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Top quotes by Virginia Woolf on feminism, loneliness, passion, love and other things.

100 Top Quotes By Virginia Woolf, The Author Of Mrs. Dalloway

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Modernist writer of the twentieth century, Virginia Woolf was an English novelist, essayist, biographer and feminist who made significant contribution to the English literary club. She was a prolific writer whose modernist style changed with each book. She was an important figure in London literary society and a central figure in the influential Bloomsbury Group of intellectuals. Her most famous works include the novels ‘Mrs Dalloway’, ‘To the Lighthouse’ and ‘Orlando’, each of which were highly successful and established her reputation as a contemporary writer. In addition to this, she came up with pioneering feminist work including ‘A Room of One's Own’ and ‘Three Guineas’. In both the works, she examined the difficulties that female writers and intellectuals faced because men held disproportionate legal and economic power. She also discussed about the future of women in education and society. Woolf wrote extensively on the problem of women’s access to the learned professions, such as academia, church, law, and medicine which only worsened with women’s exclusion from important universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. Woolf’s feminist viewpoint and perspective can also be seen in her quotes that portray her innate idealism and thought. In simple words, she has thrown light at important facts of life and touched varied topics. Go through this section and find out quotes by Virginia Woolf.  

I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.

- Virginia Woolf

You cannot find peace by avoiding life.

- Virginia Woolf

Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.

- A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf

Books are the mirrors of the soul.

- Between the Acts, Virginia Woolf

Why are women... so much more interesting to men than men are to women?

- Virginia Woolf

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

- A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf

If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.

- Virginia Woolf

Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.

- Virginia Woolf

As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.

- Virginia Woolf

I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don't have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.

- Virginia Woolf

When you consider things like the stars, our affairs don't seem to matter very much, do they?

- Virginia Woolf

The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.

- Virginia Woolf

Growing up is losing some illusions, in order to acquire others.

- Virginia Woolf

As long as she thinks of a man, nobody objects to a woman thinking.

- Orlando, Virginia Woolf

No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.

- A Room of One's Own / Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf

Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.

- A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf

Nothing thicker than a knife's blade separates happiness from melancholy.

- Orlando, Virginia Woolf

There was a star riding through clouds one night, & I said to the star, 'Consume me'.

- The Waves, Virginia Woolf

Love, the poet said, is woman's whole existence.

- Orlando, Virginia Woolf

Orlando naturally loved solitary places, vast views, and to feel himself for ever and ever and ever alone.

- Orlando, Virginia Woolf

Second hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack.

- Virginia Woolf

Women have served all these centuries as looking glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size.

- A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf

I am rooted, but I flow.

- Virginia Woolf

I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in.

- Virginia Woolf

The truth is, I often like women. I like their unconventionality. I like their completeness. I like their anonymity.

- Virginia Woolf

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

All extremes of feeling are allied with madness.

- Orlando, Virginia Woolf

I have lost friends, some by death...others by sheer inability to cross the street.

- Virginia Woolf

The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.

- A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf

To look life in the face, always, to look life in the face, and to know it for what it is...at last, to love it for what it is, and then, to put it away...

- Virginia Woolf

Melancholy were the sounds on a winter's night.

- Jacob's Room, Virginia Woolf

She had the perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, out, far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very, dangerous to live even one day.

- Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

I am reading six books at once, the only way of reading; since, as you will agree, one book is only a single unaccompanied note, and to get the full sound, one needs ten others at the same time.

- The Letters of Virginia Woolf: Volume Three, Virginia Woolf

I meant to write about death, only life came breaking in as usual

- Virginia Woolf

He thought her beautiful, believed her impeccably wise; dreamed of her, wrote poems to her, which, ignoring the subject, she corrected in red ink.

- Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

Blame it or praise it, there is no denying the wild horse in us.

- Jacob's Room, Virginia Woolf

I don't believe in aging. I believe in forever altering one's aspect to the sun.

- Virginia Woolf

What does the brain matter compared with the heart?

- Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.

- A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf

Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by heart and his friends can only read the title.

- Virginia Woolf

I worship you, but I loathe marriage. I hate its smugness, its safety, its compromise and the thought of you interfering with my work, hindering me; what would you answer?

- Virginia Woolf

Literature is strewn with the wreckage of those who have minded beyond reason the opinion of others.

- A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf

When I cannot see words curling like rings of smoke round me I am in darkness—I am nothing.

- The Waves, Virginia Woolf

I see you everywhere, in the stars, in the river, to me you're everything that exists; the reality of everything.

- Night and Day, Virginia Woolf

It might be possible that the world itself is without meaning.

- Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

The beauty of the world...has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.

- Virginia Woolf

Mrs Dalloway is always giving parties to cover the silence

- Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

They went in and out of each other's minds without any effort.

- Virginia Woolf

Really I don't like human nature unless all candied over with art

- The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Virginia Woolf

I am made and remade continually. Different people draw different words from me.

