• Life and Works:
Virginia Woolf was born in 1882; her father was a man of letters, so she grew up in a literary and intellectual atmosphere.
She spent her summers at the seaside and sea was central to her art, as a symbol.
For Virginia, water represented two things: what is harmonious or feminine and the possibility of resolution of intolerable conflicts in death.
The death of her mother affected her deeply and brought about her first nervous breakdown, as she began to be in revolt against her father’s aggressive and tyrannical character.
• The Bloomsbury Group:
Virginia started her literary career after the death of her father in 1904.
She was a member of the Bloomsbury Group, where there were writers, artists and thinkers, that shared a common interest in the dislike for traditional morality, the rejection of artistic convention and the disdain for bourgeois sexual codes.
They used the stream-of-consciousness prose style developed by Virginia Woolf, but they also followed the theories of Bertrand Russell and the post-Impressionist painting.
• The Literary Career:
In 1915 she published ‘Voyage Out’, her first novel.
At this time she entered a nursing home and attempted suicide by taking drugs.
In 1925 she published the novel ‘Mrs. Dalloway’, followed by ‘To the Lighthouse’ and ‘Orlando’.
Then she wrote ‘A Room of One’s Own’, that had a great impact on the feminist movement in which she explored many issues connected with women and writing but above all insisted on the inseparable link between economic independence and artistic independence.
The Second World War increased her anxiety and fears and she could stand it for no long, as she drowned herself in the river Ouse at fifty-nine years old.