Row over the riverside statue of Virginia Woolf, the tragic author who drowned in a river after being beaten by her husband

  • An allegedly insensitive riverside statue by Virginia Woolf has caused a row
  • In East Sussex, the River Ouse drowned the acclaimed author.
  • Critics say the £50k Richmond, London statue could trigger copycat suicides 

It’s causing emotional turmoil worthy of one of her novels. The plans for Virginia Woolf’s riverside statue have been called ‘insensitive’ after Woolf drowned in the river. Opponents claim that it may even lead to copycat suicides.

Proposed statue depicts the writer sitting down on a bench looking out over the River Richmond in southwest London.

The £50,000 bronze statue was given the green light by Richmond Council earlier this week.

Campaigners disagree and say that it’s insensitive and in poor taste. It could also trigger suicide attempts similar to the one described.

Plans for a riverside statue of Virginia Woolf have been labelled as 'insensitive', given that the author drowned herself in a river, and opponents claim it could even trigger copycat suicides

The plans for Virginia Woolf’s riverside statue have been called ‘insensitive’ after the author drowned in a river. Opponents claim that it may even lead to copycat suicides

The modernist Bloomsbury Group author of books including Mrs Dalloway and To The Lighthouse killed herself aged 59 in the River Ouse, East Sussex, in 1941. Pictured: An artist's impression of the proposed statue

The Bloomsbury Group modernist author of To The Lighthouse and Mrs Dalloway, she died at 59 years old in East Sussex in the River Ouse on 31 May 1941. Photo: A rendering of the statue proposed by an artist

The Modernist Bloomsbury Group Author of Mrs Dalloway and To The Lighthouse, she died in East Sussex in 1941.

Barry May, Chairman of the Richmond Society stated that Virginia Woolf is a notable author, an icon for feminist causes, and a well-known resident. However, we believe that placing the statue along the riverside would not be wise, sensible or reckless.

“She drowned in a river at the ripe old age of 59, after having suffered from a mental disorder that had ruined her life. If you know her story, it might be distressing to see her sitting on a bench and gazing out at the water.

Virginia Woolf is considered one of the most influential modernist authors of the twentieth century

Virginia Woolf is one of the most important modernist writers of the 20th century. 

The statue would be put at the riverside in Richmond, London, if it's placement goes ahead

If it is placed, the statue will be installed at Richmond’s Riverside in London.

However, supporters argue that hiding the statue in a residential street would be offensive to Woolf’s history and should mean she is unable to take pride in her place at one of the most picturesque spots in the suburb.

The sculptors also pointed out that there are many more statues of animals than sculptures of women in London. Aurora Metro, the charity behind Woolf’s life-size statue by Laury Dzengremel said that the Richmond Society’s attempts to alter the position of Woolf’s stature, which was chosen for many practical reasons… is seen as an effort to make people like Woolf invisible.

The statue is meant to be a celebration of diversity and promote conversations about mental health, gender and sexuality. If the statue is hidden on a residential street, this cannot be achieved.

Kate Howard (Tory councillor) said, “It would be very poignant for a statue to be near the river as an example of how water can overcome us.”

Which are Virginia Woolf’s most renowned books?

Virginia Woolf pictured with her husband Leonard Woolf in Cassis on the French Riviera in 1928

Virginia Woolf photographed with Leonard Woolf at Cassis on France’s Riviera, 1928

Virginia Woolf is regarded as one of the greatest modernist writers in the 20th Century. 

The author’s legacy continues on, more than 70 years later. She was both a feminist critic and a pioneer in stream of consciousness.

Virginia Woolf has been a leader in stream-of-consciousness storytelling, a narrative device that is used by James Joyce and TS Elliot. She was most well known for her work in Mrs Dalloway.

Virginia and her sister Vanessa moved from Virginia to Bloomsbury. Key members Lyton Strachey (Duncan Grant), Clive Bell (and Leonard Woolf) met up to exchange their common views on pacifism as well as the arts and the bourgeoisie.

Leonard was her husband, publisher and carer. His intimate knowledge of Virginia’s relationships with Vita Sackville West (writer and gardener) was evident. The 1928 novel describes this fascination. Orlando.

However Orlando It is well-known for being progressive due to its questioning gender in Woolf’s 1929 essay One Room of OneIts statement that a woman must have financial independence as well as freedom from the responsibilities of motherhood to achieve personal success was also a great idea.