History’s Most Famous Suicides, From Artists To Politicians

Virginia Woolf

The British author was born on Jan. 25, 1882 and her revolutionary stream of consciousness style of writing made her an important figure in the literary scene. She gained fame with her novels Mrs. Dalloway, To The Lighthouse and A Room Of One’s Own, but underneath the fame, Woolf’s mental health suffered.
On March 28, 1941, Woolf wrote a note to her sister and her husband, which hinted that she had disappeared to kill herself, and left her home. She then filled her pockets with rocks and walked into the nearby river Ouse.
After seeing the note she left behind and knowing her long history of mental illness, her family assumed that she had taken her own life when she had disappeared but her body had not been recovered yet. Her brother-in-law wrote to a friend shortly after her disappearance saying that they remained hopeful that she would turn up but as more days passed, they grew less optimistic.
“For some days, of course, we hoped against hope that she had wandered crazily away and might be discovered in a barn or a village shop,” he wrote. “But by now all hope is abandoned; only as the body has not been found, she cannot be considered dead legally.”
Her family’s theories weren’t confirmed until three weeks after her disappearance when a group of children discovered her body washed up on shore.