Virginia Woolf’s Diary

Contemplation

The inward gaze in the pursuit of spiritual meaning is a hallmark of civilization.

Whether focused on a deity, a spiritual force, or the individual soul, the search for something beyond the material realities of daily life — from Dante to Tagore, and Virginia Woolf to Malcolm X — reflects mankind’s ceaseless quest for meaning.

Born Adeline Virginia Stephen in London, Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) was a key member of the Bloomsbury Group of writers, artists, and intellectuals that counted among its members Woolf’s husband Leonard, Clive and Vanessa Bell, E. M. Forster, John Maynard Keynes, and Lytton Strachey. 

NYPL’s Berg Collection contains the world’s largest collection of Woolf’s manuscripts, including Jacob’s Room and To the Lighthouse, among other novels; articles, essays, and reviews touching on a wide variety of topics including feminism and pacifism; and 37 diaries, including her diary entry of March 24, 1941. Four days later she committed suicide at the age of 59. Leonard Woolf found her walking stick floating in the River Ouse near their country house, after she had filled her coat pockets with stones and walked into the river.

Virginia Woolf. Diary from 1941.
NYPL, Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.

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