A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf

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A Room of One's Own is an extended essay by . First published during 24 October 1929, it was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women's colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928. While this extended essay is on women as both writers of fiction and as characters in fiction, the manuscript for the delivery of the series of lectures, titled "Women and Fiction", and hence the essay, are considered non-fiction. The essay examines whether women were capable of producing work of the quality of William Shakespeare, amongst other topics. In one section, Woolf invented a fictional character Judith "Shakespeare's Sister", to illustrate that a woman with Shakespeare's gifts would have been denied the same opportunities to develop them because of the doors that were closed to women. Woolf also examines the careers of several female authors, including Aphra Behn, Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters and George Eliot. The author subtly refers to several of the most prominent intellectuals of the time, and her hybrid name for the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge—Oxbridge—has become a well-known term, although she was not the first to use it. The title comes from Woolf's conception that, 'a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction' (page 4). It also refers to any author's need for poetic license and the personal liberty to create art.

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The 37th greatest nonfiction book of all time

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  1. - 4th on The Modern Library | 100 Best Nonfiction (The Modern Library)
  2. - 11th on El Pais Favorite Books of 100 Spanish Authors (El Pais)
  3. - 69th on Le Monde's 100 Books of the Century (Le Monde)
  4. - 100 Major Works of Modern Creative Nonfiction (About.com)
  5. - 100 Most Influential Books of the Century (Boston Public Library)
  6. - Best Books Ever (bookdepository.com)
  7. - 50 Books That Changed the World (Open Education Database)
  8. - Select 100 (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

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