Woolf, (Adeline) Virginia

Woolf, (Adeline) Virginia

biographical name

(born Jan. 25, 1882, London, Eng.—died March 28, 1941, near Rodmell, Sussex) British novelist and critic. Daughter of Leslie Stephen, she and her sister became the early nucleus of the Bloomsbury group. She married Leonard Woolf in 1912; in 1917 they founded the Hogarth Press. Her best novels—including Mrs. Dalloway (1925) and To the Lighthouse (1927)—are experimental; in them she examines the human experience of time, the indefinability of character, and external circumstances as they impinge on consciousness. Orlando (1928) is a historical fantasy about a single character who experiences England from the Elizabethan era to the early 20th century, and The Waves (1931), perhaps her most radically experimental work, uses interior monologue and recurring images to trace the inner lives of six characters. Such works confirmed her place among the major figures of literary modernism. Her best critical studies are collected in The Common Reader (1925, 1932). Her long essay A Room of One's Own (1929) addressed the status of women, and women artists in particular. Her other novels include Jacob's Room (1922), The Years (1937), and Between the Acts (1941). She also wrote a biography of Roger Fry. Her health and mental stability were delicate throughout her life; in a recurrence of mental illness, she drowned herself. Her diaries and correspondence have been published in several editions.


Woolf, (Adeline) Virginia orig. Adeline Virginia Stephen

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