas is a book-length essay by Virginia Woolf, published in June 1938.-Background:Although Three Guineas is a work of non-fiction, it was initially conceived as a "novel-essay" which would tie up the loose ends left in her earlier work, A Room of One's Own...

     (1938)
  • The Death of the Moth and Other Essays (1942)
  • The Moment and Other Essays (1947)
  • The Captain's Death Bed And Other Essays (1950)
  • Granite and Rainbow (1958)
  • Books and Portraits (1978)
  • Women And Writing (1979)
  • Collected Essays (four volumes)

Drama

  • Freshwater: A Comedy (performed in 1923, revised in 1935, and published in 1976)

Autobiographical writings and diaries

  • A Writer’s Diary (1953) – Extracts from the complete diary
  • Moments of Being
    Moments of Being
    Moments of Being is a collection of posthumously-published autobiographical essays by Virginia Woolf. The collection was first found in the papers of her husband, used by Quentin Bell in Woolf's biography, published in 1972. In 1976, they were edited for publication by Jeanne Schulkind. The...

     (1976)
  • A Moment's Liberty: the shorter diary (1990)
  • The Diary of Virginia Woolf (five volumes) – Diary of Virginia Woolf from 1915 to 1941
  • Passionate Apprentice: The Early Journals, 1897–1909 (1990)
  • Travels With Virginia Woolf (1993) – Greek travel diary of Virginia Woolf, edited by Jan Morris
  • The Platform of Time: Memoirs of Family and Friends, Expanded Edition, edited by S. P. Rosenbaum (London, Hesperus, 2008)

Letters

  • Congenial Spirits: The Selected Letters (1993)
  • The Letters of Virginia Woolf 1888–1941 (six volumes, 1975–1980)
  • Paper Darts: The Illustrated Letters of Virginia Woolf (1991)

Prefaces, contributions

  • Selections Autobiographical and Imaginative from the Works of George Gissing
    George Gissing
    George Robert Gissing was an English novelist who published twenty-three novels between 1880 and 1903. From his early naturalistic works, he developed into one of the most accomplished realists of the late-Victorian era.-Early life:...

     ed. Alfred C. Gissing
    Alfred Gissing
    Alfred Charles Gissing , was an English writer and headmaster, the son of George Gissing.-Childhood and education:...

    , with an introduction by Virginia Woolf (London & New York, 1929)

Photograph Albums


Biographies

  • Virginia Woolf by Nigel Nicolson
    Nigel Nicolson
    Nigel Nicolson OBE was a British writer, publisher and politician.-Biography:Nicolson was the son of the writers Sir Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West; he had a brother Ben, later an art historian...

    . New York, Penguin Group. 2000
  • Virginia Woolf: A Biography by Quentin Bell
    Quentin Bell
    Quentin Claudian Stephen Bell was an English art historian and author.Bell was the son of Clive Bell and Vanessa Bell , and the nephew of Virginia Woolf . He was educated in London and at the Quaker Leighton Park School.Principally an artist, as a potter, he was drawn to academia...

    . New York, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972; Revised editions 1990, 1996
  • "Vanessa and Virginia" by Susan Sellers
    Susan Sellers
    Susan Sellers is a British author, translator, editor and novelist. She is Professor of English and Related Literature at the University of St Andrews, and co-General Editor of the Cambridge University Press edition of the writings of Virginia Woolf...

     (Two Ravens, 2008; Harcourt 2009) [Fictional biography of Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell]
  • The Unknown Virginia Woolf by Roger Poole. Cambridge UP, 1978.
  • The Invisible Presence: Virginia Woolf and the Mother-Daughter Relationship by Ellen Bayuk Rosenman. Louisiana State University Press, 1986.
  • Virginia Woolf and the politics of style, by Pamela J. Transue. SUNY Press, 1986. ISBN 0887062865.
  • The Victorian heritage of Virginia Woolf: the external world in her novels, by Janis M. Paul. Pilgrim Books, 1987. ISBN 0937664731.
  • Virginia Woolf's To the lighthouse, by Harold Bloom. Chelsea House, 1988. ISBN 1555460348.
  • Virginia Woolf: the frames of art and life, by C. Ruth Miller. Macmillan, 1988. ISBN 0333448804.
  • Virginia Woolf: The Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Her Life and Work by Louise DeSalvo. Boston: Little Brown, 1989
  • A Virginia Woolf Chronology by Edward Bishop. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1989.
  • A Very Close Conspiracy: Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf by Jane Dunn. Boston: Little, Brown, 1990
  • Virginia Woolf: A Writer's Life by Lyndall Gordon
    Lyndall Gordon
    Lyndall Gordon is a South African writer and academic, known for her literary biographies. Born in Cape Town, she was an undergraduate at the University of Cape Town, then a doctoral student at Columbia University...

    . New York: Norton, 1984; 1991.
  • Virginia Woolf and war, by Mark Hussey. Syracuse University Press, 1991. ISBN 0815625375.
  • The Flight of the Mind: Virginia Woolf's Art and Manic-Depressive Illness by Thomas D. Caramago. Berkeley: U of California Press, 1992
  • Virginia Woolf by James King. NY: W.W. Norton, 1994.
  • Art and Affection: A Life of Virginia Woolf by Panthea Reid. New York: Oxford UP, 1996.
  • Virginia Woolf by Hermione Lee
    Hermione Lee
    Hermione Lee, CBE is President of Wolfson College, Oxford and was lately Goldsmiths' Professor of English Literature in the University of Oxford and Professorial Fellow of New College. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Literature.-Biography:Hermione Lee grew up in...

    . New York: Knopf, 1997.
  • Granite and Rainbow: The Hidden Life of Virginia Woolf by Mitchell Leaska. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998.
  • The Feminist Aesthetics of Virginia Woolf, by Jane Goldman. Cambridge University Press, 2001. ISBN 0521794587.
  • Virginia Woolf and the nineteenth-century domestic novel, by Emily Blair. SUNY Press, 2002. ISBN 0791471195.
  • Virginia Woolf: becoming a writer, by Katherine Dalsimer. Yale University Press, 2002. ISBN 0300092083.
  • Virginia Woolf: The Will to Create as a Woman by Ruth Gruber
    Ruth Gruber
    Ruth Gruber is an American journalist, photographer, writer, humanitarian and a former United States government official.-Early life:...

    . New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2005
  • My Madness Saved Me: The Madness and Marriage of Virginia Woolf by Thomas Szasz
    Thomas Szasz
    Thomas Stephen Szasz is a psychiatrist and academic. Since 1990 he has been Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, New York. He is a well-known social critic of the moral and scientific foundations of psychiatry, and of the social...

    , 2006
  • Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life, by Julia Briggs. Harcourt, 2006. ISBN 0156032295.
  • The Bedside, Bathtub and Armchair Companion to Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury by Sarah M. Hall, Continuum Publishing, 2007
  • Virginia Woolf and the Visible World, by Emily Dalgarno. Cambridge University Press, 2007. ISBN 0521033608,.
  • A Life of One's Own: A Guide to Better Living through the Work and Wisdom of Virginia Woolf by Ilana Simons, New York: Penguin Press, 2007
  • Sudden Endings: 13 Profiles in Depth of Famous Suicides by M. J. Meaker, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1964, pp. 250–269: "The Fatal Game: Virginia Woolf".

External links