Women’s History Month: focus on Mary McCarthy and Virgina Woolf

Mary McCarthy [1912-1989]


–grew up as an orphan in Minnesota
–graduated from Vassar College in 1933
–worked as drama and literary critic
–married to Edmund Wilson, literary critic, from 1938-1946 [like many women’s college graduates/feminists she kept her own name]
–married four times


–best known for The Group [1966]– the postgrad experience of a group of Vassar women–and The Birds of America [1970]–Americans abroad, based on McCarthy’s life in Paris in the sixties

Virginia Woolf [1882–1941]

–born in London
–daughter of model Julia Prinsep Stephen and editor, critic and biographer Sir Leslie Stephen
–home schooled by her father
–when Virginia was 13, her mother died which led to Virginia’s nervous breakdowns
–her father died in 1904 and Virginia was institutionalized briefly
— in 1912 she married writer Leonard Woolf
–her novels:

The Voyage Out [1915]
Night and Day [1919]
Jacob’s Room [1922]
Mrs. Dalloway [1925]
To the Lighthouse [1927]
Orlando [1928]
The Waves [1931]
The Years [1937]
Between the Acts [1941]
–Virginia Woolf drowned herself March 28, 1941

my two favorite books by Virgina Woolf:

Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of a man at twice its natural size.
from A Room of One’s Own (1929)

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