- Feminism, Modernism, 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 theUniversity 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).