Virginia Woolf

(1882 – 1941)

Novelist, essayist, biographer, and critic Virginia Woolf, the third child of Leslie and Julia Stephen, was a central figure in the Bloomsbury Group. With her sister Vanessa (later Bell), in 1905 she acted as hostess for the Thursday-evening gatherings held at 46 Gordon Square that formed the nucleus of Old Bloomsbury. Despite intermittent bouts of mental illness, Woolf’s many novels—notably Night and Day (1919), Jacob's Room (1922), Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), and The Waves (1931)—transformed ideas about structure, plot, and characterization, and form an important literary legacy from the modern period. Woolf committed suicide in 1941.

By George Charles Beresford (1864 – 1938)
Platinum print, 1902
National Portrait Gallery, London
© National Portrait Gallery, London