Welcome to the Virginia Woolf Blog!

This website is a resource for Virginia Woolf fans all over the world. Here you can explore the life and legacy of Virginia Woolf.

Virginia Woolf (January 25, 1882 – March 28, 1941) was a British writer born and raised in London, England. She was one of the most famous writers of the modernist era and wrote many best-selling books such as Mrs. Dalloway, A Room of One’s Own and To The Lighthouse.

The goal of the Virginia Woolf Blog is to celebrate Woolf’s life and work and give readers a clearer understanding of what she was really like. Using passages from Woolf’s diaries, letters and various biographies, the blog aims to show readers the real Virginia Woolf, not the tragic figure many people see her as.

The following are some notable aspects of Virginia Woolf’s life:

Virginia Woolf’s Books

Virginia Woolf wrote many books including 10 novels and a number of nonfiction books. Many of these books became and remain best-sellers and have cemented Woolf’s reputation as one of the great writers of the 20th century. Woolf’s novels were written with the stream-of-consciousness literary technique which focuses more on the character’s inner thoughts than on the plot.

Woolf’s first novel, The Voyage Out, was published in 1915 and her last novel, Between the Acts, was published posthumously a few months after her death in 1941.

Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group

The Bloomsbury Group was a group of artists and writers from the Bloomsbury District in London during the early 20th century. Virginia Woolf was one of the most notable members of this group. The other members included Leonard Woolf, Vanessa Bell, E.M. Forster, Lytton Strachey, Roger Fry, Clive Bell, John Maynard Keynes, Duncan Grant and Desmond McCarthy.

The group was famous for being one of the first literary groups that openly supported gay rights, women in the arts, pacifism, uninhibited sexuality and many other social and political issues.

Virginia Woolf’s Family

Virginia Woolf came from an artistic and well-connected family. Her father, Sir Leslie Stephen, was a notable author, editor, historian and outdoorsman who was close friends with author William Thackeray and philospher George Henry Lewes. Her mother Julia Jackson was the niece of notable 19th century photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. Woolf’s godfather was the American writer James Russell Lowell. Woolf’s siblings, nieces and nephews were all accomplished artists and writers as well.

The Marriage of Virginia Woolf and Leonard Woolf

Virginia Woolf (whose maiden name was Stephen) met Leonard Woolf around 1900. Leonard Woolf was a college friend of Virginia’s older brother Thoby. Virginia and Leonard didn’t begin dating until 1911 and then married in 1912. They remained married until her death in 1941.

Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West

Vita Sackville-West was a poet, aristocrat and Woolf’s lover. It is speculated that Woolf had previous relationships with women but Sackville-West is the only women she acknowledged having a romantic relationship with. Sackville-West served as the inspiration behind Woolf’s novel Orlando.

Virginia Woolf’s Death

Virginia Woolf is believed to have suffered from bipolar disorder and attempted suicide a number of times throughout her life. She underwent many different types of treatments and managed her condition well enough to live a very productive life. In the spring of 1941, while suffering from another bought of depression she drowned herself in the River Ouse near her house.
Virginia Woolf Blog

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17 thoughts on “

  1. Tanya Hull

    My name is Tanya Norton. Virginia Woolf was my great aunt. My grandfather was Edgar Woolf who was Leonard Woolf’s brother. I wonder if you can help me find out something about Zosia Woolf my grandmother. I’ve seen a picture in Monks house with Zosia, Leonard, Edgar And Virginia but can’t find out anything other than that. IFor anybody can help me it would be amazing. Thanks

  2. Barry F.

    Hi there. I’ve just done a bit of poking around in the official records. This is probably nothing you didn’t know already, but. . .

    Edgar Sidney Woolf, born Kensington 16 October 1883, was married twice. First to Sylvia Ross in 1914 in Wandsworth: She was born in 1891 and died in 1953.

    He then married Zosia Marie Norton nee Branson in 1955 in Uckfield, East Sussex. She had been married in 1921 in Chelsea to Selby Norton (1878-1950). Her date of birth is given as 8 August 1899, but she;s one of those annoying people who according to the records were never born. With a name like that she could have been registered as anything (on her marriage certificate to Edgar Woolf she’s called ZoRia), but she doesn’t appear as anything like Zosia Branson in either the 1901 or 1911 Censuses. Zosia is a Polish name, I think, so she could have been a recent immigrant during or after World War 1, but Branson? I don’t know. They both died in 1981.

