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A Room Of One's Own

by Virginia Woolf

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Surprisingly, this long essay about society and art and sexism is one of Woolf's most accessible works. Woolf, a major modernist writer and critic, takes us on an erudite yet conversational--and completely entertaining--walk around the history of women in writing, smoothly comparing the architecture of sentences by the likes of William Shakespeare and Jane Austen, all the while lampooning the chauvinistic state of university education in the England of her day. When she concluded that to achieve their full greatness as writers women will need a solid income and a privacy, Woolf pretty much invented modern feminist criticism.

From AudioFile
Another in Penguin's Virginia Woolf series featuring Atkins. This 1929 essay is perhaps the author's most important work--part feminist manifesto, part literary theory and part personal reflection presaging her suicide. However intriguing on the page, a treatise of this length can easily bore a listener. But Atkins, celebrated for her one-woman play based on this work, never allows the complexity of Woolf's ideas to get the better of her. Instead, she uses the superb writing and rich intellectual capital to best advantage. If she errs, it's in giving the narrative personality greater maturity than is warranted. Y.R. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

Book Description
This literary landmark about the male supremacy and female subordination at Oxford University shines a brave, searing light on the obstacles that must be overcome on the path toward a harmonious unity of the sexes.

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" A remarkable work in both the history English literary criticism and feminist theory, Virginia Woolf?

The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
Essay by Virginia Woolf, published in 1929. The work was based on two lectures given by the author in 1928 at Newnham College and Girton College, Cambridge. Woolf addressed the status of women, and women artists in particular, in this famous essay which asserts that a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write. Woolf celebrates the work of women writers, including Jane Austen, George Eliot, and the Brontes. In the final section Woolf suggests that great minds are androgynous. She argues that intellectual freedom requires financial freedom, and she entreats her audience to write not only fiction but poetry, criticism, and scholarly works as well. The essay, written in lively, graceful prose, displays the same impressive descriptive powers evident in Woolf's novels and reflects her compelling conversational style.

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