Virginia Woolf, (1882-1941). British novelist, born Adeline Virginia Stephen. Her father, the critic and biographer Sir Leslie Stephen, educated her at home. After his death she became a leading figure in the ‘Blooms-bury group’ of artists and writers. In 1912 she married Leonard Woolf, and together they established the Hogarth Press in 1917. Her reputation was made with Mrs Dalloway (1925) and To the Lighthouse (1927); later novels include the historical fantasy Orlando (1928) and The Waves (1931). She used a number of experimental techniques in her works, including the ‘stream of consciousness’ technique developed by James Joyce. Her essays, reviews, and diaries are also well known. She had several periods of mental breakdown and in 1941 drowned herself in a river near her Sussex home.