Virginia Woolf, in 2 short pages

For my humanities class we have to write 5, 2 page papers. This was my fourth. I wrote, an entire 2 pages on Virginia Woolfs life. This is sad. Horribly sad. I missed so many things but because of the page amount, I had to. So, if you want a teaser on her life, and her influence, this is the blog post for you! 

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Virginia Woolf was born Virginia Stephen on January 25th 1882 in London. Her mother was Julia Jackson Duckworth, who’s family owned the Duckworth Publishing Company. Her father was Sir Leslie Stephen, a literary critic, whom she was very close with, unlike her mother. Virginia was educated at home at Hyde Park Gate. Her early life was by any standard fairly traumatic. She was sexually abused by Gerald Duckworth, her half brother at the age of six. Her mother died of the flu in Virginias early teen years, when her half sister Stella Duckworth stepped up to fill Julia’s place she died two years later. Her father suffered and slowly died of stomach cancer in 1904, and when her brother Thoby passed two years later, Virginia had a prolonged mental breakdown.

It was after her father died that Virginia moved in with her sister and two brothers, Adrian and Thoby Stephan. They lived in Bloomsbury. Her sister, Vanessa, was a painter, who married an art and literature critic, and was very close with Virginia. She inspired several of Virginia’s characters in her writings and they often would spend hours together in their childhood painting and writing together. Virginia inherited 2,500 pounds from an aunt, which improved her financial situation, freeing her up to write.

Thoby introduced his sisters to some of his friends whom he had met at the University of Cambridge. Which was the birth of the Bloomsbury Group.“’The Bloomsbury Group never became a formal group, never published a manifesto or a programme of any sort,’ Monika Rydiger explains. ‘It was rather a circle of friends linked by a network of complex personal relationships,

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and it is these relationships that are the focus of much of the available literature on the group’” (British Bohemia). It was after this, on a trip to Greece that he became ill and died not long after returning home.

Virginia Woolf was a major player in the Bloomsbury Group. The Bloomsbury Group was a post victorian, very modern club. They were conscientious objectors to war, and their artistic and literary influence was quite substantial. “Despite the numerous critics that were aimed at it, the Bloomsbury Group has had a wide-ranging influence, both in art and in society, even though that influence remains highly controversial. The Bloomsberries did play a significant part in the advent of a new modern world” (Bloomsbury Group – Introduction). Part of why the Bloomsbury Group was so criticized was because it was nearly impossible to join. Quite a few of the members were in Virginia’s intimate circle. Herself, her husband, Vita Sackenville-West (who was a close friend and lover to Virginia), Clive Bell who was her brother in law, Vanessa Bell her sister, and Adrian Stephen, her brother. They brought together by mutual loves of art and literature and shared philosophy.

Virginia Stephen married Leonard Woolf in 1912. He was a political theorist, and in 1917 he set up a small hand press and was the director until he died. Because Virginia was well off she was able to marry him for love rather than money. “Indeed, Leonard Woolf was not well-off by any measure, but he was an excellent writer with a razor-sharp intellect, qualities which Virginia would certainly have admired” (The Bloomsbury Group). Virginia’s first novel was The Voyage Out in 1915, which was printed in the Hogarth Press, their printing press, which many of the members of the Bloomsbury Group were fortunate enough to use. The extent of this club’s influence and of Virginia Woolf’s life itself, is much beyond the reach of a two page essay, and could possibly not be adequately explained in several books, not even in Virginia’s own writings.

Works Cited

“The Bloomsbury Group – Literature Periods & Movements.” The Literature Network: Online Classic Literature, Poems, and Quotes. Essays & Summaries. Web. 05 Dec. 2011.

“British Bohemia: The Bloomsbury Group of Virginia Woolf | Krakow Post.” Krakow Post – Poland News, Events, Lifestyle and Travel Information. Web. 05 Dec. 2011.

“Virginia Woolf.” Web. 05 Dec. 2011.

“The Bloomsbery Group – Introduction.” Periwork – English Online Learning Resources & News Database Portal. Web. 05 Dec. 2011. 


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