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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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I really enjoyed reading this! I found it a very interesting and intriguing read, especially from the viewpoint of nearly 100 years later on the attitudes and predictions of the future. Virginia Woolf argues that "a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction" (hence the title of this essay), and it is split into six chapters, progressing towards her overall viewpoint. A highly recommended read! Some of my favourite/interesting quotes...
- "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well"
- "Why are women, judging from this catalogue, so much more interesting to men than men are to women?"
- "There is no gate, no lock, no bolt, that you can set upon the freedom of my mind"
- "It is fatal for anyone who writes to think of their sex"
- "Women have always been poor, not for 200 years, but from the beginning of time"
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on 19 May 2017
Great book. Brilliantly narrated by Juliet Stevenson
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on 25 May 2017
Good read
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on 23 June 2016
As much as I want to, I cannot get on with Virginia Woolf. I've tried (twice!) to read Mrs Dalloway and only get about half-way through before I admit defeat. As an aspiring writer, I thought this might be more to my taste. However, it is Woolf's rambling writing style that I find really hard and, despite my interest in the subject matter, she went off the point so often that it was hard to pick out what the point actually was! I spoke to a very well-read friend and she suggested that I try Orlando so I'll give that a go but I may just have to accept that I am not a fan. Third time lucky maybe!
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on 5 May 2012
An incredibly lazy job of editing and frustratingly unreadable format cost me 77p. When I purchase a classic that I could read for free elsewhere, I really prefer that the majority of words are intact, not cut off at the end of every other line and chunks of text occasionally skipped altogether. Furthermore, unlike most kindle texts, I was unable to scroll through the text to highlight/use the dictionary etc. POOR. Yes, we're in a recession yet it's much more for the principle than the financial stretch of the 77p that I urge you to buy another edition.
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on 22 March 2017
I like it
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 August 2012
... Woolf states are the pre-requisites for a woman to be a writer - in other words, writers are not necessarily timeless geniuses who rise above their age, but are shaped, supported or repressed by their material, economic, social and cultural conditions.

Written in 1929, Woolf's essay (originally a series of lectures to Newnham and Girton Colleges) is read often today as a foundational document of feminist literary theory. Extremely prescient, it touches on theoretical issues such as female writing, and the representation of women in male-authored texts, thus foreshadowing the work done by French feminists such as Cixous, Irigaray and Kristeva. By clearly articulating the relationship between text and material world, and uncovering paradigms of power and self-interest, she also prefigures the influential work of Marxist critics such as Barthes and Foucault.

Given its date of composition, there are points at which Woolf is factually wrong - most pressingly when she talks about the impossibility of female poets during the Renaissance. Later scholarship focusing on Renaissance women poets such as Louise Labe, Veronica Franco, Aemilia Lanyer, Isabella Whitney, Mary Sidney, Mary Wroth et al have uncovered that women certainly did write, circulate and even publish poetry in the sixteenth century, though certainly these processes were never unproblematic.

I particularly like the way in which Woolf offers her essay as an example of how to 'do' theory - she states that she doesn't want her listeners/readers to simply read and accept, but to engage actively, to resist, argue back, extend and re-write her arguments.

The whole is written in a lively, witty, style making it probably one of the most accessible theoretical texts we have from the modern period. So whether you're interested in feminist/gendered literary theory or Woolf, this is a stimulating and spirited read.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 August 2012
... Woolf states are the pre-requisites for a woman to be a writer - in other words, writers are not necessarily timeless geniuses who rise above their age, but are shaped, supported or repressed by their material, economic, social and cultural conditions.

Written in 1929, Woolf's essay (originally a series of lectures to Newnham and Girton Colleges) is read often today as a foundational document of feminist literary theory. Extremely prescient, it touches on theoretical issues such as female writing, and the representation of women in male-authored texts, thus foreshadowing the work done by French feminists such as Cixous, Irigaray and Kristeva. By clearly articulating the relationship between text and material world, and uncovering paradigms of power and self-interest, she also prefigures the influential work of Marxist critics such as Barthes and Foucault.

Given its date of composition, there are points at which Woolf is factually wrong - most pressingly when she talks about the impossibility of female poets during the Renaissance. Later scholarship focusing on Renaissance women poets such as Louise Labe, Veronica Franco, Aemilia Lanyer, Isabella Whitney, Mary Sidney, Mary Wroth et al. have uncovered that women certainly did write, circulate and even publish poetry in the sixteenth century, though certainly these processes were never unproblematic.

I particularly like the way in which Woolf offers her essay as an example of how to 'do' theory - she states that she doesn't want her listeners/readers to simply read and accept, but to engage actively, to resist, argue back, extend and re-write her arguments.

The whole is written in a lively, witty, style making it probably one of the most accessible theoretical texts we have from the modern period. So whether you're interested in feminist/gendered literary theory or Woolf, this is a stimulating and spirited read.
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on 2 January 2017
Woolf puts forward the proposition that 'intellectual freedom depends upon material things' - namely, the eponymous room of one's own and five hundred pounds a year. Whether or not you think she's right, the enjoyment comes from the way she constructs her argument, the structure of her prose and the dry humour.
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on 14 March 2016
It's a really small book and really cute. It was a present... so I can't say anything about the story
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