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Happy birthday, Virginia Woolf

January 25, 2013|By Carolyn Kellogg
  • Virginia Woolf and her novel "Mrs. Dalloway."
Virginia Woolf and her novel "Mrs. Dalloway." (File / Harcourt, Brace &…)

Today is the 131st anniversary of Virginia Woolf's birth. Happy birthday, Virginia Woolf!

Woolf was a groundbreaking writer, an incisive critic and a catalyst for the modernist movement in British letters. Among her most significant works are the novels "Mrs. Dalloway" (1925), "To the Lighthouse" (1927), "Orlando" (1928), "The Waves" (1931) and the nonfiction treatise on women's writing, "A Room of One's Own" (1929).

Adeline Virginia Stephen was born to a literary family in London in 1882. She began writing book reviews at age 22 and published her first novel, "The Voyage Out," in 1915.

In 1912, Virginia had married Leonard Woolf; together they began Hogarth Press, first as a print shop and then as a publisher. Her experimental works, starting with the short story collection "Monday or Tuesday" in 1921. She was known for her stream-of-consciousness writing, her literary circle of family and friends, and her troubled mind.

When she committed suicide in 1941, Woolf left behind an enormous body of work: nine novels, six collections of short ficiton, seven nonfiction books, 4,000 letters and a 30-volume diary. Her work, for both her experimental writing and her feminist ideas, has retained its significance.

Happy birthday, Virginia Woolf.


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