Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Room of One's Own” as Want to Read:
A Room of One's Own
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Room of One's Own

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  58,397 Ratings  ·  2,494 Reviews
Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whos ...more
Paperback, Penguin Great Ideas, 132 pages
Published September 2nd 2004 by Penguin (first published October 1928)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Room of One's Own, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Clive Campbell Since Virginia Woolf is regarded as one of the most important writers of any language ever, yes. Simply labeling Woolf with the term ''feminism'' is a…moreSince Virginia Woolf is regarded as one of the most important writers of any language ever, yes. Simply labeling Woolf with the term ''feminism'' is a little bit unfair since she was much more than just that. Although not one of my ''top 5'' favourite writers, Woolf is one of the most sympathetic and intelligent writers I have read and writes perhaps the most beautiful lines I have ever read in literature. Similarly, she is universally regarded along with George Orwell, Samuel Johnson and William Hazlitt as among the finest essay writers of the English language. Anything by Woolf (whether you like it or not) is worth reading for her intelligence, use of language, and influence on literature.(less)
A Room of One's Own by Virginia WoolfWhy I Write by George OrwellBooks v. Cigarettes by George OrwellUtopia by Thomas MoreA Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
Penguin Great Ideas
1st out of 100 books — 41 voters
1984 by George OrwellAnimal Farm by George OrwellBrave New World by Aldous HuxleyThe Stranger by Albert CamusWhere the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
White as the Driven Snow
277th out of 1,031 books — 230 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kelly
Every woman should read this. Yes, everyone who told me that, you were absolutely right. It is a little book, but it's quite likely to revitalize you. How many 113 page books and/or hour long lectures (the original format of this text) can say that?

This is Woolf's Damn The Man book. It is of course done in an overtly polite British way... until she brings up her fountain pen and stabs them right between the eyes. She manages to make this a work of Romantic sensibility, and yet modern, piercing,
...more
Trevor
There are so many books that one ‘just knows’ what they are going to be about. I have always ‘known’ about this book and ‘knew’ what it would be about. Feminist rant, right? Oh, these people do so preach to the choir, don’t they? Why do they hate men so much? In the end they are no different to the male chauvinists they are attacking. Why can’t they just be more even handed?

That none of this is the case, of course, does not matter at all, because reiterating received wisdom seems to be all that
...more
Samadrita
Words fail me as I seek to express what I think of Virginia Woolf. Or to sum up in a few measly paragraphs, a book that may just have shattered into a million pieces all my illusions about the art of writing and reshaped my whole perspective.

Have you ever imagined a disembodied voice whispering into your ears, the wisdom of the ages as you flipped through the pages of a book? how often have you conjured up the vision of the writer talking to you, teaching you, humoring you and coaxing you to ope
...more
Riku Sayuj

A World Of Her Own

“Here then I was (call me Mary Beton, Mary Seton, Mary Carmichael or by any name you please – it is not a matter of importance) sitting on the banks of a river a week or two ago in fine October weather, lost in thought.”

And they all do appear, as fictional novelists. Avatars of the Gauri.

Of course, I didn’t know they were so, and I didn't want to find out. I knew Woolf was perfectly capable of inventing novelists and novels inside this small thought-world she was spinning.

Wha
...more
Maria
Aug 21, 2015 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

It's is 7:45 and Im already waiting dressed as best as I can with my dark suit and white/blue collar shirt outside the office for a meeting I've been expecting over a month. A meeting that perhaps will lead me get closer to accomplish a goal I've been working nonstop for years, just waiting for an opportunity to be given. After fifteen minutes, the secretary arrives and nicely welcomes me. She tells me that the meeting was arranged to be held at 2:00p.m. I don't show her the email and the alarm
...more
Dolors
Jan 27, 2014 Dolors rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers and writers regardless of their gender
"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” exposes Woolf and her multiple fictional narrators, Mary Beton, Mary Seton and Mary Carmichael, embodying the universal voices of female writers that once were and the ones that never came to be, while relentlessly beguiling the reader, sinuously spiralling him down with evocative prose, genial dexterity with words and an unapologetic tone dripping with irony, righteousness and lyricism.

