It was 74 years ago today, on March 28, 1941, that Virginia Woolf left two suicide notes behind, walked out of Monk’s House and across the Sussex Downs and headed for the River Ouse. With a stone in her coat pocket, she waded into the river and drowned. She is still missed today.
Many tributes have been made to her on the anniversary of her death. Eight years ago, a video, The Adventures of Virginia Woolf, was posted on YouTube that speculates on what Woolf would have accomplished if she had chosen to live on that fateful date in March of 1941.
Four years ago, the Elite Theatre Company presented the world premiere of Arthur Kraft’s drama “Goat,” about what might have happened if a psychologist had prevented Woolf’s suicide.
That same year, her great niece, Emma Woolf, wrote an article for The Independent, “Literary haunts: Virginia’s London walks,” that speculated about what Virginia Woolf would have thought of today’s London.
“The Writer’s Almanac” has payed tribute to her.
Tributes this year
And each year on this day, social media lights up with posts that commemorate her life, her work and her death, making Woolf a trending topic. One example is @HistoryTime_’s Twitter post below that features a photograph of The New York Times coverage of her death.
The most notable piece so far this year is Maria Popova’s critique of the media treatment of Woolf’s death 75 years ago in her post on Brain Pickings: “March 28, 1941: Virginia Woolf’s Suicide Letter and Its Cruel Misinterpretation in the Media.”
The perfect accompaniment to that is the video of actress Louise Brealey’s poignant reading of Woolf’s last letter to Leonard, which is posted on The Telegraph website. A video of Brealey reading the letter at the Hay Festival is also available on YouTube, but the audio is not as pristine.