Virginia Woolf: Biography

Virginia Woolf

25 jan 1882

Adeline Virginia Woolf (née Stephen) was born on 25 Jan, 1882 in London, UK. She was a great novelist and a pioneer in modern English Literature. Virginia’s father Leslie Stephen was the first editor of the Dictionary of National Biography. Her mother Julia Jackson was a nurse and written a book on her profession. So naturally Virginia got attracted to art and literature.

Virginia’s parents were widowers before marrying each other. So Virginia’s half-brother and sisters also stayed in the same house where they lived. Girls in the family got educated at home. But they utilised their family library to enrich their knowledge. Virginia started writing at the age of nine in their family newspaper featuring the fun incidents at home.

Virginia’s first novel ‘The Voyage Out’ got published in 1915. Virginia’s novels were appreciated to have a non-linear approach. She has written 15 novels and many short stories. Best among her works are ‘Mrs. Dalloway’, ‘To the Lighthouse’, ‘Orlando’ and an essay ‘A room of one’s own’.

Virginia got depressed when she lost her father. She got nervous breakdown when her half-sister and mother passed away. Trying to get over depression, Virginia attended College to learn German, Greek and Latin. With the help of her siblings, she got in touch with the Bloomsbury Group which had a group of intellectuals and artists. Virginia met Leonard Woolf who was also a member of the group. They both fell in love and got married in 1912.

Virginia and Leonard Woolf together founded the Hogarth Press which gave oppurtunity to budding writers publish their articles. Virginia was a guest lecturer at various colleges and universities. Inspite of her engagement level, she could not overcome depression. Finally when there was a threat to Leonard’s life by Nazis, Virginia unable to think of another loss committed suicide by drowning into River Ouse. Her novel ‘A Writer’s Diary’ got published after her death.

Virginia Woolf was one of the famous authors of the 21st century. Even though her life ended at the age of 59, she established herself to be an innovative writer. Her suicidal note itself is a proof of her artistic talent.