A Room of One's Own

First edition cover
AuthorVirginia Woolf
Cover artistVanessa Bell (first edition)
SubjectFeminism, women, literature, education
PublisherHogarth Press, England, Harcourt Brace & Co., United States
Publication date
September 1929
Pages172 (Hogarth Press first edition)

A Room of One's Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf, first published in September 1929.[1] The work is based on two lectures Woolf delivered in October 1928 at Newnham College and Girton College, women's constituent colleges at the University of Cambridge.[2][3]

An important feminist text, the essay is noted in its argument for both a literal and figurative space for women writers within a literary tradition dominated by men.


The essay was based on two papers Woolf read on 20 and 26 October 1928 to two Cambridge student societies, the Newnham Arts Society at Newnham College and the ODTAA Society at Girton College, respectively. Elsie Duncan-Jones, then known as Elsie Phare, was the president of the Newnham Arts Society at the time and wrote an account of the paper, "Women and Fiction", for the college magazine, Thersites. Woolf stayed at Newnham at the invitation of Pernel Strachey, the college principal, whose family were key members of the Bloomsbury Group. At Girton she was accompanied by Vita Sackville-West.[3][4] It was published in 1929 as a book with six chapters.[5]