Virginia Woolf was born in London in 1882, the daughter of Sir Leslie Stephen, first editor of The Dictionary of National Biography. After his death in 1904 Virginia and her sister, the painter Vanessa Bell, moved to Bloomsbury and became the centre of The Bloomsbury Group. This informal collective of artists and writers which included Lytton Strachey and Roger Fry, exerted a powerful influence over early twentieth-century British culture. In 1912 Virginia married Leonard Woolf, a writer and social reformer. Three years later, her first novel The Voyage Out was published, followed by Night and Day (1919) and Jacobs Room (1922). These first novels show the development of Virginia Woolfs distinctive and innovative narrative style. It was during this time that she and Leonard Woolf founded The Hogarth Press with the publication of the co-authored Two Stories in 1917, hand-printed in the dining room of their house in Surrey. Between 1925 and 1931 Virginia Woolf produced what are now regarded as her finest masterpieces, from Mrs Dalloway (1925) to the poetic and highly experimental novel The Waves (1931). She also maintained an astonishing output of literary criticism, short fiction, journalism and biography, including the playfully subversive Orlando (1928) and A Room of Ones Own (1929) a passionate feminist essay. This intense creative productivity was often matched by periods of mental illness, from which she had suffered since her mothers death in 1895. On 28 March 1941, a few months before the publication of her final novel, Between the Acts, Virginia Woolf committed suicide.
D(avid) H(erbert) Lawrence was born on September 11, 1885. His father was a coal miner and Lawrence grew up in a mining town in England. He always hated the mines, however, and frequently used them in his writing to represent both darkness and industrialism, which he despised because he felt it was scarring the English countryside. Lawrence attended high school and college in Nottingham and, after graduation, became a school teacher in Croyden in 1908. Although his first two novels had been unsuccessful, he turned to writing full time when a serious illness forced him to stop teaching. Lawrence spent much of his adult life abroad in Europe, particularly Italy, where he wrote some of his most significant and most controversial novels, including Sons and Lovers and Lady Chatterly's Lover. Lawrence and his wife, Frieda , who had left her first husband and her children to live with him, spent several years touring Europe and also lived in New Mexico for a time. Lawrence had been a frail child, and he suffered much of his life from tuberculosis. Eventually, he retired to a sanitorium in Nice, France. He died in France in 1930, at age 44. In his relatively short life, he produced more than 50 volumes of short stories, poems, plays, essays, travel journals, and letters, in addition to the novels for which he is best known.