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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Quotations by George Orwell


“Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself.”
~ George Orwell, Animal Farm

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
~ George Orwell, Animal Farm

“All men are enemies. All animals are comrades”
~ George Orwell, Animal Farm

“Four legs good, two legs better! All Animals Are Equal. But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others.”
~ George Orwell, Animal Farm

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”
~ George Orwell, 1984

“We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.”
~ George Orwell, 1984

“The only good human being is a dead one.”
~ George Orwell, Animal Farm

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”
~ George Orwell, 1984

“Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”
~ George Orwell, 1984

 “Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.”
~ George Orwell, 1984

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
~ George Orwell, 1984

“Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom.”
~ George Orwell, 1984

“I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane.”
~ George Orwell, 1984

“Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”
~ George Orwell, 1984

“A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2. What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?”
~ George Orwell, Politics and the English Language

 “He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.”
~ George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant

“One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.”
~ George Orwell, 1984

“In philosophy, or religion, or ethics, or politics, two and two might make five, but when one was designing a gun or an aeroplane they had to make four.”
~ George Orwell, 1984

“No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?”
~ George Orwell, Animal Farm

“This work was strictly voluntary, but any animal who absented himself from it would have his rations reduced by half.”
~ George Orwell, Animal Farm

“Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
~ George Orwell

 “The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.”
~ George Orwell, 1984

“If there really is such a thing as turning in one's grave, Shakespeare must get a lot of exercise.”
~ George Orwell, All Art is Propaganda: Critical Essays

“Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal.”
~ George Orwell, 1984

“The smell of her hair, the taste of her mouth, the feeling of her skin seemed to have got inside him, or into the air all round him. She had become a physical necessity.”
~ George Orwell, 1984

“He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth that nobody would ever hear.”
~ George Orwell, 1984

“The distinguishing mark of man is the hand, the instrument with which he does all his mischief.”
~ George Orwell, Animal Farm

“All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. For all one knows that demon is simply the same instinct that makes a baby squall for attention. And yet it is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface one's own personality. Good prose is like a windowpane.”
~ George Orwell, Why I Write

“Tragedy, he perceived, belonged to the ancient time, to a time when there were still privacy, love, and friendship, and when the members of a family stood by one another without needing to know the reason.”
~ George Orwell, 1984

“Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.”
~ George Orwell, 1984


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Quotations by Tennessee Williams


 “What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains.”
~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

“Time doesn't take away from friendship, nor does separation.”
~ Tennessee Williams, Memoirs

“I don't want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic! I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. I don't tell the truth, I tell what ought to be the truth. And it that's sinful, then let me be damned for it!”
~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

 “There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors.”
~ Tennessee Williams

“How beautiful it is and how easily it can be broken.”
~ Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

“Time is the longest distance between two places.”
~ Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

“The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks.”
~ Tennessee Williams, Camino Real

 “I've got the guts to die. What I want to know is, have you got the guts to live?”
~ Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

 “When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone.”
~ Tennessee Williams, Camino Real

 “Why did I write? Because I found life unsatisfactory.”
~ Tennessee Williams

“Physical beauty is passing - a transitory possession - but beauty of the mind, richness of the spirit, tenderness of the heart - I have all these things - aren't taken away but grow! Increase with the years!”
~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

“The scene is memory and is therefore nonrealistic. Memory takes a lot of poetic license. It omits some details; others are exaggerated, according to the emotional value of the articles it touches, for memory is seated predominantly in the heart.”
~ Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

 “What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?—I wish I knew... Just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can...”
~ Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

 “Oh, you can't describe someone you're in love with!”
~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

“The rest of my days I'm going to spend on the sea. And when I die, I'm going to die on the sea. You know what I shall die of? I shall die of eating an unwashed grape. One day out on the ocean I will die--with my hand in the hand of some nice looking ship's doctor, a very young one with a small blond moustache and a big silver watch. "Poor lady," they'll say, "The quinine did her no good. That unwashed grape has transported her soul to heaven.”
~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

 “Being disappointed is one thing and being discouraged is something else. I am disappointed but I am not discouraged.”
~ Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

 “Mendacity is a system that we live in," declares Brick. "Liquor is one way out an'death's the other.”
~ Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

 “He was a boy, just a boy, when I was a very young girl. When I was sixteen, I made the discovery - love. All at once and much, much too completely. It was like you suddenly turned a blinding on something that had always been half in shadow, that's how it struck the world for me. But I was unlucky. Deluded.”
~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

 “Well, honey, a shot never does a coke any harm!”
~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

“The cities swept about me like dead leaves, leaves that were brightly colored but torn away from the branches. I would have stopped, but I was pursued by something. It always came upon me unawares, taking me altogether by surprise. Perhaps it was a familiar bit of music. Perhaps it was only a piece of transparent glass.”
~ Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

 “You are the only young man that I know of who ignores the fact that the future becomes the present, the present the past, and the past turns into everlasting regret if you don't plan for it.”
~ Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

 “What on earth can you do on this earth but catch at whatever comes near you, with both your fingers, until your fingers are broken?”
~ Tennessee Williams, Orpheus Descending

 “In all these years, you never believed I loved you. And I did. I did so much. I did love you. I even loved your hate and your hardness.”
~ Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

 “All pretty girls are a trap, a pretty trap, and men expect them to be.”
~ Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

 “Show me a person who hasn´t known any sorrow and I´ll show you a superficial.”
~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

 “Everybody is nothing until you love them.”
~ Tennessee Williams, The Rose Tattoo

“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”
~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

 “We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it.”
~ Tennessee Williams, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore

 “Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve. But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion.”
~ Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

 “I think that hate is a feeling that can only exist where there is no understanding.”
~ Tennessee Williams, Sweet Bird of Youth

 “Some things are not forgiveable. Deliberate cruelty is not forgiveable. It is the most unforgiveable thing in my opinion, and the one thing in which I have never, ever been guilty.”
~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

