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A Room of One's Own

A Room of One's Own

by Virginia Woolf

Analysis: Allusions

When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literary and Philosophical References

  • Fanny Burney (1.1, 4.21)
  • Jane Austen (1.1, 3.6, 3.8, 4.1, 4.22, 4.32, 4.33, 5.5, 5.15, 5.16), Pride and Prejudice (4.21, 4.22, 4.27), Emma (4.28, 5.3, 5.14, [Mr. Woodhouse 6.16])
  • Charlotte Brontë (1.1, 4.1, 4.22, 4.28, 4.32, 4.33, 5.16), under pseudonym Currer Bell (3.9), Villette (4.21, 4.28), Jane Eyre (4.22, 4.23, 4.24, 4.25, 4.26, 4.27, 4.28, 4.30, 5.3)
  • Emily Brontë (1.1, 3.8, 4.1, 4.22, 5.16, 6.15), Wuthering Heights (4.21, 4.28)
  • Anne Brontë (1.1)
  • Mary Russell Mitford (1.1, 3.6)
  • George Eliot (1.1, 3.9, 4.22, 4.33, 5.16), Middlemarch (4.21, 4.28, [Mr. Casaubon 5.14]), Correspondence (4.28)
  • Elizabeth Gaskell (1.1)
  • Ballad of the Four Marys (Mary Beton, Mary Seton, Mary Carmichael, and Mary Hamilton) (1.2)
  • These names refer to a Scottish ballad called The Four Marys. They four Marys are Mary Beton, Mary Seton, Mary Carmichael, and Mary Hamilton, the narrator of the ballad. In the ballad, the four Marys are ladys-in-waiting to a Scottish queen, also named Mary. Mary Hamilton is about to be executed for infanticide, having become pregnant by the queen's husband. You might have noticed that Mary Beton, Seton, and Carmichael all appear in A Room of One's Own. Does it seem like an accident that Mary Hamilton isn't mentioned? Does her awful situation remind you a bit of Judith Shakespeare's situation?
  • Charles Lamb (1.4, 4.15, 4.33, 6.8)
  • William Makepeace Thackeray (1.4, 4.32), Esmond (1.4), Vanity Fair (Becky Sharp 3.3)
  • Max Beerbohm (1.4)
  • John Milton (2.14, 3.17, 6.8, 6.23), Lycidas (1.4)
  • Alfred Tennyson (3.12, 3.15, 6.4, 6.13), "Maud" (1.8, 1.14, 1.19)
  • Christina Rossetti (6.4, 6.13), "A Birthday" (1.10, 1.16, 1.21, 1.24)
  • William Shakespeare (2.4, 3.2, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.17, 4.21, 6.4, 6.8), Macbeth (Lady Macbeth 3.3), As You Like It (Rosalind 3.3), Troilus and Cressida (Cressida 3.3), Othello (5.6, [Desdemona 3.3]), King Lear (3.10, 6.16), Antony and Cleopatra (3.3, 3.10, 3.16, 4.22, 5.5, 5.6, 6.1), Julius Caesar (5.6), Hamlet (5.6), King Lear (5.6)
  • Jean de La Bruyère (2.4), Les Caractères (2.8)
  • Dr. Samuel Johnson (2.4, 2.9, 3.13, 4.33, 5.10, 5.11)
  • Oscar Browning (2.4, 3.13, 3.14, 6.13)
  • Alexander Pope (4.15), "Epistle to a Lady" (2.6), "An Essay on Man" (4.9)
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (2.9, 5.10, 5.11)
  • Rebecca West (2.12, 4.1)
  • G.M. Trevelyan (3.5, 3.6, 3.8), History of England (3.3)
  • Geoffrey Chaucer (3.3, 4.21)
  • Jean Racine (5.5), Phèdre (3.3)
  • John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi (3.3)
  • William Congreve, The Way of the World (Millamant 3.3)
  • Samuel Richardson, Clarissa (3.3)
  • Leo Tolstoy (6.8), Anna Karenina (3.3),War and Peace (4.28, 4.29)
  • Gustave Flaubert (3.11, 3.12),Madame Bovary (Emma Bovary 3.3, 3.10)
  • Marcel Proust (5.5, 6.8), A la recherche du temps perdu, (6.16, [Madame de Guermantes 3.3])
  • Joanna Baille (3.6)
  • Edgar Allan Poe (3.6)
  • Ovid (3.7)
  • Virgil (3.7)
  • Horace (3.7)
  • Robert Burns (3.8)
  • Edward Fitzgerald (3.9)
  • George Sand (3.9)
  • Pericles (3.9)
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau (3.10)
  • Thomas Carlyle (3.11, 3.12, 5.10, 5.11), The French Revolution (3.10)
  • John Keats (3.10, 3.11, 3.12, 3.15, 5.14, 6.8, 6.13)
  • William Wordsworth (6.8, 6.13), "Mighty poets in their misery dead" from "Resolution and Independence" (3.11)
  • Ben Jonson (3.17, 6.8)
  • John Donne (3.17)
  • Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (Lady Winchilsea 5.16), "The Introduction" (4.1), "The Spleen" (4.8, 4.10, 4.12, 4.14)
  • John Middleton Murry (4.9, 4.15)
  • John Gay, Trivia (4.15)
  • Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle (Margaret of Newcastle 4.15, 4.16)
  • Dorothy Osborne, Letters to Sir William Temple (4.16, 4.17, 4.18, 4.19, 5.16)
  • Aphra Behn (4.19, 4.21), "A Thousand Martyrs I have made", "Love in Fantastic Triumph Sat" (4.20)
  • Christopher Marlowe (4.21)
  • Eliza Carter (4.21)
  • Sir Thomas Browne (4.33)
  • John Henry Newman (4.33)
  • Lawrence Sterne (4.33, 5.10, 6.8)
  • Charles Dickens (4.33)
  • Thomas De Quincey (4.33)
  • Honoré de Balzac (4.33)
  • Edward Gibbon (4.33)
  • Jane Harrison (5.1)
  • Vernon Lee (5.1)
  • Gertrude Bell (5.1)
  • George Meredith, Diana of the Crossways (5.5)
  • Denis Diderot, Jacques le fataliste et son maître (5.6)
  • William Cowper (5.10, 6.8)
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley (5.10, 6.8, 6.13)
  • Francois-Marie Arouet(Voltaire5.10, 5.11)
  • Robert Browning (5.10, 6,13),Saul(6.13), The Ring and the Book(6.13)
  • Juvenal (5.14)
  • August Strindberg (5.14)
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge (6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.8, 6.13)
  • John Galsworthy (6.6)
  • Rudyard Kipling (6.6)
  • Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch,The Art of Writing(6.12)
  • Lord George Gordon Byron (6.13)
  • Walter Savage Landor (6.13)
  • Matthew Arnold (6.13)
  • William Morris (6.13)
  • Algernon Swinburne (6.13)
  • John Ruskin, Modern Painters (6.13)
  • John Clare (6.13)
  • James Thomson (6.13)
  • Sappho (6.15)
  • Lady Murasaki Shikibu (6.15)
  • John Langdon Davies, A Short History of Women (6.19)
  • Sir Sidney Lee, Life of William Shakespeare (6.23)

