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50 Virginia Woolf Quotes

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1. "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." - (A Room of One’s Own)

A picture of Virginia Woolf with the following quote: 'A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.'

2. "Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size." - (A Room of One’s Own)

3. "I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman." - (A Room of One’s Own)

4. "He stretched himself. He rose. He stood upright in complete nakedness before us, and while the trumpets pealed Truth! Truth! Truth! we have no choice left but confess — he was a woman." - (Orlando, A Biography)

5. "Though we see the same world, we see it through different eyes." - (Three Guineas)

6. "The artist after all is a solitary being." - (The Death of the Moth and Other Essays)

7. "If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people." - (The Moment and Other Essays)

8. "Happiness is to have a little string onto which things will attach themselves." - (A Moment's Liberty)

A picture with the following quote: 'Happiness is to have a little string onto which things will attach themselves.'

9. "What a born melancholiac I am! The only way I keep afloat is by working. Directly I stop working I feel that I am sinking down, down. And as usual, I feel that if I sink further I shall reach the truth." - (A Moment's Liberty)

10. "When a subject is highly controversial — and any question about sex is that — one cannot hope to tell the truth." - (A Room of One’s Own)

11. "A light here required a shadow there." - (To The Lighthouse)

12. "It was enemies one wanted, not friends." - (Mrs Dalloway)

13. "Humour is the first of the gifts to perish in a foreign tongue." - (The Common Reader)

14. "The strange thing about life is that though the nature of it must have been apparent to every one for hundreds of years, no one has left any adequate account of it." - (Jacob's Room)

A picture with the following quote: 'The strange thing about life is that though the nature of it must have been apparent to every one for hundreds of years, no one has left any adequate account of it.'

15. "The merest schoolgirl when she falls in love, has Shakespeare or Keats to speak her mind for her; but let a sufferer [try to] describe a pain in his head to a doctor and language at once runs dry." - (Mrs Dalloway)

16. "She felt this thing that she called life terrible, hostile, and quick to pounce on you if you gave it a chance." - (To The Lighthouse)

17. "The beauty of the world which is so soon to perish, has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder." - (A Room of One’s Own)

18. "Time, unfortunately, though it makes animals and vegetables bloom and fade with amazing punctuality, has no such simple effect upon the mind of man." - (Orlando, A Biography)

19. "Among the tortures and devastations of life is this then — our friends are not able to finish their stories" - (The Waves)

20. "Books are the mirrors of the soul." - (Between the Acts)

21. "I mean, what is a woman? I assure you, I do not know. I do not believe that you know. I do not believe that anybody can know until she has expressed herself in all the arts and professions open to human skill." - (The Death of the Moth and Other Essays)

22. "The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself." - (A Room of One’s Own)

A picture of Virginia Woolf with the following quote: 'The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.'

23. "Indeed it will be a long time still, I think, before a woman can sit down to write a book without finding a phantom to be slain, a rock to be dashed against. And if this is so in literature, the freest of all professions for women, how is it in the new professions which you are now for the first time entering?" - (The Death of the Moth and Other Essays)

24. "Outwardly, what is simpler than to write books? Outwardly, what obstacles are there for a woman rather than for a man? Inwardly, I think, the case is very different." - (The Death of the Moth and Other Essays)

25. "The extraordinary woman depends on the ordinary woman." - (Granite and Rainbow)

26. "It is the nature of the artist to mind excessively what is said about him. Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others" - (A Room of One’s Own)

27. "Happily, at forty-six I still feel as experimental and on the verge of getting at the truth as ever." - (A Moment's Liberty)

28. "Over the obscure man is poured the merciful suffusion of darkness. None knows where he goes or comes. He may seek the truth and speak it; he alone is free; he alone is truthful, he alone is at peace." - (Orlando, A Biography)

29. "It is only when we can measure the way of life and the experience of life made possible to the ordinary woman that we can account for the success or failure of the extraordinary woman as a writer." - (Granite and Rainbow)

30. "As long as she thinks of a man, nobody objects to a woman thinking." - (Orlando, A Biography)

A picture with the following quote: 'As long as she thinks of a man, nobody objects to a woman thinking.'

31. "Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind." - (A Room of One’s Own)

32. "Words rose above the intolerably laden dumb oxen plodding through the mud. Words without meaning - wonderful words." - (Between the Acts)

33. "One can only believe entirely, perhaps, in what one cannot see." - (Orlando, A Biography)

34. "I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister...she lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here to-night, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die." - (A Room of One’s Own)

35. "Have you any notion how many books are written about women in the course of one year? Have you any notion how many are written by men? Are you aware that you are, perhaps, the most discussed animal in the universe?" - (A Room of One’s Own)

36. "The sound of the trumpets died away and Orlando stood stark naked. No human being, since the world began, has ever looked more ravishing." - (Orlando, A Biography)

37. "No passion is stronger in the breast of man than the desire to make others believe as he believes." - (Orlando, A Biography)

A picture of Virginia Woolf with the following quote: 'No passion is stronger in the breast of man than the desire to make others believe as he believes.'

38. "Old Madame du Deffand and her friends talked for fifty years without stopping. And of it all, what remains? Perhaps three witty sayings." - (Orlando, A Biography)

39. "They never pulled the curtains till it was too dark to see, nor shut the windows till it was too cold. Why shut out the day before it was over?" - (Between the Acts)

40. "You are not listening to me. You are making phrases about Byron. And while you gesticulate, with your cloak, your cane, I am trying to expose a secret told to nobody yet." - (The Waves)

41. "Once you begin to take yourself seriously as a leader or as a follower, as a modern or as a conservative, then you become a self-conscious, biting, and scratching little animal whose work is not of the slightest value or importance to anybody." - (The Death of the Moth and Other Essays)

42. "In Middlemarch and in Jane Eyre we are conscious not merely of the writer's character, as we are conscious of the character of Charles Dickens, but we are conscious of a woman's presence — of someone resenting the treatment of her sex and pleading for its rights." - (Granite and Rainbow)

43. "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." - (A Room of One’s Own)

44. "If, then, one should try to sum up the character of women's fiction at the present moment, one would say that it is courageous; it is sincere; it keeps closely to what women feel. It is not bitter. It does not insist upon its femininity." - (Granite and Rainbow)

A picture with the following quote: 'If, then, one should try to sum up the character of women's fiction at the present moment, one would say that it is courageous; it is sincere; it keeps closely to what women feel. It is not bitter. It does not insist upon its femininity.'

45. "Things have dropped from me. I have outlived certain desires; I have lost friends, some by death... others through sheer inability to cross the street." - (The Waves)

46. "The chief charges against her were (1) that she was dead, and therefore could not hold any property; (2) that she was a woman which amounts to much the same thing …" - (Orlando, A Biography)

47. "Who am I, what am I, and so on; these questions are always floating about in me." - (A Moment's Liberty)

48. "Life for both sexes — and I looked at them, shouldering their way along the pavement — is arduous, difficult, a perpetual struggle." - (A Room of One’s Own)

49. "The Transcendentalist movement, like most movements of vigour, represented the effort of one or two remarkable people to shake off the old clothes which had become uncomfortable to them and fit themselves more closely to what now appeared to them to be the realities." - (Books and Portraits)

50. "Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends, I to my own heart." - (The Waves)



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