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King's College adds to Bloomsbury Group archive

19th March 2010

A new collection of letters by the Bloomsbury Group reveals their thoughts about the suicide of writer Virginia Woolf.

The letters of novelist Rosamond Lehmann and the diaries of writer Frances Partridge have shed new light on how the intellectual group dealt with Woolf's drowning in 1941.

In a letter to Partridge in the days after Woolf's disappearance, her brother-in-law Clive Bell wondered how long it would take The Times to report she was missing.

'I'm afraid there is not the slightest doubt that she drowned herself about noon last Friday … Her stick and footprints were found by the edge of the river,' he added.

Patricia McGuire, an archivist at King's College Cambridge, said the new collection, which is joining a vast archive of Bloomsbury Group documents at the institution, shows how the intellectuals were as articulate when describing real-life loss and love as they were more abstract matters.

Woolf was a prominent member of London's literary scene during the interwar period and published novels such as To the Lighthouse, Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Years.

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