Thus, the interests of the women concerned were primarily ignored. The position of women did not change much even two centuries later, according to this history book. Even in the seventeenth century, women of the upper and the middle class rarely chose their own husbands. Virginia Woolf agrees with this observation of Professor Trevelyan, and then adds that women had displayed strength of character in the works of poets from the beginning of time.
All these women characters have dynamic personalities. Thus, women in fiction or in works of literature are endowed with strong personalities.
In terms of imagination or creative literature, women receive high importance. But in practical terms or in terms of real society, women are down trodden and of no significance. In poetry, the woman is a predominant and inspiring figure; in the lives of kings and conquerors in fiction she has great significance; her speeches in literature reflect great thoughts. But, on the other side of the coin, in reality a woman became a slave of any man her parents chose for her, in real life a woman could hardly read or spell, she was virtually illiterate and was regarded as a property of her husband, always subject to his will.
The writer regrets the scarcity of detailed facts about women in recorded works. There are no detailed substantial facts about women. There is hardly any mention of her in history.
This fact points to her insignificant stature in society. To this historian, history incorporated many things such as, methods of agriculture, the Crusades that is medieval military expeditions made by Europeans to recover Holy Land, the University, the House of Commons a part of the parliament in England etc.
However, Apart from mentioning a few ladies of great stature such as Queen Elizabeth, there is no mention of women. Not a single middle class woman could have been perceived to have participated in historical events or in great movements, which comprise history. Even the famous seventeenth century English diarist John Aubrey does not mention her.
The writer is shocked at the complete lack of records about women. Lack of availability of information and reading material regarding the female sex is a clear pointer to the gender bias. Not only do historians and diarists fail to write about women, even women themselves have added to their obliteration by not writing about their own lives or maintaining their own diaries. Virginia Woolf points out the great necessity for a mass of information about women, and wonders why some brilliant scholar does not supply it.
It is evident in the very title of J These exhortations have led many critics to characterise her as a writer of the interior life. These metaphors displace the accent of fiction not towards an intimate, private interior, but towards that which exceeds the consciousness while remaining contiguous with it. Rather, it also involves active and imaginative movements of the self beyond subjective limits to engage with that which is not the self. In such an experience of the world, any individualising, personalising, subjective features are overcome, at the same time as the objective status of the world melts away.
It would seem to be something very erratic, very undependable — now to be found in a dusty road, now in a scrap of newspaper in the street, now a daffodil in the sun. It lights up a group in a room and stamps some casual saying. It overwhelms one walking home beneath the stars and makes the silent world more real than the world of speech — and then there it is again in an omnibus in the uproar of Piccadilly.
Sometimes, too, it seems to dwell in shapes too far away for us to discern what their nature is. But whatever it touches, it fixes and makes permanent. This is what remains over when the skin of the day has been cast into the hedge; that is what is left of past time and of our loves and hates. Investing the world, it can also divest itself from it; it manifests itself through the physical without being bound and limited by it.
It is also identified as the principal object of fiction, for Woolf continues: Now the writer, as I think, has the chance to live more than other people in the presence of this reality.
It is his business to find it and collect it and communicate it to the rest of us. In addition to female authors, Woolf also discusses and draws inspiration from noted scholar and feminist Jane Ellen Harrison. Harrison is presented in the essay only by her initials separated by long dashes, and Woolf first introduces Harrison as "the famous scholar, could it be J H herself? Smith, 1st Earl of Birkenhead referred to as "Lord Birkenhead" is mentioned, although Woolf further rebukes his ideas in stating she will not "trouble to copy out Lord Birkenhead's opinion upon the writing of women".
Wortham ,  "that the impression left on his mind, after looking over any set of examination papers, was that, irrespective of the marks he might give, the best woman was intellectually the inferior of the worst man".
Do not blush. Let us admit in the privacy of our own society that these things sometimes happen. Sometimes women do like women. Before she can discuss Chloe liking Olivia, the narrator has to be assured that Sir Chartres Biron , the magistrate of Hall's obscenity trial, is not in the audience: "Are there no men present? Do you promise the figure of Sir Chartres Biron is not concealed? We are all women, you assure me? Then I may tell you
Once more I looked up Women, found "position of," and turned to the pages indicated. The indifference of the world which Keats and Flaubert and other men of genius have found so hard to bear was in her case not indifference but hostility. If ever a mind was incandescent, unimpeded, I thought, turning again to the bookcase, it was Shakespeare's mind. Generally material circumstances are against it.
Thus, though we do not know what Shakespeare went through when he wrote Lear, we do know what Carlyle went through when he wrote the French Revolution; what Flaubert went through when he wrote Madame Bovary; what Keats was going through when he tried to write poetry against the coming of death and the indifference of the world. Women cannot write the plays of Shakespeare. Apparently, they had no money of their own, and were married of at a very young age without their consent being taken into account. Woolf writes: Any woman born with a great gift in the sixteenth century would certainly have gone crazed, shot herself, or ended her days in some lonely cottage outside the village, half witch, half wizard, feared and mocked at. Then her father stopped using such corporal punishment, and tried to emotionally coerce her.
There are no detailed substantial facts about women. Soon, however, before she was out of her teens, she was to be betrothed to the son of a neighbouring wool-stapler. But then her parents came in and told her to mend the stockings or mind the stew and not moon about with books and papers. The lamp in the spine does not light on beef and prunes. The world did not say to her as it said to them, Write if you choose; it makes no difference to me. We are all women, you assure me?
The force of her own gift alone drove her to it. Virginia Woolf agrees with this observation of Professor Trevelyan, and then adds that women had displayed strength of character in the works of poets from the beginning of time.
She had good music sense as well as a taste for the theatre like her famous brother. There are no detailed substantial facts about women. Yet even so," Professor Trevelyan concludes, "neither Shakespeare's women nor those of authentic seventeenth-century memoirs, like the Verneys and the Hutchinsons, seem wanting in personality and character.
I am back from speaking at Girton, in floods of rain. Yet her genius was for fiction and lusted to feed abundantly upon the lives of men and women and the study of their ways. They set two rats in cages side by side, and of the two one was furtive, timid and small, and the other was glossy, bold and big.
Virginia Woolf points out the great necessity for a mass of information about women, and wonders why some brilliant scholar does not supply it. Since facts about women were difficult to obtain, the writer reflects upon what what would have happened if Shakespeare had a highly gifted sister.
The lamp in the spine does not light on beef and prunes. Virginia Woolf agrees with this observation of Professor Trevelyan, and then adds that women had displayed strength of character in the works of poets from the beginning of time.
An amusing book might be made of it if some young student at Girton or Newnham would collect examples and deduce a theory--but she would need thick gloves on her hands, and bars to protect her of solid gold. Investing the world, it can also divest itself from it; it manifests itself through the physical without being bound and limited by it.
The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself. To this historian, history incorporated many things such as, methods of agriculture, the Crusades that is medieval military expeditions made by Europeans to recover Holy Land, the University, the House of Commons a part of the parliament in England etc.