My God, how does one write a Biography? 1 Virginia Woolf’s question haunts her the art of essay by virginia woolf biographers. Virginia Woolf was a Miss Stephen.
2 “Virginia Woolf was a sexually abused child: she was an incest-survivor. 3 “Was Virginia Woolf ‘insane’? 4 “Was Virginia Woolf mad? 5 “Virginia Woolf said that ‘if life has a base’ it is a memory.
6 Or: “Yet another book about Bloomsbury. The different openings suggest some of the choices for Virginia Woolf’s biographers. They can start at source, with her family history, and see her in the context of ancestry, country, class. They can start with Bloomsbury, fixing her inside her social and intellectual group and its reputation. They can start by thinking of her as a victim, as someone who is going to kill herself.
They can start with a theory or a belief and see her always in terms of it, since, like Shakespeare, she is a writer who lends herself to infinitely various interpretation. There is no such thing as an objective biography, particularly not in this case. Positions have been taken, myths have been made. I have noticed that in the course of any conversation about this book I would, without fail, be asked one or more of the same four questions: Is it true that she was sexually abused as a child? What was her madness and why did she kill herself? Was Leonard a good or a wicked husband?