Virginia Woolf in 1902; photograph by George Charles Beresford.
|Born||Adeline Virginia Stephen
25 January 1882
Kensington, Middlesex, England
|Died||28 March 1941
River Ouse, near Lewes, Sussex, England
|Occupation||Novelist, essayist, publisher, critic|
|Alma mater||King's College London|
|Notable works||To the Lighthouse
Orlando: A Biography
A Room of One's Own
(m. 1912–1941; her death)
The telephone, which interrupts the most serious conversations and cuts short the most weighty observations, has a romance of its own.
Yet, it is true, poetry is delicious; the best prose is that which is most full of poetry.
The man who is aware of himself is henceforward independent; and he is never bored, and life is only too short, and he is steeped through and through with a profound yet temperate happiness.
One likes people much better when they're battered down by a prodigious siege of misfortune than when they triumph.
My own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery - always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then buried in mud. And why? What's this passion for?
Who shall measure the hat and violence of the poet's heart when caught and tangled in a woman's body?
One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of fellowship with other human beings as we take our place among them.
Yet it is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.
The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.
Where the Mind is biggest, the Heart, the Senses, Magnanimity, Charity, Tolerance, Kindliness, and the rest of them scarcely have room to breathe.
Masterpieces are not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that the experience of the mass is behind the single voice.
These are the soul's changes. I don't believe in ageing. I believe in forever altering one's aspect to the sun. Hence my optimism.
Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.
One has to secrete a jelly in which to slip quotations down people's throats - and one always secretes too much jelly.
It is fatal to be a man or woman pure and simple: one must be a woman manly, or a man womanly.
There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us, and not we, them; we may make them take the mould of arm or breast, but they mould our hearts, our brains, our tongues to their liking.
It is curious how instinctively one protects the image of oneself from idolatry or any other handling that could make it ridiculous, or too unlike the original to be believed any longer.