Virginia Woolf

Novelist, Author

1882 – 1941

84

Who was Virginia Woolf?

Adeline Virginia Woolf was an English writer, and one of the foremost modernists of the twentieth century.

During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a central figure in the influential Bloomsbury Group of intellectuals. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway, To the Lighthouse and Orlando, 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." Woolf suffered from severe bouts of mental illness throughout her life, thought to have been the result of what is now termed bipolar disorder and committed suicide by drowning in 1941 at the age of 59.

Famous Quotes:

  • As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.
  • Mental fight means thinking against the current, not with it. It is our business to puncture gas bags and discover the seeds of truth.
  • It would be a thousand pities if women wrote like men, or lived like men, or looked like men, for if two sexes are quite inadequate, considering the vastness and variety of the world, how should we manage with one only? Ought not education to bring out and fortify the differences rather than the similarities? For we have too much likeness as it is, and if an explorer should come back and bring word of other sexes looking through the branches of other trees at other skies, nothing would be of greater service to humanity; and we should have the immense pleasure into the bargain of watching Professor X rush for his measuring-rods to prove himself superior.
  • If you insist upon fighting to protect me, or our country, let it be understood soberly and rationally between us that you are fighting to gratify a sex instinct which I cannot share; to procure benefits which I have not shared and probably will not share.
  • When the shriveled skin of the ordinary is stuffed out with meaning, it satisfies the senses amazingly.
  • Publicity in women is detestable. Anonymity runs in their blood. The desire to be veiled still possesses them. They are not even now as concerned about the health of their fame as men are, and, speaking generally, will pass a tombstone or a signpost without feeling an irresistible desire to cut their names on it.
  • Different though the sexes are, they inter-mix. In every human being a vacillation from one sex to the other takes place, and often it is only the clothes that keep the male or female likeness, while underneath the sex is very opposite of what it is above.
  • When a subject is highly controversial... one cannot hope to tell the truth. One can only show how one came to hold whatever opinion one does hold. One can only give one's audience the chance of drawing their own conclusions as they observe the limitations, the prejudices, the idiosyncrasies of the speaker.
  • I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in.
  • We can best help you to prevent war not by repeating your words and following your methods but by finding new words and creating new methods.

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Born
Jan 25, 1882
Kensington
Also known as
  • Virginia Stephen
  • Adeline Virginia Woolf
Parents
Siblings
Spouses
Nationality
  • England
Profession
Education
  • King's College London
Died
Mar 28, 1941
River Ouse, Sussex

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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"Virginia Woolf." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 13 Aug. 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/virginia_woolf>.

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