Archive for the ‘A Room of One’s Own’ Category

The way I see it, there are several connections between Greta Gerwig, her blockbuster film Barbie, and Virginia Woolf. Here we go:

  • One of Gerwig’s all-time favorite books is Woolf’s To the Lighthouse (1927). It is, she notes, “A classic for a reason. My mind was warped into a new shape by her prose, and it will never be the same again. The metaphysics she presents in the book are enacted in a way that allowed me to begin to understand that corner of philosophy.”
  • In A Room of One’s Own (1929), Woolf writes that “a woman must have a room of her own” in order to write fiction. In Barbie, all of the Barbies have entire dream houses of their own — and they find such ownership essential to their independent, feminist lifestyles.
  • An NPR story on the film includes this quote: “But Barbie could fend for herself. Like Nancy Drew, she drove her own roadster and lived in her own dream house — Virginia Woolf’s room of one’s own painted in pastels.”
  • From Second Wind Books comes this Facebook post that lists the similarities between Woolf and Barbie:

From Woolf scholar and novelist Maggie Humm comes this Twitter post:

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Want to stay in a Bloomsbury bedroom dedicated to Virginia Woolf that is also on the site of a home formerly occupied by Virginia and Leonard Woolf? Maybe you can.

The site of the building at 37 Mecklenburgh Square in which Virginia Woolf lived.

The Woolfs lived on the top floor at 37 Mecklenburgh Square, Bloomsbury, during the London blitz from 1939-1940, according to Jean Moorcroft Wilson’s Virginia Woolf Life and London: Bloomsbury and Beyond (1987/2011).

Now on that site is the William Goodenough House, which is part of Goodenough College. It has one student-style bedroom dedicated to Virginia, and each year that room is allocated to a literary student who, upon arrival, finds a copy of A Room of One’s Own on their bedside table.

Naida Babic was a student at Goodenough College in 2021. She recently met up with College Director Alice Walpole and friends to install a framed copy of one of her poems outside the room dedicated to Woolf, next to Woolf’s commemorative plaque.

She contacted Blogging Woolf to tell us about it and directed us to a story posted on the college website, where you can read the poem she wrote.

She explains: “I was living at Goodenough College while completing the last term of my MA Creative Writing programme at Birkbeck University, London. I wrote my poem “In the Hand of Virginia” during my poetry module.”

To commemorate the occasion, Maggie Humm, emeritus professor of cultural studies at the University of East London and the author or editor of 14 scholarly books and two novels, as well as Vice-Chair of the Virginia Woolf’s Society of Great Britain, gave a lecture on “The Photography of the Writer Virginia Woolf and Her Sister, the Artist Vanessa Bell.”

Maggie Humm talks about Woolf’s photography and how it relates to her writing at Dalloway Day 2018 at Gower Street Waterstones.


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Today is the first day of Women’s History Month. And Virginia Woolf should be on every book list, right? But she is not.

She is included, rightfully, on a list of “30 Books That Every Woman Should Read from Refinery 29. The must-read book by Woolf is her 1929 polemic, A Room of One’s Own. No surprise there.

Woolf on — and off – the list

Woolf is listed as a “Classic Female Author” on the Penguin Random House Women’s History Month Reading Challenge and her 1925 novel Mrs. Dalloway is on the list.

Simon and Schuster ignored her, as did CNN. But Powell’s Books includes Woolf on a list of “Twenty-Five Women to Read Before You Die.”

The New York Public Library left her out of their “31 Books for March” list but included lots of other interesting women authors. And they did include her in a more extensive list. Orlando (1928) is on their longer list of “365 Books by Women Authors to Celebrate International Women’s Day All Year.”

The NYPL has also put together a Woolf reading list that aligns with their Virginia Woolf: A Modern Mind exhibit, which ends March 5. You can view it online.

Take a look back

Last year, Anne Fernald, a professor of English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Issues at Fordham University, discussed how feminist writers and scholars think through Woolf today. You can find more information and watch the video of her 2022 presentation sponsored by the South Orange Public Library.

Submit your info

If you sight Woolf in any information related to Women’s History Month this year, please add the details in the comments section below.




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Poster for the Virginia Woolf in Turkey symposium, “Giving Voice to Woolf,” held Jan. 28, 2023, in Turkey. The symposium included an exhibition, a podcast series, and a performance — all focused on “A Room of One’s Own.” It was held in n collaboration with the British Council Turkey and the Museum Evliyagil.

Virginia Woolf is read and studied worldwide, but she has a newly expanded presence in Turkey due to the non-profit Virginia Woolf Studies in Turkey Initiative.

The organization promotes the study of Woolf and her work, along with the Bloomsbury Group, modernism, and the afterlife of Woolf in Turkey.

According to organizers, “It aims to create further links between Turkish specialists and their counterparts abroad. The Initiative welcomes scholars, writers, translators, artists, performers, publishers, students, and people who share a strong interest in Woolf’s works.”

The non-profit is dedicated to advance Virginia Woolf studies in Turkey from a comparative and critical perspective in several ways:

  • by convening symposiums, conferences, and lecture series; (See the photo at right for details about the first, held today.)
  • by publishing Woolf related studies; and
  • by organizing various informal gatherings and workshops.

Topics to explore

The Initiative will provide a platform for an intellectually rich, open, and collaborative working atmosphere for the Woolfians to explore the following:

  • Virginia Woolf’s works (fictional and non-fictional)
  • Virginia Woolf’s biography
  • Virginia Woolf as a reader, critic, and publisher
  • Virginia Woolf and feminism
  • Virginia Woolf as a philosopher
  • Critical perspectives on Virginia Woolf
  • Afterlife of Virginia Woolf in Turkey
  • Translations of Virginia Woolf’s works into Turkish
  • The Bloomsbury Group and art
  • Virginia Woolf and her contemporaries
  • Tracing Virginia Woolf in Turkish Literature
  • Virginia Woolf in the context of the early twentieth century Britain
  • Other relevant subjects

Co-founders of the non-profit are Mine Özyurt Kılıç, coordinator of the 2017 one-day exhibit at Harvard University, “A Press of One’s Own: Celebrating 100 Years of Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s Hogarth Press,” and Demet Karabulut Dede.

Join and get more information

The initiative welcomes new members and guests. To join the mailing list and/or get more information, email: info@virginiawoolfturkiye.org or Mine Özyurt Kılıç: mine@virginiawoolfturkiye.org or Demet Karabulut Dede: demetkrblt@virginiawoolfturkiye.org

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Virginia Woolf’s writing lodge at Monk’s House in Sussex, England

Virginia Woolf’s feminist polemic A Room of One’s Own (1929) continues to matter to women, particularly those who identify as feminists.

In a video presented March 18 by the South Orange Public Library in honor of Women’s History Month, Anne Fernald discusses Woolf’s seminal book. In the hour-long “Virginia Woolf and ‘A Room of One’s Own’ Today,” Fernald discusses rooms, freedom, and how feminist writers and scholars think through Woolf today.

She also asks listeners to imagine what their own room dedicated to creative pursuits might look like.

Fernald is a professor of English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Issues at Fordham University, editor of the Cambridge University Press edition of Mrs. Dalloway (2014) and author of Virginia Woolf: Feminism and the Reader (2006).

Virginia Woolf’s desk in her writing lodge at Monk’s House, 2019

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