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A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
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A Room of One's Own (original 1929; edition 1991)

by Virginia Woolf

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7,86993425 (4.11)402
Member:writestuff
Title:A Room of One's Own
Authors:Virginia Woolf
Info:Harcourt Brace & Company (1991), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 125 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:Essays

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A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf (1929)

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Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
Whenever someone talked about Virginia Woolf, they talked about this book, and how much they loved it. They recommended I start here, with A Room of One's Own, a collection of essays given at a speech at various universities.

I was skeptical. Up until very recently, I didn't read a lot of non-fiction. But this isn't just a collection of essays - you get a sense not only of Woolf's writing, but of the woman herself.

In this book she speculates that Shakespeare had a sister, and wonders how successful she might've been. (Not very, unless she had A Room of Her Own.)

The reason I love this book is because Virginia Woolf takes all that is familiar to me as a former history major, (the sexism rife throughout literature) and picks it apart. She's vulnerable, she's frustrated, she's a little bit bitter, but her writing is beautiful.

I'll leave you with one of the passages from the book that has stayed with me since I read it a few years ago.

"A queer, composite being thus emerges. Imaginatively she is of the highest importance; practically she is completely insignificant. She pervades poetry from cover to cover; she is all but absent from history. She dominates the lives of kings and conquerors in fiction; in fact she was the slave of any boy whose parents forced a ring upon her finger. Some of the most inspired words, some of the most profound thoughts in literature fall from her lips; in real life she could hardly read, could scarcely spell, and was the property of her husband.” ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
A short essay presented in book form, and yet one of the most powerful statements ever made in support of the freedom of women to follow their dreams. The way that Woolf structures and builds her essay, step by step from the foundation stones to the steeple-like point, should be a lesson to all aspiring writers. ( )
1 vote soylentgreen23 | Jul 3, 2016 |
Surprisingly, this long essay about society and art and sexism is one of Woolf's most accessible works. Woolf, a major modernist writer and critic, takes us on an erudite yet conversational--and completely entertaining--walk around the history of women in writing, smoothly comparing the architecture of sentences by the likes of William Shakespeare and Jane Austen, all the while lampooning the chauvinistic state of university education in the England of her day. When she concluded that to achieve their full greatness as writers women will need a solid income and a privacy, Woolf pretty much invented modern feminist criticism.
  fredjryder1946 | Jun 27, 2016 |
I'm sure it was ground-breaking in its time. I am not a scholar nor a writer, though, so after the first chapter I gave up fighting her incredibly long and rambling chapters and skimmed to the end. My copy has someone's pencil highlights so I checked what had been noted, and still it meant nothing to me.
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
[bc:A Room of One's Own|18842|A Room of One's Own|Virginia Woolf|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1388628641s/18842.jpg|1315615]


A Room of One’s Own - Virginia Woolf
Audio performance by Juliet Stevenson
5 stars

“But, you may say, we asked you to speak about women and fiction -- What has that got to do with a room of one’s own?”

It’s a very good question, and for a little more than 100 pages Virginia Woolf explains exactly why it is essential for a writer to have 500 a year and a room of her own. The tone of the essay is conversational and amusing. It felt surprisingly current despite being published in 1928.

This famous piece of nonfiction was the perfect pairing with my recent reading of Charlotte Bronte’s Villette. So much of Lucy Snowe’s angst and agony revolves around her lack of privacy at Madame Beck’s academy as well as her lack of financial backing to do anything else. Virginia Woolf understands that Bronte created Lucy out of her own deprivations, but she speculates about what else she might have written. ”One could not but play for a moment with the thought of what might have happened if Charlotte Bronte had possessed say three hundred a year -”. Woolf also plays, for more than a moment, with the tragic character of Shakespeare’s fictional, but equally talented, sister Judith. Just imagine.

Every word, every sentence, of this essay seems so precisely and meticulously placed on the page, I found myself rereading just for the sound of the words. Woolf asks as many question as she answers. It’s not surprising that the essay is still read and critiqued 88 years later.

I had two copies of the essay. [b:A Room of One's Own|18842|A Room of One's Own|Virginia Woolf|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1388628641s/18842.jpg|1315615] had a helpful biographical timeline, and interesting introduction and pages of fairly elementary footnotes. Juliet Stevenson’s audio performance, was outstanding. She had the perfect delivery for each and every sly, sarcastic, satirical comment.

( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Woolf, Virginiaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beeke, AnthonCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bell, VanessaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gordon, MaryForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gubar, SusanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simonsuuri, KirstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valentí, HelenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waals-Nachenius, C.E. van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
This essay is based upon two papers read to the Arts Society at Newnham and the Odtaa at Girton in October 1928. The papers were too long to be read in full, and have since been altered and expanded.
Dedication
First words
But, you may say, we asked you to speak about women and fiction -- what has that got to do with a room of one's own? I will try to explain.
Quotations
A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0156787334, Paperback)

Surprisingly, this long essay about society and art and sexism is one of Woolf's most accessible works. Woolf, a major modernist writer and critic, takes us on an erudite yet conversational--and completely entertaining--walk around the history of women in writing, smoothly comparing the architecture of sentences by the likes of William Shakespeare and Jane Austen, all the while lampooning the chauvinistic state of university education in the England of her day. When she concluded that to achieve their full greatness as writers women will need a solid income and a privacy, Woolf pretty much invented modern feminist criticism.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:46 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Why is it that men, and not women, have always had power, wealth, and fame? Woolf cites the two keys to freedom: fixed income and one's own room. Foreword by Mary Gordon.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

6 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141183535, 0141018984, 0141184604, 0141044888, 0141198540, 0734306555

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