Sitting on the riverside in fro
...more
Rakhi Dalal
Feb 06, 2014 Rakhi Dalal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those aspiring to be writers
The distant orange sky seems to merge into a violet-grey as a thin isolating streak rebels against their integration. She sits by the window, her gaze fixed at the thin streak, waiting unconsciously for it to reach the ubiquitous vast blackness of the sky. On the table, in her front, the pages of the open book ruffle whenever a whiff of air passes through the window into her room. Her ears, accustomed to the soundless sound of the pages, hear a symphony of the words played upon the notes of the ...more
Rowena
Jan 27, 2013 Rowena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I hadn't really made up my mind about how I feel about Virginia Woolf, until now, that is. This book definitely showed her genius and I loved it. I enjoyed reading about the history of women writers including one of my favourites, George Eliot, and how they have been suppressed systematically by patriarchy. I filed this book under "feminism" but in no way does it ridicule men or say women are better than men, it simply states that women have not been given adequate chances in literature in the p ...more
Ian GalaDali
Virginia Plain Live

Virginia Woolf constantly defies my expectations, always for the better.

Nothing I had read prepared me for the light and comic touch of this short work (which is not to deny the lasting significance of its subject matter).

The essay grew out of a talk she gave to the female students at two Cambridge Colleges in 1928. She edited and added to it afterwards.

However, it still bears the traces of a live performance. It must have been inspiring to hear it in person.

The Four Marys

At
...more
Amy (shoutame)
Feb 23, 2016 Amy (shoutame) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, non-fiction
A highly informative and interesting read. I would recommend to all who have an interest in feminism, creativity or woman in fiction.

This is an extended essay taken from various lectures that Woolf gave during 1928. She uses a fictional narrator to discuss matters of woman in fiction and the creativity of woman throughout history. She sets a scene and describes how a sister of Shakespeare would of been treated had she had the same talent as her brother. She pulls out numerous texts in which men
...more
Kim

Many, many years ago, back in the mid 1970s when I was a freshly-minted law student a few months out of high school, I went to a party. There I met a sophisticated man, probably in his forties. He was a lawyer. I started telling him about my studies. When I look back on it now, I realise that I may have been overly enthusiastic, a bore even. However, for years I was enraged by his reaction. "Why do you want to study law? You'll get married one day and you'll need to help your husband. It would b
...more
Aubrey
4.5/5

This is a lovely, lovely introduction to feminism, full of wit and insight and the incomparable prose of the inimitable Woolf. Not perfect, and indeed there are a few bones I'd have loved to pick with her, but even with those this book is a boon to humanity.

Between bouts of beauteous imagery and fantastic meanderings of thought and form, we have many a discussion on the different subtleties by which the patriarchy in England inherited a history, controlled the present, and in Woolf's time i
...more
Paul
Mar 13, 2014 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism
A standard must read text based on Woolf’s lectures to the two Cambridge colleges which admitted women in 1928. It expresses a clear truth and clear injustice in very inventive ways. She describes her trials and tribulations in writing and researching the lectures using a skilfully woven skein of history, fiction, opinion and musings on the outrageousness of the place of women. The part about Shakespeare’s sister is brilliant.
Woolf is pointing out the importance of space and opportunity that hav
...more
May
Apr 28, 2016 May rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: estantería
Un discurso feminista impresionante de una de las mayores referentes de la literatura inglesa. Woolf nos habla de cómo las mujeres necesitan independencia económica para poder escribir y que no podrán tenerla en un mundo patriarcal.
Muy bueno y muy enriquecedor.
Me encantaron las alusiones a tantxs escritorxs de la literatura inglesa.
Misha
This is only the second Virginia Woolf book I have read (shocking, right?). Like the first one (Mrs. Dalloway), I find it a bit difficult to express how I feel about this book.

