Virginia Woolf, Nicole Kidman, The Hours, trailer

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The Hours (2003)
Starring Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore
based on the novel by Michael Cunningham
Reel Face: Real Face:
Nicole Kidman Nicole Kidman
June 20, 1967
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Virginia Woolf Virginia Woolf
Born: January 25,
London, England,
Date of Death:
March 28, 1941
Lewes, Sussex,
England, UK.

"Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by his heart, and his friends can only read the title." - Virginia Woolf

Questioning the Story:

Did Virginia Woolf really commit suicide by drowning herself in a river with a stone?
Yes, Virginia did commit suicide by putting a large stone in the pocket of her coat to weigh herself down under the water of the nearby river Ouse. In the film, however, before her suicide, she writes two farewell letters, one to her husband and one to her sister, Vanessa. This is not entirely accurate, Vara Neverow, president of the International Virginia Woolf Society, points out. "Essentially, there were two letters written to her husband, one of which was found later," Neverow says. The other letter is believed to have been written ten days earlier, before a previous unsuccessful attempt, where she returned home from a walk soaking wet, saying that she had fallen.

Virginia Woolf's Voice:

Travel back some sixty years into history as you listen to part of the only surviving record of Virginia Woolf's voice. The excerpt is from a broadcast that she made on April 29, 1937. She is talking about 'words' and says:

"....purity or their impurity discussed. If you start a society for pure English they will show their resentment by starting another for impure English. Hence the unnatural violence of much modern speech."

LISTEN (.wav, 132k)

The quality is not high, but by listening we can hear her voice and accent, which to contemporary British ears sounds both upper-class and very dated. This reminds us of the time from which she came, having been born in 1882, the daughter of a knight.

Virginia's Farewell Letter to Her Husband:

'Dearest, 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.


Link to Learn More:

Here are the best Virginia Woolf sites that we know of on the web. Learn about Virginia's psychiatric history, read about her life chronologically, join the International Virginia Woolf Society, and much more. Everything you need to become a true Woolfian can be found below.
Virginia Woolf's Psychiatric History
Virginia Woolf Chronology (traces the events in her life)
Virginia Woolf - Suicide
Read Her Works (a listing of Virginia Woolf Items)
Images of Virginia Woolf
International Virginia Woolf Society

Watch The Hours Movie Preview:

The Hours movie trailer



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