“America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.”
~ Tennessee Williams


Friday, June 3, 2016

Tennessee Williams Quick Facts

Tennessee Williams

Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright, noted chiefly for his classic plays such as, A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955) and Sweet Bird of Youth (1959)


  • Full Name: Tennessee Williams
  • Birth Name: Thomas Lanier Williams III
  • Date of Birth: March 26, 1911
  • Place of Birth: Columbus, Mississippi, United States
  • Zodiac Sign: Aries
  • Nationality: American
  • Death: February 25, 1983
  • Place of Death: New York City, New York, United States
  • Epitaph: “The violets in the mountain have broken the rocks.”
  • Cause of Death: Choking
  • Place of Burial: Calvary Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
  • Father: Cornelius Coffin Williams (1879-1957)
  • Mother: Edwina Estelle Dakin Williams (1884-1980)
  • Siblings:
1. Sister- Rose Isabel Williams (1909-1996)
2. Brother- Walter Dakin Williams (1919-2008)
  • Partner: Frank Merlo  (1922–1963)
  • Children: None
  • Alma Mater: Soldan High School, University City High School, University of Iowa, University of Missouri
  • Known for: his distinct variety of emotional realism
  • Criticized for: openly addressing taboo topics in his plays
  • Influences: William Shakespeare (1564 –1616), Emily Dickinson (1830 –1886), August Strindberg (1849 –1912), Arthur Rimbaud (1854 –1891), Anton Chekhov (1860 –1904), James Joyce (1882 –1941), D. H. Lawrence (1885 –1930), Eugene O’Neill (1888 –1953), William Faulkner (1897–1962), Hart Crane (1899 –1932), Ernest Hemingway (1899 –1961), Thomas Wolfe (1900 –1938), and William Inge (1913–1973)
  • Influenced: John Waters (1946), David Mamet (1947), Tony Kushner (1956), and Suzan-Lori Parks (1963)


  1. Group Theatre Prize (1939)
  2. Rockefeller Grant (1939)
  3. Sidney Howard Memorial Award, The Glass Menagerie (1945)
  4. Donaldson Award, The Glass Menagerie (1945)
  5. New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, The Glass Menagerie (1945)
  6. New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, A Streetcar Named Desire (1948)
  7. Donaldson Award, A Streetcar Named Desire (1948)
  8. Pulitzer Prize, A Streetcar Named Desire (1948)
  9. Tony Award, The Rose Tattoo (1952)
  10. Pulitzer Prize, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955)
  11. Tony Award, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955)
  12. New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, The Night of the Iguana (1961)
  13. Tony Award, The Night of the Iguana (1961)
  14. Presidential Medal of Freedom (1980)


“What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains.” Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

Major Themes

  • Psychological and Spiritual Displacement
  • Loss of Connections
  • Loneliness
  • Self Deception
  • Retrogression into Sexual Hedonism

Notable Works

  • Cairo, Shanghai, Bombay (1937)
  • Candles to the Sun (1937)
  • The Fugitive Kind (1937)
  • Battle of Angels (1940)
  • The Glass Menagerie (1944)
  • A Streetcar Named Desire (1947)
  • Summer and Smoke (1948)
  • The Rose Tattoo (1951)
  • Camino Real (1953)
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955)
  • Baby Doll (1956, screenplay)
  • Orpheus Descending (1957)
  • Sweet Bird of Youth (1959)
  • Period of Adjustment (1960)
  • The Night of the Iguana (1961)
  • The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (1963)
  • The Seven Descents of Myrtle (1968)
  • Out Cry (1973)
  • The Eccentricities of a Nightingale (1976)
  • Vieux Carré (1977)
  • Clothes for a Summer Hotel (1980)

Did You Know?

  • Tennessee Williams was the second child of Cornelius Coffin Williams and Edwina Estelle Dakin Williams.
  • His father was an alcoholic travelling shoe salesman.
  • In the year 1939 Williams started using the name Tennessee Williams instead of his given name.
  • Throughout his life Williams remained close to his sister Rose who was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a young woman.
  • During her teenage Rose foolishly fell in love with a boy, to whom Williams was attracted as well.
  • His unfavourable childhood and personal experience provided much idea for his theme and character development.
  • Williams was an alcoholic and often sought comfort in pills.
  • Before accepting homosexuality Williams made several attempts to form relationship with women.
  • Soon after A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) opened, Williams lost his confidence in writing and travelled Europe to recover from his loss. During this unproductive period he heavily relied upon alcohol, pills and casual gay sex.
  • Having returned from Europe he re-encountered Frank Merlo, a truck driver, who he met one year back. Later on, the pair fell in love and Merlo moved in with Williams. Merlo cleaned the apartment, cooked all the meals, acted as chauffeur and managed correspondence. Merlo gradually detached Williams from dependence on alcohol, casual sex and pills. As a result, Williams once again found the peace of mind to concentrate in writing.
  • Since Williams couldn’t keep himself aloof from sex and alcoholism, cracks began to develop in their enduring relationship. Consequently, Merlo and Williams separated briefly in 1961 and again in 1962.
  • Shortly after their breakup, Merlo was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and Williams returned to take care of him until his death.
  • Grief-stricken by Merlo’s demise, William fell into a seven-year period of depression, promiscuous sex, alcohol abuse and drug use. Consequently, his subsequent plays became mediocre and were not even close to the quality of his earlier works. In 1969, he had a nervous breakdown and his brother Dakin had him committed to a mental hospital in St. Louis, where Williams stayed for three months.
  • In 1975 Williams published Memoirs, in which he wrote candidly about his addictions, family crises, and homosexuality.
  • Tennessee Williams was the first American playwright to frankly incorporate the idea of homosexuality in plays when none could even dare to imagine it.


Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams


" Tennessee Williams.” Shmoop. 2016. Shmoop University Inc. 20 May 2016

" Tennessee Williams.” Wikipedia. 2016. Wikimedia Foundation Inc. 20 May 2016


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Quotations by Virginia Woolf


“The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.”
~  Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”
~  Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

“Literature is strewn with the wreckage of those who have minded beyond reason the opinion of others.”
~  Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

“Books are the mirrors of the soul.”
~  Virginia Woolf, Between the Acts

“What does the brain matter compared with the heart?”
~  Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

“Fear no more, says the heart, committing its burden to some sea, which sighs collectively for all sorrows, and renews, begins, collects, lets fall”
~  Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

“When the body escaped mutilation, seldom did the heart go to the grave unscarred.”
~  Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
~  Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

“Anything may happen when womanhood has ceased to be a protected occupation.”
~  Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

“As long as she thinks of a man, nobody objects to a woman thinking.”
~  Virginia Woolf, Orlando

“Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.”
~  Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

“Nothing thicker than a knife's blade separates happiness from melancholy.”
~  Virginia Woolf, Orlando

“For now she need not think of anybody. She could be herself, by herself. And that was what now she often felt the need of - to think; well not even to think. To be silent; to be alone. All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others... and this self having shed its attachments was free for the strangest adventures.”
~  Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

“Once she knows how to read there's only one thing you can teach her to believe in and that is herself.”
~  Virginia Woolf, Monday or Tuesday

“There was a star riding through clouds one night, & I said to the star, 'Consume me'.”
~  Virginia Woolf, The Waves

“I need silence, and to be alone and to go out, and to save one hour to consider what has happened to my world, what death has done to my world.”
~  Virginia Woolf, The Waves

“A woman knows very well that, though a wit sends her his poems, praises her judgment, solicits her criticism, and drinks her tea, this by no means signifies that he respects her opinions, admires her understanding, or will refuse, though the rapier is denied him, to run through the body with his pen.”
~  Virginia Woolf, Orlando

“I'm sick to death of this particular self. I want another.”
~  Virginia Woolf, Orlando

“He who robs us of our dreams robs us of our life.”
~  Virginia Woolf, Orlando

“Women have served all these centuries as looking glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size.”
~  Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”
~  Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

“What is the meaning of life? That was all- a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years, the great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one.”
~  Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

“He thought her beautiful, believed her impeccably wise; dreamed of her, wrote poems to her, which, ignoring the subject, she corrected in red ink.”
~  Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

“I feel so intensely the delights of shutting oneself up in a little world of one’s own, with pictures and music and everything beautiful.”
~  Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out

“The taste for books was an early one. As a child he was sometimes found at midnight by a page still reading. They took his taper away, and he bred glow-worms to serve his purpose. They took the glow-worms away and he almost burnt the house down with a tinder.”
~  Virginia Woolf, Orlando

 “She had the perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, out, far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very, dangerous to live even one day.”
~  Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

“Alone, I often fall down into nothingness. I must push my foot stealthily lest I should fall off the edge of the world into nothingness. I have to bang my head against some hard door to call myself back to the body.”
~  Virginia Woolf, The Waves

 “The only advice, indeed, that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions. If this is agreed between us, then I feel at liberty to put forward a few ideas and suggestions because you will not allow them to fetter that independence which is the most important quality that a reader can possess. After all, what laws can be laid down about books? The battle of Waterloo was certainly fought on a certain day; but is Hamlet a better play than Lear? Nobody can say. Each must decide that question for himself. To admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, what to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries. Everywhere else we may be bound by laws and conventions-there we have none.”
~  Virginia Woolf, The Second Common Reader

“Anyone who has the temerity to write about Jane Austen is aware of [two] facts: first, that of all great writers she is the most difficult to catch in the act of greatness; second, that there are twenty-five elderly gentlemen living in the neighbourhood of London who resent any slight upon her genius as if it were an insult to the chastity of their aunts.”
~  Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

“I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister; but do not look for her in Sir Sidney Lee’s life of the poet. She died young—alas, she never wrote a word. She lies buried where the omnibuses now stop, opposite the Elephant and Castle. Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the cross–roads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here to–night, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh. This opportunity, as I think, it is now coming within your power to give her. For my belief is that if we live another century or so—I am talking of the common life which is the real life and not of the little separate lives which we live as individuals—and have five hundred a year each of us and rooms of our own; if we have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think; if we escape a little from the common sitting–room and see human beings not always in their relation to each other but in relation to reality; and the sky. too, and the trees or whatever it may be in themselves; if we look past Milton’s bogey, for no human being should shut out the view; if we face the fact, for it is a fact, that there is no arm to cling to, but that we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality and not only to the world of men and women, then the opportunity will come and the dead poet who was Shakespeare’s sister will put on the body which she has so often laid down. Drawing her life from the lives of the unknown who were her forerunners, as her brother did before her, she will be born. As for her coming without that preparation, without that effort on our part, without that determination that when she is born again she shall find it possible to live and write her poetry, that we cannot expect, for that would be impossible. But I maintain that she would come if we worked for her, and that so to work, even in poverty and obscurity, is worthwhile.”
~  Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Percy Shelley Quick Facts

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Major English Romantic poet and one of the greatest lyric poets in the history of English literature.


