9. The Death of her Great Grandfather
Next on our list of ten lesser known facts about Virginia Woolf, we have a hidden tale about her family. Virginia’s maternal great grandfather killed himself by drinking himself to death. His name was James Pattle. He was a member of the Bengal Civil Service; his dead body was sent back to England in a casket of rum. Unfortunately, there was a storm on the way and the cask consequently exploded, as a result of which his dead body mutilated. When his dead body arrived home, his widow died on the sight of it as it was quite a shock to see it in such a horrific condition.
8. Drove to Germany with her Husband
So, what do we have next on our list of ten lesser known facts about Virginia Woolf? Virginia married Leonard Woolf, and together the couple started the Hogarth Press. In the April of 1935, the two planned to take a trip to Germany. They both drove through Germany as a part of their yearly holiday break. When they passed through Bonn, they came across the supporters of Nazi waiting to welcome Hermann Goering, who was about to arrive. For most part of their drive through that area, they drove through two lines of Germans. The Nazi supporters would look at their monkey, Mitz and wave at them chanting ‘Hail Hitler’. Virginia would also wave back in response!
7. Suicidal Tendencies
Virginia’s life was emotionally torn right from the beginning. She lost her mother when she was 13 years of age, and two years after that her sister also died. She got her first nervous breakdown at that point of time. In his last days, her father was institutionalized for being emotionally disturbed. Her childhood was complicated and somewhat reflected by child abuse. Under all these circumstances, it was inevitable for her to be vulnerable to emotional breakdown. These circumstances led to suicidal tendencies that she displayed from time to time. Woolf suffered from depression and mood swings. It was also believed that she had bi-polar disorder. She first tried to commit suicide when she was 22, by jumping off a building. Since the height of the building was not too high, she did not succeed in her attempt to end her life. During the world war, Woolf and her husband would keep petrol in the garage to kill themselves if the Nazis won; the idea was to commit suicide by poisoning themselves with car exhaust. At last, at the age of 59, in 1941 she committed suicide by drowning herself in the sea. She walked into the River Ouse near Lewes, East Sussex, England, with a pocket full of rocks and drowned. The story of her death certainly deserved this spot on our list of ten lesser known facts about Virginia Woolf.
6. With Her Friends…
Next on our list of ten lesser known facts about Virginia Woolf, we have the most interesting bit from her life. Virginia Woolf and her friends wanted to do something naughty. So, they came up with this weird idea. They got black paint all over their faces and wore robes. They then went to a seaport and pretended to be the Prince of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and his entourage. Nobody could guess their actual identities and had them tour the Royal Navy battleship called the HMS Dreadnought. The tour lasted for 40 minutes and was conducted by the commander of the newly launched ship.