A woman must have money
Virginia Woolf, “A Room of One’s Own”, Emons
I listened to Virginia Woolf's essay on the relationship between women and literature in England on an audiobook in one sitting. I did not understand much at first, but the underlying tone was the fierce and biting irony of the early 20th century English writer about the situation of women who had wanted to write a novel in the centuries before hers. I waited quite a while before discovering above all the meaning of the title given to these two lectures given at Newnham and Girton, women’s colleges of Cambridge University, in 1928. The conclusion is surprising -but not unexpected-, which states that if women had a room to themselves, where neither husband nor children could disturb them, and had a budget of at least £500 a year, surely the shelves of the Cambridge library would be full of studies and novels written by women. The concluding invitation, made to the young female students, is not to be content but to cultivate study without allowing the male patriarchal system to decide their intellectual, creative and poetic freedom. “Intellectual freedom depends on material things. Poetry depends on intellectual freedom”.