  • Full Name: Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • AKA: P.B. Shelley
  • Date of Birth: August 4, 1792
  • Place of Birth: Field Place, Horsham, Sussex, England
  • Zodiac Sign: Leo
  • Death: July 8, 1822
  • Place of Death: Lerici, Kingdom of Sardinia
  • Cause of Death: Drowning
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Nationality: British
  • Place of Burial:
1. Protestant Cemetery, Rome (Ashes)
2. St Peter's Churchyard, Bournemouth, Dorset, England (Heart)
  • Epitaph:
“Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.”
  • Father: Timothy Shelley (1753-1844)
  • Mother: Elizabeth Pilfold Shelley (1763-1846)
  • Siblings:
1. Sister- Elizabeth Shelley (?-1831)
2. Sister- Mary Shelley (?-?)
3. Sister- Hellen Shelley (?-1885)
4. Sister- Margaret Shelley (?-1887)
5. Sister- Name unknown (died in infancy)
6. Brother- John Shelley (1806-1866)
  • Spouses & Children:
1. Harriet Westbrook (b. 1795- d. 1816; m. 1811 to until her demise)
1. Daughter: Ianthe Shelley (1813-1876)
2. Son: Charles Shelley (1814-1826)
2. Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley (b. 1797-d. 1851; m. 1816 to until his death)
1. Daughter: Clara Shelley (1813)
2. Son: William Shelley (1816-1819)
3. Daughter: Clara Everina Shelley (1817-1818)
4. Son: Percy Florence Shelley (1819-1888)
  • Alma Mater: Eton College; University College, Oxford
  • Known for: his lyrical and imaginative powers
  • Criticized for: being over-sensitive and over-sad
  • Influences: Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 –1778), Dr. James Lind (1736-1812), Thomas Paine (1737–1809), William Godwin (1756 –1836), Mary Wollstonecraft (1759 –1797), and William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
  • Influenced: Robert Browning (1812–1889), Henry David Thoreau (1817 –1862), Karl Marx (1818-1883), Leo Tolstoy (1828 –1910), Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 – 1882), Thomas Hardy (1840 –1928), Oscar Wilde (1854 –1900), George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), Rabindranath Tagor (1861 –1941), W. B. Yeats (1865–1939), Mahatma Gandhi (1869 –1948), Bertrand Russell (1872 –1970), Upton Sinclair (1878 –1968), Isadora Duncan (1877–1927), and Jibanananda Das (1899 –1954)


“I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias

Major Themes

  • Love and freedom
  • Idealism
  • Nature
  • Atheism
  • Injustice
  • Revolution
  • Inspiration
  • Narcissism
  • Immortality vs. Mortality

Notable Works

  • Ozymandias
  • The Revolt of Islam
  • Adonaïs
  • Ode to the West Wind
  • Music, To a Skylark
  • The Cloud
  • The Mask of Anarchy
  • When Soft Voices Die
  • Alastor
  • Queen Mab
  • The Triumph of Life
  • Prometheus Unbound
  • The Cenci
  • A Bridal Song
  • A Hate Song
  • A Dialogue
  • A Lament
  • A Serpent Face
  • A Fragment: To Music
  • A Dirge
  • A New National Anthem
  • Alas! This is not What I thought Life Was
  • The Assassins, A Fragment of a Romance
  • The Elysian Fields: A Lucianic Fragment
  • The Coliseum, A Fragment
  • Una Favola (A Fable)
  • Zastorri (1810)
  • St. Irvyne; or, The Rosicrucian in (1811)

Did You Know?

  • Shelley was the first of seven survived children born to Sir Timothy Shelley and Elizabeth Pilfold Shelley.
  • His father was a Whig Parliamentarian.
  • In March 25, 1811 Shelley was expelled from Oxford University because he refused to deny the authorship of a pamphlet called The Necessity of Atheism.
  • When he was 19, Shelley used to write political pamphlets, often sending them out in bottles or homemade paper boats over the water, or inside fire balloons into the sky.
  • In 1818 Shelley eloped to Scotland with sixteen year-old Harriet Westbrook and married her despite the fact that he did not love her and disliked the concept of marriage.
  • When his father learnt about Shelley’s marriage, he temporarily cut off Shelley’s monetary allowance.
  • Shelley was increasingly unhappy in his marriage and once accused Harriet of having married him for his money.
  • His marriage collapsed when Shelley fell in love with Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, the daughter of William Godwin.
  • Having fallen in love with Mary, Shelley proposed to Harriet that the three of them should live together, Mary as his new wife and Harriet as her sister. Harriet, however, discarded his proposal.
  • Subsequently Shelley eloped with Mary and impregnated her. Harriet, who was too pregnant, was greatly shocked by the news of Mary’s pregnancy. Realizing that Shelley did not love her, Harriet requested a divorce and sued Shelley for alimony and full custody of their children.
  • Harriet’s second child with Shelley, Charles, was born in November of 1814. Three months later, Mary gave birth to a girl, the infant, however, died just a few weeks later.
  • Mary and Shelley returned to London near the end of 1816. Few weeks later Harriet's body was found drowned in Hyde Park's Serpentine. It is assumed that she committed suicide firstly because she was deserted by Shelley and secondly because she was pregnant from an illicit affair with a military officer.
  • Soon after Harriet’s death, Shelley proposed to Mary and they were wedded on December 30, 1816.
  • After Harriet’s death, the courts ruled not to give Shelley custody of their children, asserting that they would be better off with foster parents.
  • Shortly before his 30th birthday, Shelley was drowned in a storm while attempting to sail from Livorno to Le Spezia, Italy.
  • Ten days later, his body was washed ashore but his face and hands had been completely eaten away. Shelley was identifiable only by his clothes, and a copy of Keats’ Lamia in his pocket.
  • To fulfill the Italian quarantine regulations, Shelley’s body was buried in the sand where it was found. A month later his body was dug up again and cremated on a Tuscany beach in July 18, 1822, in the presence of Lord Byron and Shelley’s friends Edward Trelawney and Leigh Hunt. Since Shelley’s heart refused to burn, Trelawney picked it from the ashes and gave it to Hunt. Later on, Hunt handed over it to Mary, who kept it until her demise.
  • Shelley's ashes were stored for several months in the British Consul's wine cellar in Rome before eventually being buried in the Protestant Cemetery.
  • When Mary Shelley died in 1851 her husband's heart was found amongst her belongings. The heart was buried in 1889, 67 years after Shelley's death, with the body of his son Sir Percy Florence Shelley.
  • In 1889, the French painter Louis Édouard Fournier painted The Funeral of Shelley depicting the cremation scene of Shelley’s body.
  • Shelley was a vegetarian and wrote many pamphlets on the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle.
  • Most of his major works were written in the last four years before his demise.
  • During his lifetime Shelley did not earn any money from his writings.
  • When first written in 1817, his long narrative poem The Revolt of Islam (1818) was named as Laon and Cythna.
  • His wife, Mary Shelley was the author of the Gothic novel Frankenstein (1818).
  • Although Shelley’s death was a clear case of accident, many believe that he committed suicide due to his inner torments.
  • Henry David Thoreau's civil disobedience and Mahatma Gandhi's passive resistance were influenced and inspired by Shelley's nonviolence in protest and political action.


