Posts Tagged ‘visual arts’

Virginia Woolf wrote hundreds of essays during her lifetime. The total varies from “nearly 600” (Fernald 160) to “640,” (Rigel Daughtery 9) so it can be difficult to locate just the right essay when needed. For that reason,  sometimes a slim collection of Virginia Woolf essays that focus on a specific topic is just the thing.

Here are two.

On freedom

The first is part of a 27-volume Vintage Mini collection, a Vintage Classic published by Penguin/Random House. Titled Liberty, it includes selections from A Room of One’s Own (1929), The Waves (1931), and the essays “Street Haunting” and “How Should One Read a Book.”

Here begins the freedom of the mind, or rather the possibility that in the course of time the mind will be free to write what it likes – jacket quote from Liberty (2018)

On the visual arts

The second is the twentieth volume in the ekphrasis series published by David Zwirner Books in 2021 and is a collection of Woolf’s writings on the visual arts.

Titled Oh, to Be a Painter!, the volume begins with an introduction by Claudia Tobin and includes Woolf’s longest essay on painting, “Walter Sickert: A Conversation” (1934), alongside shorter essays and reviews, including “Pictures and Portraits” (1920) and “Pictures” (1925).


Fernald, Anne E. “A Feminist Public Sphere? Virginia Woolf’s Revisions of the Eighteenth Century.” Feminist Studies 31:1 (2005): 158-182.

Daugherty, Beth Rigel. “The Transatlantic Virginia Woolf: Essaying an American Audience.” Virginia Woolf Miscellany 76 (2009): 9-11.


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