Though this has been described as a feminist classic, I think this can be read (in fact must be read) by anyone interested in women writers in history. The author offers some excellent insights on the role of women and the reasons they weren't active in the literary world. She never claims that one sex is better than the o
...more
Giulia (Jun)
This is a review for A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf (translated into Italian by L.B. Wilcock and J.R. Wilcock.)


This was incredible. I've always liked reading non-fiction, as strange as that may sound, and this is a book about two of the most important things in my life - writing and feminism, so of course I was excited to read it. And, fun little fact, while I was in high school one of my teachers actually told me that an essay I wrote reminded her of this book (which, at the time, I hadn
...more
FeReSHte
Feb 07, 2015 FeReSHte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essay, britain, feminism
راستش این همه کتاب نوشته ی نویسندگان زن خونده بودم و هرگز به قضیه اینطوری نگاه نکرده بودم. ویرجینیا وولف در قالبی جدید (داستان گونه) مقاله ای دررابطه با داستان نویسی زنان ارائه میکنه. مثلن همین طور که در کتابخانه ای قدم میزنه کتابهایی رو از قفسه بیرون میکشه قسمتهایی از این کتابها رو روایت میکنه، با ریزبینی و ظرافتی مثال زدنی نقد میکنه بررسی میکنه و با آثار نویسنده های مرد مقایسه میکنه و ان گاه گریزی به موقعیت و شرایط زمانه ی نویسنده میزنه...و کمکتون میکنه تا به خوبی درک کنید که برونته ها، جورج ا ...more
Vanessa
Review to follow.
Miriam
Sep 02, 2010 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gender
I wouldn't have gotten much out of this book if I hadn't gone to graduate school -- not because the book is difficult or obtuse, but for the entirely personal reason that graduate school in the Midwest was my first real encounter with the persistence of the sexist views Woolf describes. Growing up in San Francisco, I had almost no experience with sexism. No one ever told me or my friends that women were not as good at anything, that we shouldn't write, have whatever jobs we wanted, be independen ...more
Sara
Apr 19, 2016 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Con tutto il rispetto per gli editori, che svolgono un mestiere davvero importantissimo, io sempre più spesso mi trovo a domandarmi: ma che libro avranno letto? La quarta di copertina di questa edizione delle conferenze che Virginia Woolf tenne a Cambridge sul tema “le donne e il romanzo”, si apre con le parole: «Illustre capostipite dei manifesti femminili del Novecento europeo.» Una definizione che mi contorce le budella. Ma Virginia Woolf mi ha appena insegnato che sotto la spinta di budella ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf
عنوان: اتاقی از آن خود؛ نویسنده: ویرجینیا وولف؛ مترجم: صفورا نوربخش؛ ویراستار: مژده دقیقی؛ تهران، نیلوفر، 1383، در 160 ص؛ شابک چاپ چهارم در سال 1388: 9789644482144؛ موضوع: نقد تاریخی زنان هنرمند از نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 20 م

با ترجمه: معصومه مهرشادی؛ تهران، روزگارنو، 1391، در 176 ص، شابک: 9786006867335؛

مجموعه مقالات و سخنرانیهای وولف درباره نویسندگی زنان
Julie
Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.
Is it strange that I want to fist bump Virginia Woolf whenever I read this iconic line from A Room of One's Own?

Woolf wrote this essay in October 1928 for an Oxbridge lecture on the topic of Women and Fiction. It was published a year later, as the Jazz Age came to a skidding halt and the Great Depression fell like a heavy curtain across the world's stage. But on this glorious
...more
Tara
Mar 11, 2012 Tara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Once, I loved Virginia Woolf. She gets two stars here because of that former devotion, and because of the quality of her prose. But this is a toxic book.

Be very clear what Woolf means: to be a writer, one needs to be isolated from life. Art is for the elite of the bourgeois. It is not for your housekeeper. It is not for the janitor at the school where you learned to appreciate the subtleties of verse. It is not for the chef who provides you the lush meals you and your female colleagues mull over
...more
Madeline
Jul 31, 2010 Madeline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Among the many things about this book that continue to blow my mind, there's the fact that Virginia Woolf manages to fit more information and beautiful writing into 114 pages than most writers can get in 500. This is such a small book, but it's so much more substantial than it appears.

