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In 1928 Virginia Woolf speaks to a group of female students at Girton College. Her lecture is "A Room of One's Own." Woolf concludes that a woman must have money and a room of her own.
Woolf struggles to find a conclusion to her presentation on women and fiction. She takes the same path to the Cambridge library as Charles Lamb did. She is refused entrance.
Woolf describes the ritual of dinner at Girton College, where she is to give her lecture. She asks about the "soul" of Girton. The college struggles to get by on a stingy budget.
Woolf probes the reasons for the poverty of women's opportunities versus those of men. How does this poverty affect women's fiction? She finds it difficult to find the answer in men's writings.
Woolf probes historians to discover the truth behind the inferior position of women. Woolf reads from Trevelyan's history. Women in fiction do not reflect women in the real world.
Woolf questions the proclamations of great men who have deprecated women. She speculates about a make-believe sister of Shakespeare. How does her life differ from that of the playwright?
Woolf believes that genius in women exists as surely as it did in men. How many repressed female writers and poets died in obscurity? Women often wrote under a male pen name.
Mrs. Aphra Behn proves that women could make money from their writing. Late in the 18th century, the middle-class woman begins to write. Behn set in motion all that came after in women's fiction.
Jane Austen writes her "Pride and Prejudice" manuscript in secrecy. The minds of both Austen and Shakespeare consumed all impediments to expressing their body of work.
Woolf encourages young women writers to be themselves, first and foremost. She urges women to find their voices. Woolf suggests that the sister of Shakespeare is the voice that will be heard.
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