VIRGINIA WOOLFALEXANDRA HARRIS Book Number: 82600 Product format: Hardback
Virginia was born into a large family in Kensington in 1882. Her parents, Leslie and Julia Stephen, had both been married before and as well as their joint brood they had children of the first marriages, meaning that Virginia had seven siblings. There were also seven maids living in the basement, and a cook. Virginia grew up in this busy house with its rather strange, dysfunctional family; both parents treasured their shared sense of loss of first loves, and the rooms were filled with memorabilia of the family's dead. Her mother's taste in décor was 'mounds of plush...busts shrined in crimson velvet.' Sexually abused by two of her half-brothers, Virginia developed a life-long shame about her body, hating mirrors and awkward with clothing. Just 15 when her mother died, she had a breakdown, a condition that would return regularly throughout her life. Much later she incorporated her early experiences into her most famous novel, To the Lighthouse. Most of her books drew on her memories, such as The Years, in which she took the perspective of the bereaved daughter, Delia. In 1912 she married writer Leonard Woolf, though making it clear that she was not sexually attracted to him. Later, she formed intense friendships with women. In 1941, struggling from depression and not wanting to be a burden on her husband any longer, Virginia put a heavy stone into her pocket and drowned herself in a fast-flowing river. A superb biography that helps us to understand the complexities of the enigmatic writer Virginia Woolf and considers each novel in context. 192pp, b/w illus, ribbon bookmark, Thames & Hudson.
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