A Room of One's Own

A Room of One's Own

Book - 1945
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Collecting two book-length essays, A Room of One's Own and Three Guineas is Virginia Woolf's most powerful feminist writing, justifying the need for women to possess intellectual freedom and financial independence. This Penguin Modern Classics edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Michele Barrett. A Room of One's Own, based on a lecture given at Girton College, Cambridge, is one of the great feminist polemics, ranging in its themes from Jane Austen and Carlotte Bront#65533; to the silent fate of Shakespeare's gifted (imaginary) sister and the effects of poverty and sexual constraint on female creativity. Three Guineas was published almost a decade later and breaks new ground in its discussion of men, militarism and women's attitudes towards war. These two pieces reveal Virginia Woolf's fiery spirit and sophisticated wit, and confirm her status as a highly inspirational essayist. Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) is regarded as a major 20th century author and essayist, a key figure in literary history as a feminist and modernist, and the centre of 'The Bloomsbury Group'. This informal collective of artists and writers which included Lytton Strachey and Roger Fry, exerted a powerful influence over early twentieth-century British culture. Between 1925 and 1931 Virginia Woolf produced what are now regarded as her finest masterpieces, from Mrs Dalloway (1925) to the poetic and highly experimental novel The Waves (1931). She also maintained an astonishing output of literary criticism, short fiction, journalism and biography, including the playfully subversive Orlando (1928) and A Room of One's Own (1929) a passionate feminist essay. If you enjoyed A Room of One's Own, you might like Woolf's Orlando, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'Probably the most influential piece of non-fictional writing by a woman in this century' Hermione Lee, Financial Times
Publisher: London : Penguin, 1945
ISBN: 9780141183534
0141183535
Branch Call Number: 823.912 W913rb
Characteristics: 111 p. ; 21 cm.

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kpelish
Apr 26, 2017

Glad I finally got to read this classic, especially contrasted against the rich tapestry that women writers weave today. In many ways, Woolf's impassioned fight for women's right to an income of her own/financial stability and cherished private space to reflect and create has come true; she wrote these lyrical essays back in 1928 (she's very humorous as she describes her encounters with the university beadles). In some ways, it's still an ongoing fight (fair pay, better gender balance at home with partners, equal representation in politics and the workplace, freedom from violence, etc.) but at least these issues are out in the open and easier to resolve (or "shrink", as the following passage illustrates: "Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size....if she begins to tell the truth, the figure in the looking glass shrinks.")

b
becker
Apr 08, 2016

What an incredibly interesting woman of her time. It was a privilege and a pleasure to be privy to her inner thoughts. She is so beautifully expressive that it made me quite emotional in places.

l
LaFilm
Dec 01, 2015

The prose, the talk of feminism, women and art; I loved.

Gratefulee Feb 16, 2013

A brilliant classic, poignantly profound and relevant for its time, while also being way ahead of its time. This timely and timeless talk turned essay, offered to women at Cambridge, by Virginia Woolf, nearly a century ago is still quite a timely testament for today's girls and women, and any caring creative human being who wishes to retain and express their heart and mind, in spite of their limit of income, time and other worldly resources. Enjoy!

rprivette Jan 30, 2012

semi-autobiographical; historical slice of life; extended essay

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