- Paperback: 114 pages
- Publisher: Martino Fine Books; 3.5.2012 edition (April 4, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1614272778
- ISBN-13: 978-1614272779
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 256 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #305,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Room of One's Own 3.5.2012 Edition
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This book is witty, from the first moment when the author tries to cross the lawn of an Oxbridge college and is stopped by a beadle because only the fellows and scholars (all male) are allowed here. Later she notes wryly that the few women's colleges have no such beadle, and none of the endowments of the men's colleges.
What a woman needs in order to write is a room of one's own and five hundred pounds a year.
When she wrote, women had only had the vote in Britain for less than a decade, and married women had only been allowed to own their own property for a bare forty years. Women's education is no longer the issue it was when the book was written and it is much easier today for a woman to be independent. Still, A Room of One's Own remains an entertaining read and the issues it raises are by no means resolved.
And, of course, the book is almost a victim of its own success. Few women in Western countries are now dissuaded from having an artistic career. The women’s movement has, so to speak, moved on to demands like equal pay.
So I’ll merely point out one perspective which may have been overlooked by some readers. That is, that Woolf’s cause is completely centered around the problems of first world women. Basically, Woolf argues that women do not have the access to the wealth or education that men have and, as a result, have not produced an artistic genius like Shakespeare. Fair enough. But how many women in the period following the First World War were concerned about having an outlet for their creativity? Were not women in many parts of the world so bereft of even their natural human rights so as not to over worry about outlets for creativity?
For all its indisputable genius, A Room of One’s Own then may arguably be charged with a mixed legacy. Yes, it highlighted the need for privileged women to be equals of men in their access to the fonts of creativity. But it also may have tended to direct feminism to a first world perspective leaving out the voices of billions of women who Woolf, for all her literary aplomb, does not seem overly concerned about, at least in this work.
Literary classic? Undoubtedly. Mixed effect on the direction of twentieth century feminism? A distinct possibility.
She should be one of the most humorous women in Britain at her time. It was supposed to be a speech. Putting a lot of discursive aside, her speech started with Women and Fiction and what she had experienced and what had inspired her about the topic she supposedly gave speech to Newham Girls College. Here main theme, "numerous generations of unsung unnoticed unjusted women paved the way for what women at her era could attain was remarkable, and the girls should fight and stand on their corpses' and souls' behalf", was so strong and so well versed.