A Room of One's Own (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 28 Feb 2002
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Praise for the reader
Juliet Stevenson's narration is perfect
With an exclusive new introduction by Ali Smith, Virginia Woolf's famous polemic is brought to new life on audio --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Unlike many feminist authors, Woolf does not argue for tearing down the achievements of male authors. In fact she argues that both sexes should write androgynously, in order to find the proper reality of things, but at its heart it is a feminist essay. At the time Woolf was writing women had been granted many more freedoms than their mothers, but still had a lot to fight for, and she urges women to do so, albeit for the realm of intellectual freedom and the pleasure of writing for a living. (I have no doubt she would do the same today, despite all our apparent advances.)
She knew she was one of the fortunate (she was left five hundred pounds a year by her aunt, giving her economic independence) and she famously concludes that a women must have a room of her own and money of her own in order to write. But why? It is not so that there are idle hours to be filled by writing - it is because writing well and truthfully can only be properly achieved when a woman is not railing against the bounds of poverty, dependence, social exclusion and disapproval.
The essay is, however, also art.Read more ›
This is not a novel but rather a set of essays given to an audience of young cambridge girl students. The book opens with the wonderful premise 'A Woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction'. Thus, we are made to understand immediately the crux of the book; that intellectual freedom depends upon material things and that for women to create works comparable to Shakespeare's tragedies she must have a sense of autonomy.
Woolf proceeds to take us on a witty journey through the history of women and literature to explain why the female sex has always been limited. She concots, for sake of argument, the figure of Shakespeare's sister, who like her elder brother had a talent for theatre and creation of art. Due to her sex she is limited and ends up leading a frustrated life and ultimately killing herself. Woolf ends the book by calling her audience to write, to write widely and by doing so to emancipate Shakespeare's sister and show the men that women aren't their social, physical and mental inferiors.
One could say this is the start of feminist criticism, indeed with the book being published in the year of the acquisition of female suffrage the context would seem awfully auspicious. The book follows Woolf's ideoysncratic modernist style, pursuing the 'stream of thought' format.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Nic S
It's a really small book and really cute. It was a present... so I can't say anything about the storyPublished 4 months ago by Ester
A classic bit of Mrs Woolf that, if somewhat dated now, still has a cogent message for aspiring writers, and is also a comforting read for the feminists amongst us. .Published 4 months ago by Nic
Its been love at first page with this book! Virginia Woolf is so modern. Every page flows so quickly and I read it in a weekend.Published 6 months ago by Virginia