Historical References

  • Thomas Gainsborough (1.6), "We are all going to heaven and Vandyck is of the company"
  • F. E.Smith, Lord of Birkenhead (2.4, 3.12)
  • Dean William Inge (2.4)
  • Napoléon Bonaparte (2.9, 2.12, 5.14,6.19)
  • Benito Mussolini (2.9, 2.12, 6.19)
  • Sir Austen Chamberlain (2.12)
  • George Romney (2.12)
  • Queen Elizabeth (3.1, 3.6)
  • Mary Queen of Scots (3.6)
  • Clytemnestra (legend) (3.3)
  • Antigone (legend) (3.3)
  • Henrietta Ponsonby (Lady Bessborough 3.14, 3.15, 6.8)
  • Lord Granville Leveson-Gower (3.14, 6.8)
  • Florence Nightingale (6.14)
  • Cassandra (3.15, 4.22)
  • Georgina Ward, Countess of Dudley (Lady Dudley 4.20)
  • William Ward, 1st Earl of Dudley (Lord Dudley 4.20)
  • Emily Davies (4.22)
  • Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges (4.32)
  • Sir Chartres Biron (5.4)
  • Christopher Columbus (5.9)
  • Isaac Newton (5.9)
  • John Debrett (5.9, 5.10)
  • Sir William Joynson-Hicks (5.10)
  • Hester Thrale (5.10)
  • King Edward the Seventh (5.13)
  • Anne Jemima Clough (6.4, 6.8)
  • Emily Davies (6.4, 6.8)
  • Sir Walter Raleigh (6.7)
  • Sir Archibald Bodkin (6.19)

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