Books & Review
Updated: Dec 18, 2015 04:30 AM EST

Virginia Woolf

English novelist and critic Virginia Woolf (1882 - 1941), 1902.
(Photo : George C. Beresford/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

In a freshly unearthed poignant three-page letter, renowned novelist Virginia Woolf showed her support to her good friend Philip Morrell with sincere and articulate words of encouragement to help him get through his dilemma. This same letter will soon be on auction.

During their correspondence back in July 1940, the literary laureate hailing from Kensington in London learned about Philip's illness and urged him not to let himself be devoured by it but instead advised him to be strong as he goes through it.

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"My dear Philip, I was so glad to get your letter. Indirectly I'd heard of your illness, and was wanting more news," Woolf wrote as quoted by The Guardian. "You must take up your lodging on the ground floor, and go on living. Far too many of my friends have given that up lately," she added.  

Woolf also put her friend up to speed about what she was up to and that she was staying in Sussex during the time of writing, which coincidentally the same time the Battle of Britain was picking up steam.

The "Mrs. Dalloway" novelist also made it a point to request a memoir of sketch of her pal's wife Lady Ottoline Morrell. According to The Guardian, before Philip ended up marrying her, he was once smitten by Woolf.

Philip visited her and wrote her "tentative" love-letters, but the "To the Lighthouse" author dodged him "without much difficulty." Philip's wife also admired Woolf, describing the novelist as a "strange, lovely, furtive creature."

Woolf's letter is now on auction at Dominic Winter for £1000 to £1500. Senior valuer and auctioneer Chris Albury particularly loves the literary steal because of Woolf's natural talent to say so much colorful and inspiring things within just few lines.

"In three short pages she conveys her genuine compassion for Philip and interest in his literary projects, her desire that everyone should live their lives, insights into her choice of candidates for biographies, and a thumbnail description of her current country life against the backdrop of the Battle of Britain," Albury explained.

Albury added that any writing by Woolf always tends to be exciting "and there is always a mystique concerning any that might illuminate the tangled relationships of any of the Bloomsbury group and [former Morrel residence] Garsington Manor set."

To know more about the Virginia Woolf letter auction down at Dominic Winter, check the item's listing at The Saleroom.

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