The book is a combination of papers Virgina Woolf wrote when she was asked to speak on "Women and Fiction." She starts out by telling us about this assignment and what she thinks it means. Woolf muses on the subje
...more
Teresa
Numa das rondas pelas minhas "velharias" retirei para reler Um Quarto Que Seja Seu. Li-o, pela primeira vez, na juventude quando - educada no sentido de que a minha função primordial na vida seria ser esposa e mãe - devorava literatura que me ajudasse a compreender o meu papel de mulher no mundo e na sociedade, o qual, suspeitava, teria de ser algo além de amar e procriar...

O ensaio de Woolf nasce do pedido que lhe é feito para falar sobre as mulheres e a ficção. Partindo da condição essencial:
...more
Dhanaraj Rajan
Feb 17, 2015 Dhanaraj Rajan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: To everyone and specially to the fans of Jane Austen.
A small book of 130 pages; but a precious gem.

When Virginia Woolf was asked to give a lecture on Women and Fiction she developed a literary criticism and an essay which has become a trailblazer study in feminism. This is, in short a re-reading of English history as presented in the history books, biographies and fictions written till the time of Virginia Woolf. And this has many interesting elements. For instance, She compares Jane Austen to William Shakespeare and she has her own reasons.

She wr
...more
Cheryl
May 24, 2015 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
Is it possible to imagine the reception of this book 86 years ago?
Did it spark minds, light a fire, or at least prime them for further explosive thoughts?
The era seems so very long ago, and yet what she writes remains true today. Women, 'gender', sex, power...much has changed yet much has not changed.
It all seems quite self evident, yet it all still needs to be explained, again and again. Why is that?
Very slowly though, there has been progress. More of us have our rooms and our five hundred p
...more
Nadi Ghaffari
قبلن خونده بودم که هر زنی باید این کتابو بخونه.بله هر زنی باید این کتابو بخونه...

بی اعتنایی جهان پیرامون که کیتس و فلوبر و دیگر مردان هنرمند به سختی قادر به تحمل آن بودند در مورد او دیگر بی اعتنایی نبود خصوت و عناد بود.دنیا به او همچون مردان نمیگفت اگر میخواهی بنویس برای من فرقی نمیکند.بلکه با قهقهه میپرسید میخواهی بنویسی؟نوشته ی تو به چه دردی میخورد؟
Mattia Ravasi
Sep 10, 2015 Mattia Ravasi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some of the predictions in here show Woolf's amazing long sight, some sound a bit too pessimistic in hindsight, many still painfully seem overly optimistic.

Also, there is a man in this book called Sir Hawley Butts. Eheh. Butts.
Brit Cheung
Cried my heart out.
Once (last year)I attended a lecture of a Chinese linguistic professor who is also the translator for all the Murakami Haruki works in China. He said if you want to know if a book is a good one there shall be a benchmark for you to refer to. A good book will render you not being able to recuperate to your normal state at least for a few days. It tortures you,compelled you into contemplation. It resonates with your heart for a long time.

The book, deepened my melancholy, I ha
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
  • How to Suppress Women's Writing
  • The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination
  • Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution
  • Sexual Politics
  • The Second Sex
  • Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body
  • The Feminine Mystique
  • Sisterhood is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings from the Women's Liberation Movement
  • Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions
  • A Literature Of Their Own: British Women Novelists From Brontë To Lessing
  • Feminism and Pop Culture
  • Intercourse
  • Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches
  • Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center
  • Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future
  • Writing a Woman's Life
  • The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution
6765
(Adeline) Virginia Woolf was an English novelist and essayist regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century.

During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury Group. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), and Orlando (1928), and the book-length es
...more
More about Virginia Woolf...

Share This Book



“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” 9153 likes
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” 3405 likes
More quotes…