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. –The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature