Academic journal article Woolf Studies Annual

42 Handwritten: [1929]

Academic journal article Woolf Studies Annual

42 Handwritten: [1929]

Article excerpt



Dear Madam,

After reading "A room of one's own" I have found it too hard not to say thank you--even at the risk of trespassing on the writer's privacy. For I read here, wisely & beautifully put, what many of us--who are trying to develop our 'androgynous mind' from that mind which springs naturally from our being [begin strikethrough]female ver[end strikethrough] women--are confusedly thinking & feeling. It seems presumptuous to say this--yet I think you meant to speak for all of us who are not sufficiently subtle of mind or speech to be able to speak truthfully for ourselves.

Thank you for so wittily and beautifully and un-angrily crystallising the situation; for illuminating our capacity to ourselves & for making clear the distinction between chaff & grain in our particular kinds of work. It is easier to write now--if one is a beginner --with a clearer head & fewer unhelpful misgivings.

It seems one of the hardest things in the world now to be an unselfconscious, independent woman--personally & spiritually. Our approach to work & to relationships is made extraordinarily confused & difficult because women (apparently) aren't people; they are suspicious strangers, or pets or performing animals. They are not given the right to hold that invisible passport which good men carry through the world simply on the strength of their being good people. …

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