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Virginia Woolf's Biography

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Virginia Woolf (January 25, 1882 - March 28, 1941) was a British author and feminist. Between the world wars, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury group.

Table of contents
1 Life and Work
2 Modern Scholarship
3 Bibliography
3.1 Novels
3.2 Other Fiction
3.3 Essays

Life and Work

Born Adeline Virginia Stephen in London, Woolf was brought up and educated at home. In 1895, following the death of her mother, she had the first of numerous nervous breakdowns. She later claimed to have been frequently molested by Gerald Duckworth, her half-brother, and to have suffered psychologically from the experience. Following the death of her father (Sir Leslie Stephen, an editor and literary critic) in 1904, she moved with her sister, Vanessa, and two brothers to a house in Bloomsbury.

She began writing professionally in 1905, initially for the Times Literary Supplement. In 1912 she married Leonard Woolf, a civil servant and political theorist. Her first novel, The Voyage Out, was published in 1915. Her novels are considered revolutionary as they pioneered literary modernism.

Virginia Woolf is considered a leading modernist, and one of the greatest innovators in the English language. She has experimented with, in her works, stream-of-consciousness, underlying psychological as well as emotional motives of characters, and the various possibilities of fractured narrative and chronology. She has, in the words of one critic, pushed the English language "a little further against the dark", and her literary achievements and creativity are of influence even today.

Woolf committed suicide, by drowning herself. She filled her pockets with stones, and jumped into the Ouse River, near her home in Rodmell. She left a suicide note for her husband: "I have a feeling I shall go mad. I cannot go on longer in these terrible times. I shan't recover this time. I hear voices and cannot concentrate on my work. I have fought against it but cannot fight any longer. I owe all my happiness to you but cannot go on and spoil your life."
Modern Scholarship Recently, studies of Virginia Woolf have focused on feminist and lesbian themes in her work, such as in the 1997 collection of critical essays, Virginia Woolf: Lesbian Readings, edited by Eileen Barrett and Patricia Cramer. Her fiction is also studied for its insight into shell shock, war, class, and modern British society. Her best-known nonfiction work, notably A Room of One's Own and Three Guineas, discusses female education and the possibility for female authors' entry into the Western literary canon.

In 2002, The Hours, a film based on Woolf's life and the effect of her novel Mrs. Dalloway, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. It did not win, but Nicole Kidman was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Woolf in the movie. The film was adapted from Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1998 novel of the same name. The Hours was Woolf's working title for Mrs. Dalloway.


* The Voyage Out (1915)
* Night and Day (1919)
* Jacob's Room (1920)
* Mrs. Dalloway (1925)
* To the Lighthouse (1927)
* The Waves (1931)
* The Years (1937)
* Between the Acts (1941)

Other Fiction

* Monday or Tuesday (1921)
* Orlando: a Biography (1928)
* Flush: a Biography (1933)
* A Haunted House and Other Stories (1943)


* A Room of One's Own (1929)
* Three Guineas (1931)

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