Virginia Woolf’s Family Connection to Marie Antoinette

Although Virginia Woolf was a well-known Englishwoman, her family had a surprising connection to French aristocracy. Woolf had French roots on her mother’s side of the family and was a direct descendant of one of Marie Antoinette’s personal attendants, a man named Chevalier Pierre Ambrose Antoine de L’Etang. Woolf was De L’Etang’s great-great granddaughter. Born … Read more

Virginia Woolf’s Suicide Note

When Virginia Woolf died by suicide on March 28, 1941, she left behind three suicides notes, two for her husband Leonard and one for her sister, Vanessa. The notes provide some insight into Virginia’s possible motives for suicide and shed some light on her mental sate at the time. Virginia’s Notes to Leonard Woolf: Virginia … Read more

Virginia Woolf on Henry David Thoreau

In July of 1917, Virginia Woolf wrote an article commemorating the 100th anniversary of Henry David Thoreau’s birth for the Times Literary Supplement. Woolf was an admirer of American writers like Thoreau and felt American writers were more inventive and adventurous than any British writer to date. What is interesting about this essay is that, … Read more

Leonard Woolf: Life After Virginia

Virginia Woolf’s death in March of 1941 brought an end to her 29-year-long marriage to Leonard Woolf. After her death was announced in the press, Leonard, who had nursed Virginia through many years of mental breakdowns and suicide attempts, received a flood of condolence letters from friends and fans, yet he was inconsolable. According to … Read more

Virginia Woolf & Vita Sackville-West

Virginia Woolf met fellow writer Vita Sackville-West in the early 1920s, the two women began a romantic affair that lasted for a number of years. Virginia and Vita first met at a dinner party hosted by Virginia’s brother-in-law, Clive Bell, on December 14, 1922. After learning that Vita was a writer, Virginia invited her to … Read more

The Marriage of Virginia and Leonard Woolf

Virginia Woolf, whose maiden name was Stephen, and Leonard Woolf first met while Virginia was visiting her brother Thoby at Trinity college around the year 1900. Noting the white dress and parasol she wore the day they met, Leonard declared she looked like “the most Victorian of Victorian young ladies.” The smart and beautiful young … Read more

Virginia Woolf’s Suicide

When Virginia Woolf left her house on the last day of her life on March 28 in 1941, she left behind a note to Vanessa Bell, her sister, and a note to Leonard Woolf, her husband. The notes hinted that Virginia was going to kill herself but didn’t say how or where. Little did she … Read more

Virginia Woolf Timeline

The following is a timeline of events in Virginia Woolf’s life: 1878: On March 26, 1878, Leslie Stephen marries Julia Prinsep Duckworth. 1879: On May 30, 1879, Vanessa Stephen is born to Leslie Stephen and Julia Prinsep Duckworth at Hyde Park Gate in London, England. 1880: On September 8, 1880, Julian Thoby Stephen is born … Read more

Virginia Woolf & the Bloomsbury Group

The Bloomsbury Group was a circle of writers, artists and intellectuals from the Bloomsbury district of London. Bloomsbury Group Members: The Bloomsbury Group originally started off with 10 members and later expanded: Virginia Woolf, writer E.M. Forster, writer Lytton Strachey, writer Leonard Woolf, writer Roger Fry, artist Vanessa Bell, artist Clive Bell, art critic John … Read more