Tag: virginia-woolf

Being Poor While Female in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette (1853)

Nearly eighty years after the publication of Charlotte Brontë’s novel, Villette, Virginia Woolf laments the poverty of women in her classic book, A Room Of One’s Own. In that classic piece is the famous conclusion that “a woman needs money and room of her own if she is to write fiction”(4). But how to attain it in a culture and time in that culture where women were notoriously poor?  Woolf speaks of how she came to having money of her own, five hundred pounds a year, left to her by her aunt “Mary Beton” who “died by a fall...

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Mary Wollstonecraft: A Wild Wish, English (1759-1797)

In March of 2013 a stencil silhouette of a woman many refer to as the ‘mother of feminism’ mysteriously appeared on an exterior wall of the Unitarian church on Newington Green, in north London. This life-sized image of Mary Wollstonecraft was not entirely shocking, since many had been campaigning for a statue of Wollstonecraft to be erected in this place, where in 1784 she had established a school for girls and later completed much of her writing, her best known work being A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, published in 1792. How did this 18th century woman come...

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Virginia Woolf’s “Angel in the House” and what it takes to be a #NastyWoman

In 1931 Virginia Woolf was asked to give a speech to the London National Society for Women’s Service on the topic of the employment of women. Would she speak about her own professional experiences? In the speech and subsequent essay, “Professions for Women,” culled from it, Woolf openly admits that though she is a woman and employed, she has not had what many might consider “professional experiences” since she works at home, alone, writing in a room of her own. Virginia Woolf was an extremely successful British writer (1882-1941) of essays, book reviews, literary criticism, memoirs, feminist texts and...

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“The phoenix takes its rest”: Visiting May Sarton’s Grave

I just returned from New Hampshire where my daughter was recently married. The site of the wedding was Granite Lake in Nelson, not far from where May Sarton spent a good fifteen years of her adult life and although she didn’t die there, it was her wish to be buried in this small town, in the only place she ever owned a home. One afternoon, on break from wedding preparations, my son, Keegan, and I drove around Nelson in search of the cemetery, which in such a small town could only be situated in one of a few places....

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Virginia Woolf and A Room of One’s Own (First published in London, 1929)

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) a writer, intellectual and feminist wrote, in her seminal book, A Room of One’s Own: “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction” (4). These words were originally delivered in a talk she was asked to give in 1928 about women and fiction. In the journey of this small book, Woolf allows us into her thought process as she ponders what to say about this topic. She goes to the banks of a river across from “Oxbridge,” a fictionalized version of the renowned Oxford, a place to...

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