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Three Guineas 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0156901772
ISBN-10: 0156901773
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Like Virginia Woolf's better known A Room of One's Own, Three Guineas is still timely and well worth the effort required to read it. In this book-length essay, an English writer responds to a letter - from a society for preventing war and protecting culture and intellectual liberty - which asks "How in your opinion are we to prevent war?" and requests a one guinea donation. Her response examines this and two similar requests, one from a women's college building fund, and the other from a society promoting the employment of professional women. Each request for a guinea is seriously and thoroughly considered by questioning, in detail, why each of the needs exists: Why doesn't the English government support education for women? Why are women in England barred from professional work? And why is World War II imminent? With scathing humor, boundless dignity, and engaging detail, Virginia Woolf finds the answers to all three questions in the same source: "...we can best help you to prevent war not by repeating your words and following your methods but by finding new words and creating new methods... to assert 'the rights of all - all men and women - to the respect in their persons of the great principles of Justice and Equality and Liberty.'" -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. -- From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Jesse Larsen

From the Publisher

7 1-hour cassettes --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest Books; 1 edition (May 1, 1963)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156901773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156901772
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First, about the false advertising: Amazon promises the Kindle edition is the Annotated Edition. In fact, it is not. I read this book at least every year, and have several paperback editions of it, including the annotated one. I wanted the annotated in kindle to teach from, but when it came, I was disappointed to see it's the one without original pictures & annotations. I tried to get Amazon's attention about this, but the online communications proved too cumbersome to work through.

This work's mportance is immense; it is a 1938 update of and response to Mary Wollstonecraft's A VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMAN (1792).. If you find the reading difficult at first, read it aloud to yourself until you get a sense of Woolf's style and voice. This is a sequel to A ROOM OF ONE'S OWN, much more potent than that canonized work.

Read it!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This pertains only to the Kindle edition of Three Guineas by Virginia Woolf (ASIN: B004TC0GRC) and not to the book itself or the related print edition.

It appears that the text of the Kindle edition was entered by optical character recognition and was not reviewed either by a human being or even by a spell-check program. After noticing, but not marking, a significant number of obvious typographical errors, I began marking them in a distinctive manner to distinguish them from other notes and marks. After finishing the book I went back and counted the typographical errors so marked and arrived at approximately 90. It is safe to say that estimating the unmarked errors comes up with a total of well over 100, or an average of at least one for every other page. These include word substitutions, word misspellings and punctuation errors. I only marked obvious and indubitable errors and did not mark spellings that might be attributable to British English or punctuation that is merely questionable, possibly by reason of Woolf’s idiosyncratic punctuation style.

This shoddy edition is an insult to the memory of one of the greatest writers of the 20th century and to readers as well. The constant barrage of errors makes it impossible to read the book for itself.

I don’t know whether the responsibility for quality control lies with the publisher or with Amazon, but I think it should be with both. The book publisher has the same responsibility for care about the quality of its product no matter what the medium in which its product will appear, print or digital. Amazon markets the product as a “Kindle edition”, and has a responsibility to protect the integrity of its trademark, as well as a commercial interest in doing so.
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Format: Paperback
Adeline Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) was an English author, essayist, publisher, and writer of short stories, regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century. In this book, she answers three requests for donation of a guinea: from a women's college building fund; from a society for professional women; and from a group which aims to prevent war, as well as "protect culture; and intellectual liberty."

Here are some quotations from the book:

"Our class is the weakest of all the classes in the state. We have no weapon with which to enforce our will." (Pg. 13)
"...our new weapon, the influence which the educated man's daughter can exert now that she is able to earn her own living." (Pg. 17)
"...in the present state of things the most effective way in which we can help you through education to prevent war is to subscribe as generously as possible to the colleges for the daughters of educated men." (Pg. 37)
"The questions that we have to ask and to answer about that procession during this moment of transition are so important they they may well change the lives of all men and women for ever. For we have to ask ourselves, here and now, do we wish to join that procession? Above all, where is it leading us, the procession of educated men?" (Pg. 62)
"She will find that she has no good reason to ask her brother to fight on her behalf to protect 'our' country. 'Our country,' she will say, 'throughout the greater part of our history has treated me as a slave; it has denied me an education or any share in its possessions.'" (Pg. 108)
"...we can best help you to prevent war not by repeating your words and following your methods but by finding new words and creating new methods. We can best help you to prevent war not by joining your society but by remaining outside your society but in co-operation with your aim." (Pg. 143)
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Format: Paperback
Early feminism begins to emerge in this essay written by Virginia Woolf in 1938 as a follow up to her wonderful book "A Room of One's Own."

Woolf received requests for three guineas from a women's college, from a society for promoting professional women and finally from a group requesting the prevention of war. This essay is Woolf's answer to those requests. While it is extraordinarily cumbersome to read the bottom line suggests that a society which promotes only one aspect of itself and suffocates anything else will never be advanced enough to protect its own culture and intellect from revolutions and wars. And because the idea of fighting rests in the very aspect so highly promoted (male dominated society) all of the laws and practices contain this strife and will until other parts of society are allowed a fair voice. The interesting concept is how little society has advanced from this original idea and the strife continues to be a factor today. Woolf suggests war exists as a profession and an act that offers "happiness and excitement" for the very society it falls under. In fact she goes as far to suggest that men would deteriorate without the outlet of war to contend with. Woolf discusses patriotism as a purely male act because of the fact that women simply cannot be patriots in a culture that suffocates their voices and refuses to educate them (remember this is 1938). The disturbing thought is that women are now able to vote, work and fight in wars but our culture remains basically the same with white males in domination. How slow we are to advance!

Virginia Woolf believed that war could only be prevented through an educational system that stopped the glamorization of it and instead taught the inhumanity of the act.
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