A Room of One’s Own

by Pericles Lewis A Room of One’s Own (1929) is Virginia Woolf‘s most famous work of feminist literary criticism. If much of Woolf’s feminist writing concerns the problem of equality of access to goods that have traditionally been monopolized by men, in this work Woolf prefigures two concerns of later feminism: the reclaiming of a… Continue Reading A Room of One’s Own

Roger Fry: A Biography

by Michael Shapiro In Roger Fry—the last book she saw to publication—Virginia Woolf experiments with the structure and style of biography. She exercises editorial control to burnish the occasionally imperfect life of her subject and, by implication, to smooth over public critiques of the Bloomsbury group. Fry (1866–1934) was an English artist and art scholar,… Continue Reading Roger Fry: A Biography

The Years

by Robert Higney Published in 1937, The Years was the last of Virginia Woolf’s novels to appear in print during her lifetime. Over the previous six years, Woolf had undertaken a massive project combining fiction and social critique that eventually produced both The Years and the polemical essays of Three Guineas. (While not the single… Continue Reading The Years


by Pericles Lewis Virginia Woolf often puzzled about the possibility of a literature that would treat sexuality and especially the sexual life of women frankly, but her own works discuss sex rather indirectly. She wrote one of her lighter but particularly enjoyable novels, Orlando (1928), about a man who becomes a woman (and lives for… Continue Reading Orlando

Hogarth Press

by Jessica Svendsen Establishing Hogarth Sitting at tea on her thirty-third birthday, Virginia and Leonard Woolf agreed on three resolutions: they would purchase Hogarth House in Richmond, procure a handpress to do their own printing, and buy a bull dog, whom they would name John.[1] There is no further mention in Woolf’s diaries of John… Continue Reading Hogarth Press

The Russian Point of View

by Anthony Domestico Written in 1925 for The Common Reader, “The Russian Point of View” is Virginia Woolf’s most compelling piece of critical writing on the ethos of Russian literature. In it, she gathers together the threads of two previous essays, “The Russian View” and “Tchehov’s Questions,” as well as her thoughts on Tolstoy and… Continue Reading The Russian Point of View

Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown

by Aleksandar Stevic “Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown” is a 1923 essay by Virginia Woolf. However, it should be noted that much of the argument of the essay Woolf also developed in a number of other texts, including “Modern Novels” (1919), “Character in Fiction” (1924) and “Modern Fiction” (1925). In fact, “Mr. Bennett and Mrs.… Continue Reading Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown

The Lady in the Looking Glass: A Reflection

by Jesse Schotter “The Lady in the Looking Glass: A Reflection,” a short story by Virginia Woolf published in Harper’s in December 1929, describes the images reflected in a mirror situated in a woman’s dressing room, providing a glimpse of the furnishings of her life, but, pointedly, not allowing us a glimpse into the more… Continue Reading The Lady in the Looking Glass: A Reflection

To the Lighthouse

by Pericles Lewis Virginia Woolf’s masterpiece, To the Lighthouse (1927), presents the war in a broader historical perspective than her first two novels, thus serving the function of elegy by coming to terms with the war, but also contributing its share to what the critic Samuel Hynes has called the “Myth of the War” ”—“the… Continue Reading To the Lighthouse