To the Lighthouse was Virginia Woolf’s most commercially successful novel. From sales of the book, she and her husband were able to buy a car.
To the Lighthouse is considered Woolf’s most autobiographical novel. Woolf’s family (the Stephen family – Woolf is her married name) had a summer house facing a lighthouse, and her father, Leslie Stephen, is considered the model for Mr. Ramsay. Mrs. Ramsay is most definitely modeled after her mother, and Virginia Woolf herself most closely resembles Lily – particularly in the way Lily is attracted to Mrs. Ramsay’s life while refusing to follow the same pattern.