A Room of One’s own is an extended essay written by Virginia Woolf published in 1929. It is essentially based upon two lectures delivered by her in 1928.
I first heard about this beautiful book by a fellow blogger in her book review. I could connect so well with the idea.
“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”Virginia Woolf – A room of One’s Own
In this essay she is basically analyzing the relation between women and fiction all through history. And in the process a conclusion she comes to is that women had no space to themselves, which is mandatory for creative work. They could not sit peacefully in one space and write and drown in their writing.
Now that is something I, and I am sure many other women face as well. Trying to balance the daily domestic tasks and their work is something. But yes having a room to ourself can be a great way to escape it all for a while and be able to create something worthwhile. As a mom I often feel the need of that quite space and that exactly was what attracted me to this book.
Virginia Woolf talks about the various prejudice and disadvantage women in the creative field suffered for centuries. She takes the example of a hypothetical sister of William Shakespeare, who might have been as gifted, but her life was probably limited to the mundane domestic tasks.
“Only Jane Austen did it and Emily Brontë. It is another feather, perhaps the finest, in their caps. They wrote as women write, not as men write. Of all the thousand women who wrote novels then, they alone entirely ignored the perpetual admonitions of the eternal pedagogue—write this, think that. ”Virginia Woolf – A room of One’s Own
She also celebrates the various women who could defy tradition and became famous writers. Some of the authors mentioned by her include Jane Austen, George Eliot, and the Brontë sisters, Anne, Charlotte, and Emily.
She also talks about how to be intellectually free one must be financially free. One must have a source of income to sustain their needs so they can put all efforts into their creative genius.
In the end Virginia Woolf urges women of her times ( also a motivation to women now) to give utmost importance to this freedom we earned over the years. This may have come easy to us, but if we think of those women who were deprived we would value what we have. The last four pages beautifully summarise the book and motivate women to indulge.
It was a wonderful read and something that made me think and appreciate all that I have. The opportunity to do what my heart desires is a big blessing indeed. I am not a literary person so cannot really appreciate or criticize this book from that angle.
Though I would say, told me as a hobby reader,this book seemed to drag a bit at certain places. For me that actually is a big challenge in reading classics. I find them very slow. Perhaps that is needed to drive home a point, but it doesn’t suit my taste.
All in all it was a good read and even of like me you do not have a taste for classics, this is a good one time read.
I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z and this post corresponds to letter V!
You may buy this book here.