9 Virginia Woolf Quotes Every Woman Will Appreciate

From her seminal work, ‘A Room of One’s Own’

One of the most significant feminist texts by one of the greatest novelists of the 20th century, A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf should be considered essential reading for all women (although it’s the guys who really need to take a long and hard look).

On what would have been Virginia Woolf’s 136th birthday, we’ve compiled some of the quotes that best encapsulate the premise behind her 1929 extended essay: that women are not afforded the same advantages as men; that their creativity is stifled; and that, to be frank, the food they get at college is bad.

Allow these tidbits to convince you that A Room of One’s Own should be high on your must-read list (and reflect on how disturbing it is that they still resonate today).

nicole kidman virginia woolf the hours
Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf in ‘The Hours’ (Credit: Getty)

1/ Anything may happen when womanhood has ceased to be a protected occupation.

2/ All this pitting of sex against sex, of quality against quality; all this claiming of superiority and imputing of inferiority, belong to the private-school stage of human existence where there are ‘sides,’ and it is necessary for one side to beat another side, and of the utmost importance to walk up to a platform and receive from the hands of the Headmaster himself a highly ornamental pot.

3/ The history of men’s opposition to women’s emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.

4/ Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.

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Virginia Woolf at the age of 20. (Credit: Getty)

5/ Who shall measure the heat and violence of a poet’s heart when caught and tangled in a woman’s body?

6/ Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.

7/ Literature is strewn with the wreckage of those who have minded beyond reason the opinion of others.

8/ A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.

9/ One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

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