Tuesday, 27 October 2009
A Room of One's Own
Eighty years ago, on October 24th 1929, this book by Virginia Woolf was published. This copy of "A Room of One's Own" is one of my most treasured possessions. Old and tatty, but incredibly hard to find, it has sat on our shelves for many years now and will continue to do so, I hope. for many more. I wonder if Virginia Woolf, all those years ago, had any idea that the book she was writing would become so iconic? Would mean so much to so many people. If you haven't read the book , you know the title and all that it implies.
Reading all our blogs we all want our own space, workspace don't we. I've seen beautiful studios and workrooms that I've drooled over. I'm still to possess a room of my very own in which to sit and think and do. I share my room with my family. In my mind I have my room planned out, decorated, redecorated and furnished.... But I do have my own space really, my own "room". Maybe not a physical room, but the opportunity to do what I want, which is what I think the book is all about, having the chance to gain the independence and space that I want, something that was so lacking for women all those years ago.
Last week I listened to this wonderful piece of radio. If you get the chance listen to it, it's good. Very good. I listened intently to the piece about Virginia Woolf's home at Monks House. You may know that I love this place. I've written about it here before. Caroline Zoob, the incredibly lucky and talented Caroline Zoob, lives above Monk's House and was interviewed for the programme. She talked of Virginia Woolf's rooms of her own - her beautiful work room in the garden.
A room that was built for her, beautiful in its simplicity. Removed from the house, sitting in the middle of their gorgeous garden, she would walk here to her work and write her books. Simple and undistracting, I just love it.
Interestingly enough the other room in which she worked was her bedroom which is also physically separated from the main house, having to be accessed via a separate doorway. This is another beautiful, calm room that is simple and without too many distractions.
I listened enthralled as Caroline Zoob talked of regularly changing the flowers in the summerhouse where Virginia Woolf once sat and wrote her books. Sometimes you listen to something or read something and feel utterly transported and for a few minutes last week that happened to me.