Virginia Woolf 1908 letter expected to sell for up to $15,000

A letter written by Virginia Woolf to her brother-in-law in 1908 is valued at $10,000-15,000 ahead of a sale at Bonhams New York.

It dates to early in her career - prior to the publication of her first novel, A Voyage Out, which was released in 1915.

Virginia Woolf Bonhams
Virginia Woolf was one of the most important novelists of the 20th century

She talks about the development of her writing, explaining: "I should like to write a very subtle work on the proper writing of lives. What it is that you can write, & what writing is.

"It comes over me that I know nothing of the art; but blunder in a rash way after motive, & human character... I should choose my writing to be judged as a chiselled block, unconnected with my hand entirely."

A handwritten letter from George Washington is also offered.

It dates to March 1, 1782, a year before the end of the revolutionary war, and is written in reply to a request by a Colonel Dayton to execute a deserter.

Washington agrees, but does not give a date - meaning Dayton would have to submit a separate request.

Washington was largely against the practice of executing deserters and avoided implicating himself where possible.

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