Virginia Woolf

John Mepham (Kingston University)
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Adeline Virginia Stephen was born on 25 January 1882. Her father, Leslie Stephen, son of the historian Sir James Stephen, was a man of letters. He began work later that year as editor of the

Dictionary of National Biography

, a typically enormous Victorian undertaking that contributed to his insomnia, ill health and depression until he gave it up in 1891. He was a notable intellectual, who both as writer and editor made significant contributions in the history of ideas, literary criticism and biography. He was, as his own biographer was later to call him, a “godless Victorian”, who lived a life of mental torment and high moral seriousness. His first wife was a daughter of the novelist Thackeray. After her death he married Julia Duckworth (


Jackson) in 1878. She was from a…

3433 words

Citation: Mepham, John. "Virginia Woolf". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 March 2001 [, accessed 18 July 2024.]

4799 Virginia Woolf 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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