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The Life and mind of Virginia Woolf

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Virginia Woolf was a woman of cheer.
  3. The importance of Virginia's family history.
  4. The Hyde Park Gate News.
    1. Virginia's sensitivity to criticism.
    2. Virginia's first efforts at fiction.
  5. The death of Virginia's mother.
  6. Their 27 year old brother George Duckworth.
  7. The beginning of her illness.
    1. Virginia's first real 'attack'.
    2. Revolt against the artistic, social, and sexual restrictions of the Victorian age.
    3. The writer and political figure, Leonard Woolf.
    4. The attack in July that lasted nine months.
    5. The most serious attack of her life in 1915
  8. Conclusion.

One of the controversial questions facing any writer is that of whether or not the author's life and work are inseparable. I think that with the majority of authors this is often a possibility, but when it comes to the distinguished English novelist, Virginia Woolf, there remains some secret to her work that perhaps her life and history hold the key to. There is no doubt that she was a talented writer, but the life circumstances influencing her brilliance and style are a question I think is worth investigating. Virginia Woolf was a woman of cheer, wit, and talent, but unbeknownst to many, she also suffered from manic-depression and slight cases of schizophrenia. Throughout her life she would not only become an accomplished writer, novelist, and critic, but she would also suffer from many headaches and minor illnesses as well as those that would place her face to face with death. After her suicide many questioned the relationship between her creativity and her ?madness? but the answers still remain unknown today. To try and grasp for an idea about her in relation to her illness one must start at the beginning.

[...] On March 28th at the age of 59, Virginia Woolf drowned herself in the river Ouse near her home, with fears that she was about to have another and that this time it would finally take her sanity, and doubts about her latest book (while writing it she said she believed it to be her best work yet, but after finishing, was disgusted with herself, believing that it was not fit to be published, despite the assurances of friends and family). [...]


[...] He also mentioned that worries, the delusions, the arguments about food, the necessity for sleeping draughts, increased.?(Malcomi, Attacks1) Virginia was no better and returned to London six days later. On the train she thought people were laughing at her, she was the cause of everyone's troubles, and felt she should be punished. Leonard was afraid she would leap from the moving train. In London they sought the opinion of two more doctors who both said the first thing that needed to be done was for Virginia to accept the fact she was ill. [...]


[...] Eventually she exhausted herself and after an attack of influenza she died on May Virginia said that death was the greatest disaster that could happen.?(Bell, 40) Yet, it could be argued that the worst would come in the events following her death. Naturally Leslie was grief-stricken and spent little time tending to the children and instead spent the majority of his time mourning and threw himself into work rarely leaving his study. Left to comfort 13 year-old- Virginia and her sister Vanessa was their 27 year old brother George Duckworth, who had always been very generous and devoted to his half- sisters, but whose kindness after his mother's death knew no bounds. [...]

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