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Author: Virginia Woolf E.M. Forster
Brief Author Bio: Virginia Stephen was born into a wealthy and well-connected London family. Her father was Sir Leslie Stephen, a renowned critic and her mother was Julia Stephen, a beautiful woman who often modeled for portraits. Her mother died when Virginia was… Orlando. She published her first novel, The Voyage Out, in 1915, and wrote continuously up to the year of her death, publishing her most famous novels ( Mrs. Dalloway, To The Lighthouse, and Orlando) between 1925 and 1928. She also wrote and delivered the lectures that became A Room of One's Own in 1928. Virginia's health continued to plague her through her life, and she eventually committed suicide at the age of 59.' href='#'>more E.M. Forster was born in London on January 1st, 1879. His father died when he was young, and after school he went to King’s College, Cambridge in 1897. There, he became a member of the Cambridge Apostles, an exclusive intellectual… more
Historical Context: The lectures were conceived by Woolf around the time that the law finally changed in Britain to allow women the vote. This monumental event came after years of struggle and gradual progress that Virginia was significantly influenced by as a… more Forster’s novel was likely influenced by his own travels abroad in Italy and Europe. Additionally, the novel is set in the Edwardian period of English history, during the first decade of the 20th century. This was a transitional moment for… more
When Written: 1928 1901-1908
Where Written: Cambridge, England Italy and England
When Published: 24 October 1929 1908
Literary Period: Modernism, Feminism The Edwardian period, modernism
Genre: Feminism, Essay Novel, romance.
Setting: The narrator depicts a particular day in fictional university of Oxbridge, inspired by the quadrangles and impassable lawns of Oxford and Cambridge. Florence, Italy; England.
Plot Summary Woolf has been asked to talk to a group of young women scholars on the subject of Women and Fiction. Her thesis is that a woman needs "money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." She will now try to show how she has come to this conclusion, deciding that the only way she can impart any truth is to describe her own experience. So she adopts the voice of a narrator. The name of this narrator is unimportant, since she represents every woman. The narrator begins by narrating her... A young British woman named Lucy is visiting Florence with her older cousin and chaperon, Charlotte. They are staying at the Pension Bertolini, and are disappointed to find that they have been given rooms without a view, contrary to what they have been promised. At dinner, two men—Mr. Emerson and his son George—overhear the ladies’ complaints and offer to switch rooms. Charlotte is flabbergasted by this bold suggestion from these lower-class men and politely declines, but later a British...
Major Characters: Virginia Woolf, The Narrator, Judith Shakespeare, Mary Beton, Mary Carmichael Lucy Honeychurch, Charlotte Bartlett, George Emerson, Mr. Emerson, Mr. Beebe, Miss Lavish, The Miss Alans, Mr. Eager, Mrs. Honeychurch, Cecil Vyse
Minor Characters: Mary Seton Freddy Honeychurch, Mrs. Vyse, Minnie Beebe, Sir Harry Otway
Themes:
Symbols:
Related Literary Works: Other writers of creative non-fiction, where argument, narrative and poetry collide as in A Room of One's Own include Michel de Montaigne, Ralph Waldo Emerson and more recently, David Foster Wallace. Woolf's essays also paved the way for later women… include Michel de Montaigne, Ralph Waldo Emerson and more recently, David Foster Wallace. Woolf's essays also paved the way for later women writers like Joyce Carol Oates and Susan Sontag to share their personal views in essays and memoirs.' href='#'>more While the novel is not significantly influenced by any one particular work, Forster’s narration repeatedly refers to classical Greek mythology. The novel can also be seen in relation to the popular genres of travel writing and romance novels. A Room more
Extra Credit: The four Mary characters that Woolf uses to make her points are inspired by the four ladies-in-waiting of the Queen of Scots, about whom a popular rhyme was written The image of Judith Shakespeare's suicide was one of the most… more In 1985, Forster’s novel was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film, starring Helena Bonham Carter as Lucy Honeychurch.
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