Virginia Woolf, born Adeline Virginia Stephen in London on January 25, 1882 into what she described as a very communicative, literate world, was arguably one of the greatest thinkers and writers of our time. While she is best known for her groundbreaking novels such as Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and Orlando, she was also a master essayist, diarist, and writer of short stories.
Woolf’s experimental style and illuminating candor transformed the art of the narrative and the essay form. In her most notable nonfiction work, A Room of One’s Own, Woolf examines the struggles and future of female writers and intellectuals and women’s role in society.
The diaries and letters Woolf wrote during the course of her life reveal her wit, humor, and depth of her emotional capacity, as well as the dark gloom that haunted her and made her long for death.
The collection of Woolf’s only autobiographical writings, Moments of Being, provides fascinating insight into this remarkably gifted and tormented woman. Woolf committed suicide on March 28, 1941 at the age of 59.
Portrait by George Charles Beresford, 1902