An autobiographical novel that captures the intensity of childhood longing and delight, and the shifting complexity of adult relationships.
Born in 1882, Virginia Woolf was the daughter of the editor and critic Leslie Stephen. She suffered a traumatic adolescence after the deaths of her mother, in 1895, and her step-sister Stella, in 1897, leaving her subject to breakdowns for the rest of her life. She was drawn into the company of writers and artists such as Lytton Strachey and Roger Fry, later known as the Bloomsbury Group. Among them she met Leonard Woolf, whom she married in 1912, and together they founded the Hogarth Press in 1917. Her first novel, The Voyage Out, appeared in 1915, and her major novels include Mrs Dalloway (1925), the historical fantasy Orlando (1928), The Waves (1931), and Between the Acts (1941). Woolf lived an energetic life, reviewing and writing and dividing her time between London and the Sussex Downs. In 1941, fearing another attack of mental illness, she drowned herself.