Who was Virginia Woolf? The famous writer honoured by Google in its doodle

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New Delhi | January 25, 2018 6:30 AM

The Google has honoured one of the famous writers of the twentieth century with a doodle on her 136th birthday.

virginia woolf, google doodle, virginia woolf birthday, virginia woolf 136 birthdayThe Google has honoured one of the famous writers of the twentieth century with a doodle on her 136th birthday.

The Google has honoured one of the famous writers of the twentieth century with a doodle on her 136th birthday. Created by London-based illustrator Louise Pomeroy, today’s Doodle celebrates Woolf’s minimalist style — her iconic profile surrounded by the falling autumn leaves (a frequent visual theme in her work).

Born in London in 1882, Woolf grew up in a home with a large library, and a constant stream of literary visitors come to call on her author and historian father. Unsurprisingly, Woolf would become an integral member of the Bloomsbury Group, a collective of prominent contemporary intellectuals and artists. Woolf was mainly homeschooled in English classics and Victorian literature, she began writing professionally in 1900. During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a central figure in the influential Bloomsbury Group of intellectuals. She published her first novel titled The Voyage Out in 1915, through the Hogarth Press, a publishing house that she established with her husband, Leonard Woolf.

Woolf’s lyrical writing thrived on the introspection of her characters, revealing the complex emotions underlying seemingly mundane events — how the ringing of the Big Ben evokes the passage of time in Mrs. Dalloway (1925) or a family’s visit to the coast hides deep-seated tensions in To the Lighthouse (1927). Nonfiction works like A Room of One’s Own (1929) and Three Guineas (1938) showcase Woolf’s unflinching feminist perspective by documenting the gendered intellectual stratification and resulting male-dominated power dynamics of the period.

While Virginia Woolf had a privileged childhood, she also suffered with severe bouts of deep depression throughout her life. Her ideal life came to an end with the death of her mother in 1895 which led her to have a nervous breakdown. Two years later, her half-sister Stella died. It was the death of her father in 1904 that plunged her into depression.

As per a report by The Sun, she published prolifically between the First and Second World Wars, with her final novel Between The Acts issued just after her death in 1941. After producing the final manuscript for that posthumous work, Woolf fell into a depression, her diaries of the time hinting at a growing obsession with death. On March 28 1941 she drowned herself in the River Ouse near her home, Monk’s House in Lewes, Sussex – her body was not found for three weeks. Surely, Virginia Woolf was one of the most prolific writers of the twentieth century.


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