A HOUSE KEEPER OF ONE’S OWN

A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.

A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf 1929

The oft-held argument that women produce inferior works of literature must necessarily be qualified by the fact of the circumstances of women. Unlike their male counterparts, they are routinely denied the time and the space to produce creative works. Instead, they are saddled with household duties and are financially and legally bound to their husbands. By being deprived of rooms of their own, there is little possibility for women to rectify the situation. Even though this is clearly a historical truth, Woolf’s assertion was revolutionary at its time. It recast the accomplishments of women in a new and far more favorable light, and it also forced people to realize the harsh truths about their society.

Sparknotes

I WOULD LIKE TO ADD:


A Woman writer such as I has a NEED FOR A HOUSE-KEEPER and GARDENER/HANDYMAN (Virginia didn’t mention she had live-in help, including a cook, did she?).
Like Virginia I also have an accomodating husband who is as patient as can be waiting for his wife to finish the novel and publish! He also does the cooking, because I only have the zest for words and characters.

Nothings perfect. Even Virginia complained of the disruptions, and distractions which stop the train of novel thoughts.
Mine are the shouts of frustration across the open plan house “where is the saucepan lid/margarine/thongs” etc etc right at the moment my mind is forming a sentence with a unique perspective.

If I Ignore the interruption, then He who must be obeyed will be grumpy to live with.

The common impediment to Woolf’s and my writing? It may have been sciatica, an occupational hazard of sitting, so a regime of exercises to relieve the pain is a must.

We also share a common condition of Bi-polar mood swings and roundabouts. I’m a stickler for taking my mood stabilising pills, and anti-depressants, but Virginia was hap-hazard in a time when psychiatric medicine was not as effective. Lithium wasn’t discovered until 1940 by Dr. Cade of Melbourne, Australia.

By all accounts she was a swinger in other ways, something which was a secret amongst the Upper classes then… Death is a stalker, War too in a Patriarchal, Imperial Great Britain. The loss of family during WW1 was devastating.

She ended her madness in the river beside her and Leonard’s home.

I find it very hard to concentrate, easily distracted by a juicy bit of research at my internet fingertips. My novel is taking years (Emoji weeps).

I am easily fatigued by writing a few intense paragraphs and another washing line visit. Sapped of vital juices, I lay down, mindless or mindfullness.

I can take a few milligrams of extra Effexor to lift my natural abilities.

After a Spritz and cheese sandwich I’m ready to delve into the heart of the English Civil War again, where I have found my rebellious roots!

Return to apple mac I find something to get me going, streamed broadside ballads or Purcell’s music, a BBC historical drama preferably 17th century. The world wide web and the generosity of institutions and individuals to share knowledge is my saving grace.

Whilst the husbands are at Sea, the wives of Mariners must obey the Lord God and commit No Adultery. Puritans turned out to be pragmatists when their congregations had absent husbands.
The solution is a visit to an East End market.

Born into an upper middle class, money and friends brought Virginia a good quality of life. Absorbed in the challenges of writing fiction and running a printing publisher at home with her husband, the author was recognised for her productive output. The Waves, Mrs Dalloway, To the Lighthouse and so on…

Even with a cook, a house-keeper, a thoughtful husband and escapes into her aristocratic lovers garden, there are not enough hours in the day! Did she procrastinate, but completed her projects anyway? That thought gives me hope and determination.

Virginia advised, Begin with Character. Darling V, Always…

A team effort and individual endeavour, her sister Vanessa illustrated, Leonard Woolf set the press.
a life long occupation

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