" Percy Bysshe Shelley.” Academy of American Poets. 2016. Academy of American Poets. 21 April 2016

" Percy Bysshe Shelley.” Poetry Foundation. 2016. Poetry Foundation. 21 April 2016

" Percy Bysshe Shelley.” Literary Devices. 2016. Literary Devices. 21 April 2016

"Percy Bysshe Shelley.” Neurotic Poets. 2016. Neurotic Poets Web Site. 21 April 2016

" Percy Bysshe Shelley.” Shmoop. 2016. Shmoop University Inc. 21 April 2016

" Percy Bysshe Shelley Biography.” The website. 2016. A&E Television Networks. 21 April 2016

" The Death of Percy Bysshe Shelley.” History in an Hour. 2016. History in an Hour. 21 April 2016

 “Percy Bysshe Shelley” Microsoft Encarta. DVD-ROM. Redmond: Microsoft, 2005.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thomas Hardy Quick Facts

Thomas Hardy

English novelist and poet of the naturalist movement.
Thomas Hardy


  • Full Name: Thomas Hardy
  • AKA: Thomas Masterson Hardy
  • Date of Birth: June 2, 1840
  • Place of Birth: Higher Bockhampton, Dorset, United Kingdom
  • Zodiac Sign: Gemini
  • Death: January 11, 1928
  • Place of Death: Dorchester, Dorset, United Kingdom
  • Cause of Death: Unknown
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Religion: Anglican
  • Nationality: British
  • Place of Burial:
1. Heart- Stinsford parish church
2. Ashes- Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey
  • Father: Thomas Hardy (1811-1892)
  • Mother: Jemima Hardy (née Hand) (1813-1904)
  • Siblings:
1. Sister- Mary Hardy (1841-1915)
2. Brother- Henry Hardy (1851-1928)
3. Sister- Kate Hardy (1856-1940)
  • Spouses:
1. Emma Lavinia Gifford (b. 1840–d. 1912; m. 1874, until her death)
2. Florence Dugdale (b.1879–d. 1937; m. 1914, until his death)
  • Children: None
  • Alma Mater: Mr. Last's Academy, King's College London
  • Known for: his contribution in the naturalist movement
  • Criticized for: his frank treatment of sexuality as well as his empathetic treatment of a fallen woman in Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891)
  • Influences: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), John Milton (1608–1674),  Thomas Gray (1716 –1771)Charles Dickens (1812–1870), William Wordsworth (1770 –1850), Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 –1860), William Barnes (1801-1866), Charles Darwin (1809 –1882), Charlotte Brontë (1816 –1855), Emily Brontë (1818 –1848), George Meredith (1828–1909), Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909)
  • Influenced: Robert Frost (1874 –1963), Edward Thomas (1878 – 1917), Ezra Pound (1885 –1972), D.H. Lawrence (1885 –1930), Dylan Thomas (1914–1953)


“It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.” Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd

Major Themes

  • Human misery
  • Alienation/ Loneliness
  • Uncaring universe
  • Chance/Fate
  • Disappointment
  • Love
  • Nature
  • War

