Virginia Woolf’s last letter

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I just had to blog about this.

Virginia Woolf’s life is a well publicised one. As is her death. On 28th March 1941, sixty-years ago today, she drowned herself by wading into the River Ouse in Yorkshire near her home, with her pockets filled with stones. Her body was not found for 18 days.

This is her last letter to her husband:

It reads:



I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that – everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer.

I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been.


Pretty beautiful. Now that I’ve shared that with you all, I’m off home to have my tea.

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6 thoughts on “Virginia Woolf’s last letter

  1. I loved reading Virginia Woolf. Have you ever read To The Lighthouse? I couldn’t put that one down, and I love the name of the daughter, Minta.

  2. What a poignant last letter – one might call it an altruistic suicide. It reminds me of a line from a Robert Lowell poem which I can’t remember the exact wording (wish I could) but is to the effect, “everyone has gotten tired of putting up with me and my problems.” Like Virginia Woolf, he also had severe mental problems

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