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A Room of One's Own

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  83,124 Ratings  ·  4,587 Reviews
A Room of One's Own is considered Virginia Woolf's most powerful feminist essay, justifying the need for women to possess intellectual freedom and financial independence. Based on a lecture given at Girton College, Cambridge, the essay is one of the great feminist polemics, ranging in its themes from Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte to the silent fate of Shakespeare's gift ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 2000 Reprint (1st edition in Penguin 1945), 112 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Penguin Books (first published 1929)
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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)
Leonardo I think that if I had read this in middle school, some sentences would've confused me, and some social comments would've passed over my head. As its…moreI think that if I had read this in middle school, some sentences would've confused me, and some social comments would've passed over my head. As its content, there isn't anything inappropiate in the text for middle school students. But I would recommend a teacher guiding the reading and explaining some parts for full understanding of the context and the subtleties of the text(less)

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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
Lisa
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I can't believe I only read this book now. I would have needed it when I was 18, and 25, and last year and yesterday!

The opening sentence caught me, right away:

"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 don't even need to read Virginia Woolf's justification before I exclaim:

"EVERYTHING, it has EVERYTHING to do with a room of one's own!"

Whoever loves art, literature, and the act of writing, drawing or reading knows how ha
...more
Trevor
Jan 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Brina
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading my first work by Virginia Woolf was just what the reading doctor ordered after my frustrating experience with Kawabata over this past weekend. In the last few days, I have been organizing my reading challenges for next year, and decided to get a jump start on women's history as well as a January group read in catching up on classics by reading Woolf. Although written ninety years ago, Woolf could be discussing the status of women authors today. Her work remains timely and was a pure joy ...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
Ahmad Sharabiani
A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf
A Room of One's Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf. First published on 24 October 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women's colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928. While this extended essay in fact employs a fictional narrator and narrative to explore women both as writers of and characters in fiction, the manuscript for the delivery of the series of lectures, titled "Wom
...more
Riku Sayuj
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing

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
Kalliope



May be if ‘i’ were androgynous, had five hundred a year and a good lock on my own room, ‘i’ would be able to write a truly fabulous review of this already well reviewed book. It would require imagining the room of reviews completely empty and with no tradition for me to draw upon.

Or may be not, even with all those conditions present, 'i' still would not be able to.
Maria Clara
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hace unos meses un amigo me recomendó este libro, y ahora me arrepiento de no haberlo leído antes. Sin lugar a dudas es una pequeña joya revestida de ensayo, que te arrastra con su lenta caricia hacia el pasado, cuando la mujer vivía a la sombra del hombre. Un magnífico ensayo sobre la mujer y la escritura...
Diane
The only thing better than reading Virginia Woolf is having her work performed by Juliet Stevenson.

I listened to this on audio, performed by the talented Juliet, and I was so impressed that I essentially listened to the book twice. In short, I lovedloveloved this essay by Woolf on women and fiction. When Woolf was asked to talk about women and fiction, she chose to focus on the poverty and subjugation of women in a patriarchy.


"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fi
...more
Maria
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing

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
Flor
Nunca antes pensé que leer un ensayo escrito hace casi 100 años, podía resultarme tan interesante y a la vez mantenerme así de reflexiva durante varios días. 👏🏼

Ojalá todas las mujeres leyeran esto!!

Los capítulos 3 y 4 fueron mis preferidos sin dudas, y sin más que decir adjunto abajo algunas de las frases que más me impactaron:

”Posiblemente cuando el profesor insistía con demasiado énfasis sobre la inferioridad de las mujeres, no era la inferioridad de éstas lo que le preocupaba, sino su propi
...more
Dolors
Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Rowena
Nov 05, 2011 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
Phrynne
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-books
This book started its life as a series of lectures presented by Virginia Woolf at Cambridge University. What a great experience it must have been to hear her speaking. Her ideas are still solid to the present day and her writing style is wonderful.

I think what I enjoyed most from A Room of One's Own was Woolf's logic and the examples she gave to prove her points. The fact that literature and all the arts were a man's domain for so long just because the expectations of women(marriage and child be
...more
Amy | shoutame
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Ian "Marvin" Graye
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
Rakhi Dalal
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Miss Ravi
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: articles, literature
اینکه زنها حق خودشان را داشته باشند و همان اندازه از دنیا بهرهمند شوند که مردها، و بتوانند بین زندگی راکد و علایقشان، حق انتخاب داشته باشند هیچ ربطی به فمینیسم ندارد. چرا کیفیت زندگی یک زن باید کمتر از یک مرد باشد؟ عجیب نیست که با گذشت سالها از زمانی که ویرجینیا وولف این کتاب را نوشته (۱۹۲۸م) هنوز مردهایی هستند که به زنها میگویند: شما بهتر است بروید سبزیتان را پاک کنید و در این موضوعات دخالت نکنید! در توئیتر، مردهایی هستند که با تغییر خلقیات زنها در دوران قاعدگیشان جوک میسازند. هنوز خانوادههایی ...more
Paula Kalin
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Paula by: Catching up on Classics group
Brilliant. Powerful.

“How are we fallen! Fallen by mistaken rules,
And Education’s more than Natures’s fools;
Debarred from all improvements of the mind,
And to be dull, expected and designed;
And if someone would soar above the rest,
With warmer fancy, and ambition pressed,
So strong the opposing faction still appears,
The hopes to thrive can ne’er outweigh the fears.”

- Lady Winchilsea, born in 1661
Quoted by Virginia Woolf

5 out of 5 stars
May
Mar 18, 2016 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.
Joseph
Jul 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: british, bloomsbury
An interesting view from one of the twentieth centuries great writers. Woolf who never shied away from doing things differently again pushes the limits for her time. Woolf who was lucky enough to have a room of her own and a source of income looks at the past and her present and offers some thoughts. What if Shakespeare had an equally talented sister? Would we know her or would she have been married off or a servant? She also writes as a female narrator who explores the role of women writers for ...more
Piyangie
What a brilliant book! I'm overwhelmed and find hard to compose my thoughts. But I must let them out here.

Firstly this book or rather the essay contains Ms. Woolf's famous quote "a woman must have money and room of her own if she is to write fiction". Throughout the essay she emphasizes her point drawing many examples of women writers in comparison to their counterparts. When I dug deep into her meaning of the above quotation, I found that Ms. Woolf does not mean only about having money and pri
...more
Yani
Lamento haber tardado tanto en leer un libro que atrapa desde el principio. Tener que soltarlo era un poquito doloroso, aunque hay una ventaja: no se termina tan rápido.

Una habitación propia (o A Room of Ones Own) es un ensayo que problematiza la autoría femenina desde algunos elementos que Woolf decide tomar para hablar de ello. En este caso, se dedica a la falta de un espacio en donde la mujer pueda escribir tranquila. Sin embargo, a medida que uno avanza la lectura se encuentra con otras
...more
Tara
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Gabrielle Dubois
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 20th-century
A Room on One's Own passionated me from the beginning to the end! I read it in French, and when you read my English, you understand why! the book in my left hand, and a pen in my right hand. I first started to write down the relevant passages and the reflections it inspired me when I realized that I was noticing almost each page written by Virginia Woolf!
So, as I don’t want to bore you with a long paraphrase of Virginia’s text, I’ll rather give you, randomly, a few passages that particularly que
...more
Paul
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Café de Tinta
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maravilloso, y necesario. Tendría que haberlo leído hace mucho tiempo! Esta edición es preciosa además.
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
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
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12,005 followers
(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
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