Notable Works

  • Desperate Remedies  (1871)
  • Under the Greenwood Tree (1872)
  • A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873)
  • Far from the Madding Crowd (1874)
  • The Hand of Ethelberta  (1876)
  • The Return of the Native (1878)
  • The Trumpet-Major (1880)
  • A Laodicean (1881)
  • Two on a Tower (1882)
  • The Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid (1883)
  • The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886)
  • Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891)
  • The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved (1892)
  • Jude the Obscure (1895)
Short Story
Wessex Tales
  • The Three Strangers (1883)
  • A Tradition of Eighteen Hundred and Four (1882)
  • The Melancholy Hussar of The German Legion (1890)
  • The Withered Arm (1888)
  • Fellow-Townsmen (1880)
  • Interlopers At The Knap (1884)
  • The Distracted Preacher (1879)
Life's Little Ironies
  • An Imaginative Woman (1894)
  • The Son's Veto (1891)
  • For Conscience' Sake (1891)
  • A Tragedy Of Two Ambitions (1888)
  • On The Western Circuit (1891)
  • To Please His Wife (1891)
  • The Fiddler of the Reels (1893)
  • A Few Crusted Characters (1891)
-Tony Kytes, the Arch-Deceiver
-The History of the Hardcomes
-The Superstitious Man's Story
-Andrey Satchel and the Parson and Clerk
-Old Andrey's Experience as a Musician
-Absent-Mindedness in a Parish Choir
-The Winters And The Palmleys
-Incident in the Life of Mr. George Crookhill
-Netty Sargent's Copyhold
A Group of Noble Dames (1891)
  • The First Countess of Wessex (1889)
  • Barbara Of The House Of Grebe (1890)
  • The Marchioness of Stonehenge (1890)
  • Lady Mottisfont (1890)
  • The Lady Icenway (1890)
  • Squire Petrick's Lady (1890)
  • Anna, Lady Baxby (1890)
  • The Lady Penelope (1890)
  • The Duchess of Hamptonshire (1878)
  • The Honourable Laura (1881)
A Changed Man
  • A Changed Man (1900)
  • The Waiting Supper (1887-1888)
  • Alicia's Diary (1887)
  • The Grave By The Handpost (1897)
  • Enter a Dragoon (1900)
  • A Tryst At An Ancient Earthwork (1885)
  • What The Shepherd Saw (1881)
  • A Committee-Man of 'The Terror' (1896)
  • Master John Horseleigh, Knight (1893)
  • The Duke's Reappearance (1896)
  • A Mere Interlude (1885)
  • The Romantic Adventures Of A Milkmaid (1883)
Excluded and Collaborative Stories
  • How I Built Myself A House (1865)
  • Destiny and a Blue Cloak (1874)
  • The Thieves Who Couldn't Stop Sneezing (1877)
  • Our Exploits At West Poley (1892-1893)
  • Old Mrs. Chundle (1929)
  • The Doctor's Legend (1891)
  • The Spectre of the Real (1894)
  • Blue Jimmy: The Horse Stealer (1911)
  • The Unconquerable (1992)
  • (As sung by Mr. Charles Charrington in the play of The Three Wayfarers)
  • (Greek Title)
  • A Broken Appointment
  • A Christmas Ghost Story
  • A Commonplace Day
  • A Confession To A Friend In Trouble
  • A Man (In Memory of H. of M.)
  • A Meeting With Despair
  • A Sign-Seeker
  • A Spot
  • A Thunderstorm In Town
  • A Wasted Illness
  • A Wife In London
  • Additions
  • After Schiller
  • Afterwards
  • Ah Are You Digging On My Grave?
  • Amabel
  • An Ancient To Ancients
  • An August Midnight
  • An Autumn Rain-Scene
  • Architectural Masks
  • At A Bridal
  • At a Hasty Wedding
  • At a Lunar Eclipse
  • At An Inn
  • At Castle Boterel
  • At Lulworth Cove A Century Back
  • At The Railway Station Upways
  • At the War Office London
  • Beeny Cliff
  • Between Us Now
  • Between Us Now
  • Birds at Winter Nightfall (Triolet)
  • By the Earths Corpse
  • Cardinal Bembos Epitaph on Raphael
  • Catullus: XXXI
  • Channel Firing
  • De Profundis
  • Departure
  • Ditty
  • Domicilium
  • Doom and She
  • Drummer Hodge
  • During Wind And Rain
  • Embarcation
  • Epitaph On A Pessimist
  • Fragment
  • Friends Beyond
  • From Victor Hugo
  • Genoa and the Mediterranean
  • George Meredith
  • God-Forgotten
  • Gods Funeral
  • Hap
  • He Never Expected Much
  • Heiress And Architect
  • Her Death And After
  • Her Dilemma
  • Her Immortality
  • Her Initals
  • Her Late Husband (Kings-Hintock 182-.)
  • Her Reproach
  • Heredity
  • His Immortality
  • How Great My Grief (Triolet)
  • I Have Lived With Shades
  • I Have Lived With Shades
  • I Look Into My Glass
  • I Need Not Go
  • I Said To Love
  • I Said to Love
  • In A Eweleaze Near Weatherbury
  • In A Museum
  • In a Wood
  • In Tenebris
  • In The Moonlight
  • In The Old Theatre Fiesole
  • In The Vaulted Way
  • In Time Of The Breaking Of Nations
  • In Vision I Roamed
  • Last Words To A Dumb Friend
  • Lausanne In Gibbons Old Garden: 11-12 p.m
  • Leipzig
  • Let Me Enjoy
  • Lines On The Loss Of The Titanic
  • Long Plighted
  • Mad Judy
  • Men Who March Away
  • Middle-Age Enthusiasms
  • Midnight On The Great Western
  • Mismet
  • Moments Of Vision
  • Mute Opinion
  • My Cicely
  • My Spirit Will Not Haunt The Mound
  • Natures Questioning
  • Neutral Tones
  • Night In The Old Home
  • No Buyers
  • On a Fine Morning
  • On an Invitation to the United States
  • Postponement
  • Revulsion
  • Rom: On the Palatine
  • Rome at the Pyramid of Cestius Near the Graves of Shelley and Keats
  • Rome: Building a New Street in the Ancient Quarter
  • Rome: On the Palatine
  • Rome: The Vatican-Sala Delle Muse
  • San Sebastian
  • Sapphic Fragment
  • Satires of Circumstance in Fifteen Glimpses VIII: In the St
  • She At His Funeral
  • She Hears The Storm
  • She To Him
  • She to Him I
  • She to Him II
  • She To Him III
  • She To Him IV
  • Shelleys Skylark (The neighbourhood of Leghorn: March)
  • Song From Heine
  • Song of Hope
  • Song of the Soldiers Wifes
  • Tesss Lament
  • The Alarm
  • The Bedridden Peasant to an Unknown God
  • The Bridge of Lodi
  • The Bullfinches
  • The Burghers
  • The Caged Thrush Freed and Home Again (Villanelle)
  • The Casterbridge Captains
  • The Cave Of The Unborn
  • The Choirmasters Burial
  • The Church-Builder
  • The Colonels Solilquy
  • The Comet at Valbury or Yellham
  • The Contretemps
  • The Convergence Of The Twain
  • The Coquette and After (Triolets)
  • The Dame of Athelhall
  • The Dance At The Phoenix
  • The Darkling Thrush
  • The Dead Drummer
  • The Dead Man Walking
  • The Dream-Follower
  • The Fallow Deer At The Lonely House
  • The Farm Womans Winter
  • The Fire At Tranter Sweatleys
  • The Ghost Of The Past
  • The Going
  • The Going of the Battery Wives. (Lament)
  • The House Of Hospitalities
  • The Impercipient
  • The Inconsistent
  • The Ivy-Wife
  • The Kings Experiment
  • The Lacking Sense Scene.--A sad-coloured landscape Waddon Vale
  • The Last Chrysanthemum
  • The Levelled Churchyard
  • The Lost Pyx: A Mediaeval Legend
  • The Man He Killed
  • The Masked Face
  • The Milkmaid
  • The Mother Mourns
  • The Oxen
  • The Peasants Confession
  • The Phantom Horsewoman
  • The Pity Of It
  • The Puzzled Game-Birds
  • The Rambler
  • The Respectable Burgher on The Higher Criticism
  • The Roman Road
  • The Ruined Maid
  • The Seasons of Her Year
  • The Selfsame Song
  • The Self-Unseeing
  • The Sergeants Song
  • The Sick God
  • The Sleep-Worker
  • The Slow Nature
  • The Souls of the Slain
  • The Subalterns
  • The Sun On The Bookcase
  • The Superseded
  • The Supplanter: A Tale
  • The Temporary The All
  • The Tenant-For-Life
  • The To-Be-Forgotten
  • The Tree: An Old Mans Story
  • The Two Men
  • The Voice
  • The Well-Beloved
  • The Widow
  • The Years Awakening
  • Then And Now
  • Thought Of Ph---a At News Of Her Death
  • Thoughts Of Phena
  • To A Lady
  • To An Orphan Child
  • To An Unborn Pauper Child
  • To Flowers From Italy in Winter
  • To Life
  • To Lizbie Browne
  • To Outer Nature
  • Transformations
  • Under The Waterfall
  • Unknowing
  • V.R. 1819-1901 (A Reverie.)
  • Valenciennes
  • Waiting Both
  • Weathers
  • When I Set Out For Lyonnesse
  • Winter in Durnover Field
  • Wives in the Sere
  • Zermatt to the Matterhorn

Did You Know?

  • Hardy was the eldest of the four children of Thomas Hardy and Jemima Hardy.
  • His father, Thomas was a self-employed master mason and building contractor.
  • Hardy’s mother, Jemima was a former maidservant and cook.
  • His mother’s love for reading inspired him to grow interest in literature.
  • He was also very fond of reading romances and his favourite authors include William Harrison Ainsworth, Walter Scott, and Alexander Dumas.
  • Hardy received his initial education from his mother at home until the age of eight when he went to school for the first time. After schooling he became an apprentice in 1856 to a local architect, John Hicks. He worked there with a specialization in the restoration of Churches until 1862.
  • In April 1862, Hardy decided to suspend his architectural apprenticeship and left for London to study architecture at King's College. Despite achieving a prize-winning performance in studies, he decided to take writing as a career.
  • Hardy's experience from architectural apprenticeship is evident in many of his poetry and fiction. For instance, the character of Jude in Jude the Obscure (1895), is a stonemason.
  • Before moving to London he proposed and been rejected by a Dorchester girl, Mary Waight, who was older than him.
  • In 1870, Hardy met Emma Lavinia Gifford. Although the couple deeply fell in love with each other, they married after four years. But surprisingly, none of Hardy’s family attended the wedding ceremony.
  • The first years of their marriage were quite happy. The couple spent their honeymoon in Paris and travelled a lot. However, in later years Emma felt more and more isolated from her husband, and got mentally unstable, which culminated into her sudden death in 27th November 1912.
  • Emma kept a secret private diary in which she recorded her remarks and her complaints about her husband. Moreover, she also discussed various sides of their marriage with a few acquaintances.
  • Emma’s death put Hardy into complete dismay but at same time inspired him to write a number of poems which recalled his happy time with Emma when they were young.
  • On 6 February 1914, he married Florence Dugdale, who was almost forty years younger than him. Sadly, his second marriage also proved to be unhappy, because Hardy preferred spending much time in study rather than with Florence. Consequently, like Emma she also felt lonely most of the time.
  • Hardy did not have any children with either of his wives.
  • In March 1865 his first short story was published in Chambers's Journal.
  • When his novel Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) appeared anonymously in the Cornhill Magazine, many attributed it to George Eliot.
  • Hardy anonymously published two of his early novels, Desperate Remedies (1871) and Under the Greenwood Tree (1872).
  • Due to unconventional presentation of women the publication of Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891) and Jude the Obscure (1895) created a public uproar. Disturbed by the public reaction Hardly decided to stop writing prose fictions.
  • Much of his works are set in the fictional region of Wessex, which is mostly inspired by Dorset, his birthplace.
  • Hardy's first volume of poetry, Wessex Poems was published in 1898.
  • In December 1927, Hardy fell sick with pleurisy and eventually died in January 1928. After the funeral on 16 January, his heart was buried with his first wife Emma and ashes in Poet's Corner.

Media Gallery

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy

Emma Lavinia Gifford

Thomas Hardy with Florence Dugdale

Thomas Hardy with Florence Dugdale



“Thomas Hardy.” Wikipedia. 2016. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 15 April 2016

“Thomas Hardy. A Biographical Sketch.” The Victorian Web. 2016. The Victorian Web. 15 April 2016

“Thomas Hardy.” NNDB. 2014. Soylent Communications. 15 April 2016

“Thomas Hardy.” The Famous People. 2016. Famous People. 15 April 2016

“Hardy's Impact on Modern Poetry.” Gettysburg College. 2016. Gettysburg. 15 April 2016