- The Waves, Virginia Woolf

Anything may happen when womanhood has ceased to be a protected occupation.

- A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf

Arrange whatever pieces come your way.

- Virginia Woolf

He smiled the most exquisite smile, veiled by memory, tinged by dreams.

- To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes makes its way to the surface.

- Virginia Woolf

She thought there were no Gods; no one was to blame; and so she evolved this atheist's religion of doing good for the sake of goodness.

- Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

Often on a wet day I begin counting up; what I've read and what I haven't read.

- Between the Acts, Virginia Woolf

To want and not to have, sent all up her body a hardness, a hollowness, a strain. And then to want and not to have- to want and want- how that wrung the heart, and wrung it again and again!

- To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

Fiction is like a spider's web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners.

- A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf

To love makes one solitary.

- Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

But then anyone who's worth anything reads just what he likes, as the mood takes him, and with extravagant enthusiasm.

- Virginia Woolf

I really don't advise a woman who wants to have things her own way to get married

- Virginia Woolf

Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.

- Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

It is far harder to kill a phantom than a reality.

- The Death of the Moth and Other Essays, Virginia Woolf

I detest the masculine point of view. I am bored by his heroism, virtue, and honour. I think the best these men can do is not talk about themselves anymore.

- The Pargiters, Virginia Woolf

Never let anybody guess that you have a mind of your own. Above all be pure

- Virginia Woolf

For this moment, this one moment, we are together. I press you to me. Come, pain, feed on me. Bury your fangs in my flesh. Tear me asunder. I sob, I sob.

- The Waves, Virginia Woolf

I have a deeply hidden and inarticulate desire for something beyond the daily life.

- Moments of Being, Virginia Woolf

I am in the mood to dissolve in the sky.

- Virginia Woolf

I want to write a novel about Silence," he said; “the things people don’t say.

- The Voyage Out, Virginia Woolf

I feel so intensely the delights of shutting oneself up in a little world of one’s own, with pictures and music and everything beautiful.

- The Voyage Out, Virginia Woolf

About here, she thought, dabbling her fingers in the water, a ship had sunk, and she muttered, dreamily half asleep, how we perished, each alone.

- To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be are full of trees and changing leaves.

- To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

Was not writing poetry a secret transaction, a voice answering a voice?

- Orlando, Virginia Woolf

It is a thousand pities never to say what one feels.

- Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

I'm sick to death of this particular self. I want another.

- Orlando, Virginia Woolf

For books continue each other, in spite of our habit of judging them separately.

- A Room Of One's Own And Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf

I need not hate any man; he cannot hurt me. I need not flatter any man; he has nothing to give me.

- Virginia Woolf

Just in case you ever foolishly forget; I'm never not thinking of you.

- Selected Diaries, Virginia Woolf

...who shall measure the heat and violence of a poet's heart when caught and tangled in a woman's body?

- A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf

It is no use trying to sum people up.

- Jacob's Room, Virginia Woolf

It was a silly, silly dream, being unhappy.

- Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

Friendships, even the best of them, are frail things. One drifts apart.

- To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

Beauty was not everything. Beauty had this penalty — it came too readily, came too completely. It stilled life — froze it.

- To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

He who robs us of our dreams robs us of our life.

- Orlando, Virginia Woolf

I need silence, and to be alone and to go out, and to save one hour to consider what has happened to my world, what death has done to my world.

- The Waves, Virginia Woolf

When the body escaped mutilation, seldom did the heart go to the grave unscarred.

- Jacob's Room, Virginia Woolf

...she always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day.

- Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

The most extraordinary thing about writing is that when you've struck the right vein, tiredness goes. It must be an effort, thinking wrong.

- Virginia Woolf

And the poem, I think, is only your voice speaking.

- The Waves, Virginia Woolf

How many times have people used a pen or paintbrush because they couldn’t pull the trigger?

- Virginia Woolf

The world wavered and quivered and threatened to burst into flames.

- Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

Better was it to go unknown and leave behind you an arch, then to burn like a meteor and leave no dust.

- Orlando, Virginia Woolf

Life stand still here.

- Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

I was always going to the bookcase for another sip of the divine specific.

- The Waves, Virginia Woolf

I begin to long for some little language such as lovers use, broken words, inarticulate words, like the shuffling of feet on pavement.

- The Waves, Virginia Woolf

My own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery - always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then buried in mud. And why? What's this passion for?

- Virginia Woolf

But nothing is so strange when one is in love (and what was this except being in love?) as the complete indifference of other people.

- Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

Peter would think her sentimental. So she was. For she had come to feel that it was the only thing worth saying – what one felt. Cleverness was silly. One must say simply what one felt.

- Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

Never pretend that the things you haven't got are not worth having.

- The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Virginia Woolf

What is this terror? what is this ecstasy? he thought to himself. What is it that fills me with this extraordinary excitement? It is Clarissa, he said. For there she was.

- Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf