Virginia Woolf

Standard Name: Woolf, Virginia
Birth Name: Adeline Virginia Stephen
Nickname: Ginia
Married Name: Adeline Virginia Woolf
Thousands of readers over three or four generations have known that Virginia Woolf was—by a beadle—denied access to the library of a great university. They may have known, too, that she was a leading intellect of the twentieth century. If they are feminist readers they will know that she thought . . . back through her mothers and also sideways through her sisters and that she contributed more than any other in the twentieth century to the recovery of women's writing.
Marcus, Jane. “Introduction”. New Feminist Essays on Virginia Woolf, edited by Jane Marcus, Macmillan, p. i - xx.
Educated in her father's library and in a far more than usually demanding school of life, she radically altered the course not only of the English tradition but also of the several traditions of literature in English.
Froula, Christine. Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Avant-Garde. Columbia University Press.
She wrote prodigiously—nine published novels, as well as stories, essays (including two crucial books on feminism, its relation to education and to war), diaries, letters, biographies (both serious and burlesque), and criticism. As a literary journalist in a wide range of forums, she addressed the major social issues of her time in more than a million words.
Woolf, Virginia. “Introduction; Editorial Note”. The Essays of Virginia Woolf, edited by Andrew McNeillie, Hogarth Press, pp. vols. 1 - 4: various pages.
She left a richly documented life in words, inventing a modern fiction, theorising modernity, writing the woman into the picture. She built this outstandingly influential work, which has had its impact on both writing and life, on her personal experience, and her fictions emerge to a striking degree from her life, her gender, and her moment in history. In a sketch of her career written to Ethel Smyth she said that a short story called An Unwritten Novelwas the great discovery . . . . That—again in one second—showed me how I could embody all my deposit of experience in a shape that fitted it.
Woolf, Virginia. The Letters of Virginia Woolf. Editors Nicolson, Nigel and Joanne Trautmann, Hogarth Press.
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Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Education Dorothy Brett
Brett proved an exceptional Slade student. She received first prize for figure painting in her final year. She particularly drew the attention of two of her instructors, Henry Tonks andFrederick Brown . She was...
Education Q. D. Leavis
Queenie also was known for her bookish habits: her tastes ran especially to Henry James , along with the journals the New Statesman, The Spectator, the Times Literary Supplement, and Time and...
Education Flannery O'Connor
In summer 1945 Mary Flannery O'Connor graduated from Georgia College (describing it in the yearbook as [t]he usual bunk).
Gooch, Brad. Flannery. Little, Brown and Co.
She applied to two universities, and the University of Iowa offered her a scholarship...
Education Olivia Manning
At home Olivia was encouraged to love poetry, learned to read by the time she was four, and was later subjected to piano lessons which taught her nothing. As a teenager and thinking of herself...
Education Harold Pinter
Books borrowed from Hackney Public Library were also important to HP 's education: the moderns (Woolf , Lawrence , Hemingway , Eliot ), and also Dostoyevsky .
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray et al., editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Education Helen Dunmore
While HD was growing up she read a lot of Russian fiction and poetry.
McCrum, Robert. “The Siege is a novel for now”. The Observer.
The poems of Osip Mandelstam were her talismans.
McCrum, Robert. “The Siege is a novel for now”. The Observer.
The books that she read, she says, made me, as a person...
Education Fay Weldon
Fay attended another progressive establishment, the co-educational Burgess Hill School , which she found absurd, not only noisy and disorderly but actively anti-academic. The best thing about it was being taught English briefly by the...
Education Toni Morrison
Chloe Wofford (later TM ) followed her BA with an MA in English Literature from Cornell University , with a thesis on suicide in Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner .
Blain, Virginia et al., editors. The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present. Yale University Press; Batsford.
Innes, Lyn. “Toni Morrison Obituary”.
Education Mary Kingsley
She was always insecure about her lack of formal education. In Three GuineasVirginia Woolf uses MK 's situation as an example to illustrate her thesis that the daughters of educated men received an unpaid-for...
Education Maggie Gee
This ran to 140,000 words. Looking back, she wrote, I felt like a camel, awkwardly humping a huge top-heavy burden of words across the desert. At every step, something more truthful, wilder, simpler or more...
Education Ann Quin
Yet at this time books discovered in the public library taught her the possibilities in writing: Greek and Elizabethan dramatists. Dostoievsky (Crime and Punishment and Virginia Woolf 's The Waves . ....
Education Kathleen Raine
KR was very impressed by the occasion on which Virginia Woolf , accompanied by Vita Sackville-West , gave her paper A Room of One's Own to the Girton Literary Society before its publication. She was...
Education Rumer Godden
RG 's determination to become a writer fuelled a continued self-education. Books were hard to come by in India, yet she managed to find and devour recent publications: Edith Sitwell 's Troy Park and Façade...
Education Doris Lessing
Before attending school and after she left, Doris educated herself by reading. Her parents possessed copies of the classics, like Scott , Dickens , and Kipling . She read widely in the nineteenth century—her favourites...
Education Margaret Forster
As a very small child MF was noisy and demanding and given to tantrums.
Forster, Margaret. Hidden Lives. Viking.
At two she talked in long sentences . . . and never stopped asking questions and wanting to try to...


1904: Madame C. de Broutelles founded the Prix...

Writing climate item


Madame C. de Broutelles founded the Prix Femina Vie Heureuse, a prestigious French literary prize awarded by a jury of twelve women. A. Mary F. Robinson (an English writer living in France) was a co-founder.

1907: Edmund Gosse anonymously published Father...

Writing climate item


Edmund Gosse anonymously published Father and Son, an autobiography of his early years which presents his father, the scientist Philip Gosse , as an oppressive, small-minded bigot.
Birch, Dinah. “Fond Father”. London Review of Books, pp. 3-5.

1 November 1907: The British Museum's reading room reopened...

Building item

1 November 1907

The British Museum 's reading room reopened after being cleaned and redecorated; the dome was embellished with the names of canonical male writers, beginning with Chaucer and ending with Browning .

6 May 1910: King Edward VII died, and George V assumed...

National or international item

6 May 1910

King Edward VII died, and George V assumed the throne; Virginia Woolf dated a section of The Years from the old king's death.

6 November 1910: Roger Fry organised the Manet and Post-Impressionists...

Building item

6 November 1910

Roger Fry organised the Manet and Post-Impressionists exhibition at the Grafton Galleries , which presented the art of Cézanne , Gauguin , Matisse , and Picasso to London for the first time.

4 October 1911: The first electric escalators in the UK were...

Building item

4 October 1911

The first electric escalators in the UK were installed, at Earl's Court underground station, London.

June 1913: At the invitation of Margaret Llewelyn Davies,...

Women writers item

June 1913

At the invitation of Margaret Llewelyn Davies , Virginia Woolf attended the Women's Co-operative Guild Congress in Newcastle.

After 18 February 1914: Leonard Woolf published his second novel,...

Writing climate item

After 18 February 1914

Leonard Woolf published his second novel, The Wise Virgins (which he had begun to write on his honeymoon). Quite different in genre from his first, it is a roman à clef reputedly presenting harsh caricatures...

28 April-1 May 1915: At the International Women's Peace Congress...

National or international item

28 April-1 May 1915

At the International Women's Peace Congress in The Hague, thirteen hundred women delegates from twelve countries founded the International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace ; it became the Women's International League for Peace...

From early summer 1915: Garsington Manor, near Oxford, the home of...

Building item

From early summer 1915

Garsington Manor, near Oxford, the home of Lady Ottoline and Philip Morrell , became a centre for many pacifists, conscientious objectors, and non-pacifist critics of the war.

1 January 1916: The British edition of Vogue (an American...

Building item

1 January 1916

The British edition of Vogue (an American fashion magazine) began publishing from Condé Nast in Hanover Square, London.

