Virginia’s writing room at Monk’s House, Rodmell
It is 77 years to the day that Virginia Woolf committed suicide. This amazing talent, so often misunderstood, walked down from the house she shared with her husband Leonard, filled her coat with stones and walked into the River Ouse.
A terrible loss to the literary world, one must not forget the vast scope of work that she left for us to devour. On this anniversary, many of us (myself included) often quote from her last letters or diary entries. However, here I want to leave a quote from her husband:
When I could not find her anywhere in the house or garden, I felt sure that she had gone down to the river. I ran across the fields down to the river and almost immediately found her walking-stick lying upon the bank. I searched for some time and then went back to the house and informed the police. It was three weeks before her body was found when some children saw it floating in the river. (Woolf, L. The Journey not the Arrival Matters.)
Later on in the autobiography, he describes the event as a ‘great catastrophe’, and surely it was. He clearly felt that he was responsible for Virginia, especially when she became sick. More often than not, she would claim that she wasn’t sick and perhaps he felt helpless.
All of this happened in Rodmell, where Leonard continued to live until his death. However, they spent 10 years living in Richmond, where they started the Hogarth Press. I am part of a campaign to help erect a life-size statue of Virginia in the town. Please visit Aurora Metro’s page here for more information. I am also working on a book to coincide with this, about Virginia’s life in Richmond. I am busy with revisions, but hopefully it will be ready to publish later this year.