Woman of the Day – Virginia Woolf

Green Party Women Celebrating Women’s History Month
Day 25: Woman of the Day: Virginia Woolf

In March 1941, Virginia Woolf took her own life, drowning herself in the River Ouse, near her home at Rodmell, in Sussex. As a prominent British writer and a significant figure in the feminist movement of the early 20th century, her death was a profound loss to the literary community and to feminism.

Early years

Virginia was born Adeline Virginia Stephen on January 25, 1882. Initially, she was educated at home by her father, who encouraged her to read extensively. This experience profoundly influenced her development as a writer and thinker.

From age 15, Virginia attended the Ladies’ Department of King’s College, London, where she studied classics and history. It was here that she first encountered pioneering reformers of women’s higher education and advocates of the women’s rights movement. Following the death of her father in 1904, Virginia’s family moved to Bloomsbury, where she, her two brothers, her sister, Vanessa, and their intellectual friends, formed the Bloomsbury Group –  a loose collective of young thinkers, from both Kings College and Cambridge University.

Writing career

Virginia Woolf black and white profile photograph

Virginia began writing professionally in 1900. In 1912, she married Leonard Woolf, fellow Bloomsbury Group member. Her first novel, ‘The Voyage Out’,  was published in1915.

In 1917, she and Leonard together founded ‘Hogarth Press’, at first, hand-printing in their own home. Hogarth Press published her subsequent novels, widely considered to be modern classics. They include: Jacob’s Room (1922), Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), Orlando (1928), The Waves (1931) and A Room of One’s Own (1929), which discusses the creation of literature, from a feminist perspective.

Virginia also wrote pioneering essays on artistic theory, literary history, women’s writing, and the politics of power. A fine stylist, she experimented with several forms of biographical writing, composed painterly short fictions, and sent to her friends and family a lifetime of brilliant letters.

Virginia’s writing explored complex themes such as sex stereotypes, identity, and the nature of reality. Many of her books are celebrated for their innovative narrative techniques and psychological depth, and her depiction of the inner lives and struggles of women challenging traditional roles and societal expectations.


As a feminist, Virginia advocated for women’s rights and empowerment. She critiqued the patriarchal structures that oppressed women and restricted their opportunities for self-expression and fulfilment.

Virginia’s contributions to feminism extended beyond her literary works. She was actively involved in feminist circles and supported women’s suffrage and reproductive rights.


Through her writing and activism, Virginia inspired generations of feminists and continues to be revered as a pioneering figure in the fight for sex equality. Her legacy endures, as her works remain relevant and influential in contemporary discussions surrounding feminism and literature.

“I detest the masculine point of view. I am bored by his heroism, virtue, and honour. I think the best these men can do is not talk about themselves anymore.”


The Collector



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