1917: Scientist and travel-writer Norman Douglas...

Writing climate item


Scientist and travel-writer Norman Douglas published his most famous book, the novelSouth Wind, whose ironic questioning of conventional morality appealed to a war-weary public, bringing it great success.

11 November 1918: At 11 a.m. (the eleventh hour of the eleventh...

National or international item

11 November 1918

At 11 a.m. (the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month), the Armistice, signed at Compiègne, went into effect, officially ending World War I.

14 May 1920: Time and Tide began publication, offering...

Building item

14 May 1920

Time and Tide began publication, offering a feminist approach to literature, politics, and the arts: Naomi Mitchison called it the first avowedly feminist literary journal with any class, in some ways ahead of its time.
Mitchison, Naomi. You May Well Ask: A Memoir 1920-1940. Gollancz.

1924: Leonard and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth...

Women writers item


Leonard and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press published The Rector's Daughter, a novel by F. M. (or Flora Macdonald) Mayor .


Woolf, Virginia. Jacob’s Room; and, The Waves. Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1959.
Woolf, Virginia, and Vanessa Bell. Kew Gardens. Hogarth Press, 1919.
Woolf, Virginia. “Lady Ritchie”. Times Literary Supplement, No. 894, p. 123.
Woolf, Virginia, and Anna Davin. Life as We Have Known It, by Co-operative Working Women. Editor Davies, Margaret Llewelyn, Virago, 1977.
Woolf, Virginia. “Mary Wollstonecraft”. Nation and Athenaeum, Vol.
, pp. 13-15.
Woolf, Virginia. Moments of Being. Editor Schulkind, Jeanne, Chatto and Windus for Sussex University Press, 1976.
Woolf, Virginia, and Vanessa Bell. Monday or Tuesday. Hogarth Press, 1921.
Woolf, Virginia. “Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown”. Literary Review of the New York Evening Post.
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. Hogarth Press, 1925.
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. Hogarth Press, 1980.
Woolf, Virginia. “Mrs. Dalloway in Bond Street”. The Dial, 1880-1929, Vol.
, No. 20-7.
Woolf, Virginia. Night and Day. Duckworth, 1919.
Woolf, Virginia. Night and Day. Hogarth Press, 1977.
Woolf, Virginia, and Margot Asquith. “Obituary: Lady Ottoline Morrell”. Times, p. 16.
Woolf, Virginia. “On Being Ill”. The New Criterion, edited by T. S. Eliot, Vol.
, No. 1, pp. 32-45.
Woolf, Virginia. Orlando. Hogarth Press, 1928.
Woolf, Virginia. Orlando. Hogarth Press, 1978.
Woolf, Virginia. “Phyllis and Rosamond”. The Complete Shorter Fiction of Virginia Woolf, edited by Susan Dick, Hogarth Press, 1985, pp. 17-29.
Woolf, Virginia. “Professions for Women”. The Death of the Moth and Other Essays, Hogarth Press, 1981, pp. 149-54.
Woolf, Virginia. “Review of Dora Sigerson Shorter: <span data-tei-ns-tag="tei_title" data-tei-title-lvl=‘m’>The Sad Years</span&gt”;. Times Literary Supplement, No. 867, p. 403.
Woolf, Virginia. “Review of W. D. Howells: <span data-tei-ns-tag="tei_title" data-tei-title-lvl=‘m’>The Son of Royal Langbrith</span&gt”;. The Guardian, 1846-1951.
Woolf, Virginia. Roger Fry. Hogarth Press, 1940.
Woolf, Virginia. “Sara Coleridge”. The Death of the Moth and Other Essays, Penguin Books, 1961, pp. 98-104.
Bell, Quentin, and Virginia Woolf. The Charleston Bulletin Supplements. Editor Olk, Claudia, British Library, 2013.
Woolf, Virginia. The Common Reader. Hogarth Press, 1925.