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A Room of One's Own Quotes

20 of the best book quotes from A Room of One's Own
  1. #1
    “Intellectual freedom depends on material things. Poetry depends on intellectual freedom. And women have always been poor, not for two hundred years merely, but from the beginning of time. [...] Women, then, have not had a dog’s chance of writing poetry.”
  2. #2
    “For masterpieces are not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that the experience of the mass is behind the single voice.”
  3. #3
    “Gate after gate seemed to close with gentle finality behind me. Innumerable beadles were fitting innumerable keys into well-oiled locks; the treasure-house was being made secure for another night.”
  4. #4
    “Only Jane Austen did it and Emily Brontë. It is another feather, perhaps the finest, in their caps. They wrote as women write, not as men write. Of all the thousand women who wrote novels then, they alone entirely ignored the perpetual admonitions of the eternal pedagogue—write this, think that. ”
  5. #5
    “Fiction here is likely to contain more truth than fact. Therefore I propose, making use of all the liberties and licenses of a novelist, to tell you the story of the two days that preceded my coming here.”
  6. #6
    “It would be a thousand pities if women wrote like men, or lived like men, or looked like men, for if two sexes are quite inadequate, considering the vastness and variety of the world, how should we manage with one only?”
  1. #7
    “Life for both sexes—and I look at them, shouldering their way along the pavement—is arduous, difficult, a perpetual struggle. It calls for gigantic courage and strength. More than anything, perhaps, creatures of illusion that we are, it calls for confidence in oneself.”
  2. #8
    “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”
  3. #9
    “At this moment, as so often happens in London, there was a complete lull and suspension of traffic [...] A single leaf detached itself from the plane tree [...] Somehow it was like a signal falling, a signal pointing to a force in things which one had overlooked. ”
  4. #10
    “The book has somehow to be adapted to the body, and at a venture one would say that women’s books should be shorter, more concentrated, than those of men, and framed so that they do not need long hours of steady and uninterrupted work. For interruptions there will always be.”
  5. #11
    ″[Woman’s] sensibility had been educated for centuries by the influences of the common sitting room. People’s feelings were impressed on her; personal relations were always before her eyes. Therefore, when the middle-class woman took to writing, she naturally wrote novels.”
  6. #12
    “Money dignifies what is frivolous if unpaid for. It might still be well to sneer at “blue stockings with an itch for scribbling,” but it could not be denied that they could put money in their purses.”

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  1. #13
    “It would have been impossible, completely and entirely, for any woman to have written the plays of Shakespeare in the age of Shakespeare.”
  2. #14
    “Literature is open to everybody. I refuse to allow you, Beadle though you are, to turn me off the grass. 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.”
  3. #15
    “In my little street, however, domesticity prevailed. The house painter was descending his ladder; the nursemaid was wheeling the perambulator.”
  4. #16
    “Indeed, if woman had no existence save in the fiction written by men, one would imagine her a person of the utmost importance [...] But this is woman in fiction. In fact, as Professor Trevelyan points out, she was locked up, beaten, and flung about the room.”
  5. #17
    “So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters. [...] But to sacrifice a hair of the head of your vision, a shade of its colour, in deference to some Headmaster with a silver pot in his hand [...] is the most abject treachery.”
  6. #18
    “One must strain off what was personal and accidental in all these impressions and so reach the pure fluid, the essential oil of truth.”
  7. #19
    “If one is a woman one is often surprised by a sudden splitting off of consciousness, say in walking down Whitehall, when from being the natural inheritor of that civilisation, she becomes, on the contrary, alien and critical. ”
  8. #20
    “That building, for example, do I like it or not? Is that in my opinion a good book or a bad? Indeed my aunt’s legacy unveiled the sky to me, and substituted for the large and imposing figure of a gentleman, which Milton recommended for my perpetual adoration, a view of the open sky.”
Book Topics › being different
Children's Books About Being Different