English author Virginia Woolf is considered a pioneer due to her use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device. One of the most important modernist writers of the 20th century, she was also plagued throughout her life with mental illness which led to her institutionalization on several occasions.
Though she was happily married, in 1941, at the age of 59, she filled her coat with stones and drowned herself in the River Ouse. Prior to her death, she left two letters, one to her husband and one to her sister. One letter read, “Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness.”