Popular novelist Virginia Woolf was best known for the best selling books: Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), Orlando (1928), and the book-length essay A Room of One’s Own (1929). She was considered one of the foremost modernists of the 20th century. However, in 1941, she chose to end her own life at the age of 59 years old.
Virginia had a long battle with mental illness. Many argue what type it was, but it really doesn’t matter. It was a disease and she couldn’t see herself getting any better. Thus, ending her life by filling her pockets with heavy rocks and walking into the River Ouse near her home.
Below is the letter she left behind.
I feel certain 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.