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Electronic Research On Virginia Woolf

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Electronic Research on Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf was born Adeline Virginia Stephen on September 25, 1882 in London. Her father, Leslie Stephen was the first editor of the Dictionary of National Biography and was a distinguished member of the community for his contributions to public service. Her mother, Julia Stephen, as well as her father, had been previously married (Blackstone). Her father was previously married to the daughter of a novelist, and her mother to a barrister. Virginia lived with her parents, four full siblings, and three half siblings (Ingram). The Stephen family was rather wealthy and lived a comfortable lifestyle in a large house, many servants, and educational resources at their fingertips. At the age of thirteen Virginia's mother died unexpectedly and Virginia suffered her first of many mental breakdowns concerning the death of her friends and family (Blackstone). As a young teen Virginia spent most of her time in her father's extensive library, determined to become a writer herself one day (Blackstone). Her writing career started first with writing journals for the clerical paper called The Guardian and then for The Times Literary Supplement. She eventually evolved to writing novels such as The Voyage Out as well as a collection of short stories (Lombardi). Virginia's style of writing ranged anywhere from perceptive observations of Literature, to the content of her own novel's subjective exploration of theme, character, and poetic style (Pender). Eventually, due to her mental instability Virginia committed suicide in March of 1941 (Ingram).

When attempting to aquire the general information needed about Virginia Woolf there are many places to gather information. The Fresno City Library offers a reaserch database that narrows down a search to find exactly what is needed. Two popular search engines are Ebscohost and the Literature Resource Center. Ebscohost offers such information from academic journals, magazines, newspapers, books, and monographs. When the keyword "Virginia Woolf" is typed into the search engine Ebscohost the first item was from a recent article published by "Women's History Review". The article gives questionable information about Virginia Woolf, crediting her as "....making an impact in the early establishment of Vogue Magazine" (Pender). When further researched, it turns out that Virginia Woolf, surprisingly, did have an affiliation with Vogue Magazine as a editor and even fashion advisor (Merrimen). Although interesting information, to write a thorough essay about Virginia Woolf, more biographical information is needed first to understand her life. The main problem with Ebscohost is that it is exceedingly difficult to find the information needed about a subject. A lot of links actually give very little information at all. For example, when clicking on a link entitled "Virginia Woolf, an Inner Life", instead of finding biographical information on the subject, is a Rights Notice stating that the database normally includes full text of articles available from this publication. However, the particular article is not included at the request of the rights holder. When moving onto the second research database Literature Resource Center an option of narrowing a search for a author's biographical information, literary criticism, articles, work overviews and bibliographies can be accomplished. The links go straight to the entire biographies of Virginia Woolf such as a link simply entitled "Virginia Woolf" by Bernard Blackstone which contains much of the biographical information in the first paragraph.

The web offers far more information than the Library Research Database, but since just about anyone can put information onto the internet, it can take some extra research to see if the information gathered is valid or not. Often it can be a risk. When typing the keyword "Virginia Woolf" into the search engine of Comcast the first hit that came up was from Wikipeadia. Since anyone can put information on Wikipeadia it can not be trusted as a valid source. The second source is from The Literature Network, a copywrite website which contains over 200 author's biographical information. The website also gives some very interesting personal information about Virginia Woolf's mental instability, which other online articles tend to only mention. "The effects of bi-polar disorder at times caused

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