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Virginia Woolf Quick Facts

Virginia Woolf

20th century English novelist, essayist, publisher, and critic
Virginia Woolf


  • Full Name: Adeline Virginia Woolf
  • Birth Name: Adeline Virginia Stephen
  • AKA: Virginia Woolf
  • Date of Birth: 25 January 1882
  • Place of Birth: Kensington, Middlesex, England
  • Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
  • Physique: Slender
  • Height: 5 ft 7 in
  • Eye Colour: Grey
  • Hair Colour: Light Brown
  • Nationality: British
  • Death: 28 March 1941
  • Place of Death: River Ouse, near Lewes, Sussex, England
  • Epitaph: “Beneath this tree are buried the ashes of Virginia Woolf. Born January 25 1882, Died March 28 1941. Death is the enemy. Against you I will fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding o Death! The waves broke on the shore.”
  • Cause of Death: Suicide
  • Place of Burial: Monk's House Grounds, Rodmell, East Sussex, England
  • Father: Sir Leslie Stephen (1832–1904)
  • Mother: Julia Jackson Duckworth (1846–1895)
  • Siblings:
1. Sister- Vanessa Stephen Bell (1879-1961)
2. Brother- Thoby Stephen (1880-1906)
3. Brother- Adrian Stephen (1883-1948)
5. Half- brother (mother's side): George Duckworth (1868-1934)
6. Half- sister (mother's side): Stella Duckworth (1869-1897)
4. Half- sister (father's side): Laura Makepeace Stephen (1870-1945)
7. Half- brother (mother's side): Gerald Duckworth (1870-1937)
  • Spouse: Leonard Woolf (b. 1880-d. 1969; m. 1912–1941till her death)
  • Children: None
  • Known for: founding the modernist movement in British literature, especially the feminist literary criticism.
  • Criticized for: writing by intuition and feelings rather than by a scientific, analytical or systematic method.
  • Influences: Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809 –1894), Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862), Walt Whitman (1819 –1892), James Russell Lowell (1819 –1891), Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), Roger Fry (1866–1934)
  • Influenced: Bertrand Russell (1872 –1970), E.M. Forster (1879 – 1970), Leonard Woolf (1880 –1969), Lytton Strachey (1880 –1932), Clive Bell (1881 –1964), T.S Eliot (1888 –1965), Sylvia Plath (1932 –1963), Pat Barker (b.1943), Vanessa Grant, Annie Dillard (b. 1945), Rebeca Solnit (b. 1961), Toby Litt (b. 1968),


“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

Major Themes

  • Life & Death
  • Passage of Time
  • Human Consciousness
  • Feminine Sensibility
  • Gender Relation
  • Consequences of War
  • Class Hierarchy
  • Sanity & Insanity
  • Loneliness
  • Complexity of human relationships
  • Exploration of the human personality

Notable Works

  1. The Voyage Out (26 March 1915, Duckworth; U.S. pub. by Doran, May 1920)
  2. Two Stories (1917)
  3. Kew Gardens (12 May 1919)
  4. Night and Day (20 Oct 1919, Duckworth; U.S. pub. Doran, 1920)
  5. Monday or Tuesday (7 April 1921; U.S. pub. Harcourt Brace, Nov. 1921)
  6. Jacob’s Room (27 Oct 1922; U.S. pub. Harcourt Brace, 1922)
  7. Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown (1923)
  8. The Common Reader (First Series, 23 Apr 1925)
  9. Mrs. Dalloway (14 May 1925; simultaneously in England and U.S.)
  10. To the Lighthouse (5 May 1927)
  11. Orlando (2 October 1928)
  12. A Room of One’s Own (24 Oct 1929)
  13. The Waves (October 1931)
  14. The Common Reader (Second Series, 1932)
  15. Flush (5 October 1933)
  16. The Years (13 March 1937]
  17. Three Guineas (4 June 1938)
  18. Roger Fry (25 July 1940)
  19. Between the Acts (17 July 1941)
  20. A Writer’s Diary (posthumously, UK 1953)
  21. Moments of Being (posthumously, US 1976, ed. Jeanne Schulkind)

Did You Know?

  • Virginia’s mother, Julia Jackson, died when she was only thirteen years old.
  • Her father, Sir Leslie Stephen was a prominent historian, author, critic, and a founding editor of the Dictionary of National Biography.
  • Both of her parents were married previously.
  • Her father was previously married to Harriet Marian (Minny) Thackeray (1840–1875), the daughter of William Makepeace Thackeray.
  • Although her brothers attended college, Virginia and her sisters did not receive a formal education.
  • Throughout her life Virginia suffered from bipolar disorder, which is characterized by alternating moods of mania and depression. That mental instability led her towards numerous suicide attempts.
  • In March of 1941 she drowned herself by filling her overcoat pockets with stones and walking into the River Ouse near her home.
  • In her suicide note she told Leonard that: “I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been.”
  • Woolf's body was not found until 18 April 1941.
  • Although Leonard proposed Virginia for marriage in several occasions, she refused due to her phobia for physical intercourse. However, Virginia couldn’t discard his third proposal and married Leonard Woolf on 10 August 1912.
  • During their honeymoon Leonard first came to learn about Virginia’s apathy for sex, which probably ensued from traumatic sexual abuse as a child.
  • Although Virginia wanted to have children, her doctor advised her to abstain from motherhood due to her mental instability.
  • Once Virginia thought of marrying the British writer Lytton Strachey partially because he was a homosexual and she considered him more of a brother than a sexual partner.
  • After her father’s demise Virginia together with other writers and artists such as, Lytton Strachey, Clive Bell, Rupert Brooke, Saxon Sydney-Turner, Duncan Grant, Leonard Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, David Garnett, and Roger Fry forged the Bloomsbury Group.
  • In 1917 Leonard and Virginia founded the Hogarth Press, which basically interested in publishing books by young and unknown writers. Although depended on hand-printing, the Hogarth Press published many important books including Prelude by Katherine Mansfield (1888–1923), Poems by T. S. Eliot (1888–1965). Even much of Virginia’s works was self-published through the Hogarth Press.
  • Her last work A Writer's Diary was published posthumously in 1953.
  • Virginia contributed a lot in initiating the modernist movement in literature by abandoning the traditional narrative style and pioneering the use of stream of consciousness.

Media Gallery

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf

Virginia and Leonard in 1912 during their engagement

Virginia and Leonard

Virginia and Leonard


" Virginia Woolf.” Wikipedia. 2016. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 2 April 2016

“Virginia Woolf.” Microsoft Encarta. DVD-ROM. Redmond: Microsoft, 2005.

" Virginia Woolf.” Shmoop. 2016. Shmoop University. 2 April 2016



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