75 Year anniversary of Virginia Woolf’s death

Virginia_Woolf_1927It’s a tragic story. Dogged by what is now thought to be bipolar disorder, Virginia Woolf famously committed suicide by filling her coat pockets with stones and walking into the River Ouse  on 28 March 1941 aged 59. Her body was not found until 18 April.

In her last note to her husband she wrote:

Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that—everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer. I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been. V.

Virginia Woolf was a significant literary figure, a member of the influential Bloomsbury Group of intellectuals that also included Leonard Woolf, Clive and Vanessa Bell, EM Forster, John Maynard Keyes, Lytton Strachey among others.

Her best-known works are Mrs Dalloway, To the LighthouseOrlando, and the book-length essay A Room of One’s Own, with its famous dictum, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

Suggested further reading – on wikipedia here. Do a Subject search using the term Woolf, Virginia on the Blue Mountains City Library catalogue and find many more including Virginia Woolf: a beginner’s guide.

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