and I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse perhaps to be locked in...
Virginia Woolf died 60 years ago today, which coincidentally fell on the same day of my review of her extended essay A Room of One's Own. The essay explores women and writing; if women were offered the same opportunities as men could they write in equal quality? Were financial limitations the only thing that held them back? And if so, why are men offered more opportunity than women?
Woolf explores these questions and their implications and then goes on to encourage an integrated humanity, one where writers (women and men alike) can write without any hindrances. The title of the work comes from Woolf's assertion that "a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."
Overall I found the book to be a little dry, but full of interesting ideas. If you are interested in women and writing, this text is a must-read. But it's more than that. A Room of One's Own explores the relationship between gender and socioeconomics throughout history and ends on a hopeful note. These essays are based on a series of lectures that Woolf gave to women's colleges at Cambridge University. What a lucky group of students.
Publisher: Harcourt, 1929