Radclyffe Hall went to trial in 1928 for her novel, The Well of Loneliness, which was focused around lesbianism. Jane Marcus believes and explains in her article, “Sapphistry: Narration as Lesbian Seduction in A Room of One’s Own, that Virginia Woolf loosely based her character of Judith Shakespeare in her work, A Room of One’s Own, on Radclyffe Hall herself. She further believes that the unnamed narrator is meant to be the voice of the character Mary in The Well of Loneliness. Marcus claims that Woolf’s fictive essay attempts to seduce the woman reader and also makes fun of the masculine world. Woolf’s words are sexually and politically exciting for women because it encourages them to accept sexual and intellectual progression. The second point that Marcus wishes to examine is Woolf’s emphasis on women seeking a female intellectual mentor. Marcus claims that Woolf was upset with the male homosexuality misogyny that was occurring in academic settings. Woolf delivered parts of A Room of One’s Own in a lecture to a room full of college women. Marcus says that when Woolf delivered the lecture she was accompanied by Vita Sackville-West and the rumor of the novel Orlando representing a lesbian love letter had already circulated. Furthermore, there are allusions in Woolf’s speech that refer to the trial of The Well of Loneliness. Marcus reveals that the setting of the delivered speech was seductive and extremely feminine. She ascertains that the beauty of Sackville-West and Woolf, as well as the feminine seductiveness of the setting was all meant to entice the women. The enticement was for the purpose of bringing women together in a bond that were united against the patriarchal society.
Marcus, Jane. "Sapphistry:Narration as Lesbian Seduction in A Room of One's Own." Virginia Woolf and the Languages of Patriarchy. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1987. 163-87. Print.
WELCOME TO MY BLOG!
Hello all! My name is Drew Blanchette. I'm 21 years old and a class member of the Virginia Woolf Seminar. First and foremost, I must warn potential viewers that I have no knowledge of Virginia Woolf's work. I am hoping that as the class progresses and I have a chance to read her apparently fabulous works (or so I have been told) I will develop some knowledge and appreciation. As my blogs increase perhaps the reader will pick up on my progression! Hopefully whoever looks over my site will enjoy my posts and not be too bored by my analyzing attempts. Thanks ahead of time for viewing my site!