A Room of One’s Own

by Virginia Woolf

Facilitated by Dr. Holly Welker

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Sunday, March 27, 2022

(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 essay A Room of One’s Own (1929) with its famous dictum, “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

A Room of One’s Own is an extended essay, first published on the 24th of October, 1929, based on a series of lectures Woolf 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 and characters in fiction, the manuscript for the delivery of the series of lectures, titled Women and Fiction, and hence the essay, are considered nonfiction. The essay is seen as a feminist text, and is noted in its argument for both a literal and figural space for women writers such as Jane Austen, George Eliot, and the Brontes, within a literary tradition dominated by patriarchy.

Read the Britannica article on the essay here.

More about Dr. Welker here, and see her Twitter feed here.

You may watch the video below.