A Famous Woman Ends Her Life

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She Lived A Difficult Life

Adeline Virginia Stephen was considered to be one of the most important modernist 20th-century authors. Her life began in 1882. During her lifetime, she battled several losses as well as abuse and severe mental illness. At birth, she was born into a family of Great British privilege with parents who were both renowned writers in London. When she and her sister came of age, they were both enrolled in the Ladies’ Department of King’s College London.

She Graduates And Meets Husband

Following her graduation, Stephen met her husband, who was an essayist – Leonard Woolf. They were married in 1912. Three years later, the young bride used the name – Virginia Woolf. She started publishing her own writing. However, she failed to gain any steady or reliable traction. Yet, her fourth novel, “Mrs. Dalloway,” published in 1925, became a success in British literature. 

Her Growing Up Years

Later Virginia Woolf wrote that she was sexually abused between the ages of six and 23 by her half-brothers, George, and Gerald Duckworth. This was her introduction to significant trauma in her life. It also tore away her innocence. When she was just 13, her mother passed away, which also created substantial trauma for the young girl. It was at this time that she suffered her first mental breakdown – one of many she would have during her life. She also had to deal with her half-sister and father, who also died. 

She Is Institutionalized

Virginia Woolf faced major tragedy, which resulted in such trauma for her, causing the writer to be institutionalized for a short period in 1904 after she attempted to kill herself. From this point forward, despite a healthy, happy marriage as well as having great success as a notable female author, her condition grew worse – she suffered from hallucinations and severe manic depressive episodes.

A Spring Day Comes About

On a spring day in 1941, Leonard Woolf spoke with his wife and realized she wasn’t well. He suggested she go back to bed and rest. A few hours later, Leonard returned to the house to check on his wife. He could not find her in the house. Instead, he saw two notes. One was addressed to him, and the other was addressed to her sister. She wrote to her husband that she was sure she was going mad again. She told him she didn’t feel they could go through another episode as they had experienced in the past. Virginia thought she would not recover this time. She explained that she didn’t think two people could have been happier together until the terrible disease struck her. Virginia told her husband she could not go on spoiling his life any longer. 

Her Husband Finds Clues To Her Whereabouts

Leonard Woolf started searching for his wife. He eventually found footprints as well as a walking stick. Both were near the river bank. Virginia Woolf’s body was discovered three weeks later. At 59 years of age, she had drowned herself. Her lifetime of physical and emotional torment became too much for the author. She was cremated, and her ashes were sprinkled at the foot of two Elm trees, now named ‘Virginia’ and the other called ‘Leonard.’

One never knows what goes on in the mind and life of another person.