    Anyway, unless Edgar and Zosia’s liaison was of long standing before they were married, I doubt if she could have been pictured with him and the Woolves at Monks House, but what do I know? I know he didn’t get on with Leonard, though there are one or two pictures of them together in old age.

    Hope this helps a bit, anyway.

    1. Gary Campbell

      My earlier post about researching Selby Norton seems to have disappeared. He was working as a stockbroker in 1915 for the firm of Woolf Christie & Co. I was wondering if this firm had any connection to Edgar Sydney Woolf. So far, my searches haven’t found anything but who knows?

  3. Suanne Huffman

    Tanya, is it possible to use a photo of Virginia Woolf from your blog for my project without copyright infringement? I’d appreciate it very much!
    Suanne Huffman, Marion,IA

  4. Kate

    Hi! I am trying to write a paper/speech on Virginia’s “A Room of One’s Own” and it’s impact on 2oth century literature but am having a hard time finding information I am looking for. If anyone can help me with specific examples and ideas I’d really appreciate it;) thank you!

  5. Alis

    Hello everyone!
    I love Virginia’s writing, her ideas, her language.
    I just found out about this blog and it is really well done!

  6. Leslie John Vaizey

    I am preparing a presentation called ; The Sea and it’s Ambiguities. It discusses common themes found in the works of PB Shelley, Herman Melville, Virginia Woolf and Jean Giono. One theme which seems to interest all of them is the tragedy of Beatrice Cenci and the famous painting attributed to Guido Reni. There is of course the famous photograh of Julia Margaret Cameron ( Virginia’s aunt) of a model representing Beatrix Cenci.
    Do you know of any interest that Virginia might have had with this story, which she must have known ( from Shelley’s Play) and the Incest motive should have touched her, I guess ?
    Any help with this subject would be great ! Many thanks

  7. beatriz arias

    My name is Beatriz. I am from Argentina and last year I finished my thesis on Viriginia Woolf’s novels seen from Deconstructive (Derrida) and Postcolonial( Glisant) perspectives. I think you may be interested in publishing it or to make it circulate. According to my tutor and the professors on board it intorduces an innovative view. The novels I dealt with are Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, The Waves and The Voayage Out. The thesis demonstrates the relevance of theuse of silences in Woolf’s works.
    I would really be thankful if you could help me! I am really devoted to Virginia Woolf.!
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Rebecca Beatrice Brooks Post author

      Yes, I am definitely interested in your thesis. I would love to publish it on the blog if it isn’t too long. If it is too long, I’m sure there’s something we can do with it.

  8. Lavinia Capogna

    Hello great blog. Congratulations. I am an Italian writer, poet and director and I wrote an article about Virginia Woolf some years ago. She is much loved in Italy.

  9. Sandie Schelm

    I am just now learning about her and her work! I want to “know” her as a woman, not just an author. I appreciate this blog. Tks, S.

  10. Peter Woodsum

    Dear Rebecca,

    I just happened onto your website and wanted to appreciate you for your kind words about Virginia’s full, rich life in defiance of those unsympathetic commentators on her suicide. It’s so good always to find allies for those who have gone on ahead. Virginia has been a life-line for me during difficult times when I felt I was going under. A couple summers past I read Jacob’s Room four times consecutively. I couldn’t let go. And I’ve obsessively read Mrs. Dalloway many times because I identify strongly with Septimus Warren Smith and his heartbreaking PTSD. Sometimes it’s enough just to have Virginia’s books in my briefcase. She’s there looking out for me.

  11. Gary Campbell

    I am pleased to find this blog! Until now, I have not been able to establish the link between Selby Norton, Zosia and Edgar Woolf. You have laid it out very clearly for me. Thank you!

  12. john manthorpe

    Re Edgar and Zosia Woolf and earlier posts by Tanya Hull, Barry F and Gary Campbell .

    If it is of interest my wife and I bought our house in the AshdownForest in 1982 from the personal representatives of Zosia Woolf.
    It was the home of Edgar Woolf and his wife Zosia from 1964 until their deaths in 1981 – a lovely house which Edgar described in a letter to his brother Leonard as having the finest view in Sussex.


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