104 Best Virginia Woolf Quotes on Love, Life & Feminism

Virginia Woolf was a trailblazer in the literary world of the 20th century.

She was known for her novels “Mrs Dalloway” and “To the Lighthouse”, her groundbreaking ‘stream of consciousness’ technique revolutionized how characters’ inner thoughts and memories were portrayed.

A reflection of her time, Woolf’s work delves into changing gender roles, societal norms and technological advances.


Her fascination with the ordinary brought marginalized perspectives to life, reflected in works like “A Room of One’s Own” and “Three Guineas”, which challenged societal expectations of women.

Related: C. S. Lewis Quotes from the Famous British Writer and Joseph Conrad Quotes from Famous Polish-British Writer

Woolf’s cultural impact extended beyond her writing; she and her husband Leonard founded Hogarth Press, a hub for notable writers like T S Eliot and Sigmund Freud.

Despite personal hardships, including the early deaths of family members and a lifelong struggle with mental health, Woolf left an indelible mark on the literary world, echoing in her powerful quotes about love, life and feminism.

Memorable Virginia Woolf Quotes

1. “When you consider things like the stars, our affairs don’t seem to matter very much, do they?” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

2. “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.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).


3. “I am rooted, but I flow.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

4. “Blame it or praise it, there is no denying the wild horse in us.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

5. “You cannot find peace by avoiding life.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

6. “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

7. “Arrange whatever pieces come your way.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

8. “I see you everywhere, in the stars, in the river, to me you’re everything that exists; the reality of everything.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

9. “No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

10. “Literature is strewn with the wreckage of those who have minded beyond reason the opinion of others.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).


11. “Books are the mirrors of the soul.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

12. “A light here required a shadow there.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

13. “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

14. “Thinking is my fighting.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

15. “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).

16. “Growing up is losing some illusions, in order to acquire others.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

17. “I meant to write about death, only life came breaking in as usual.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

18. “What does the brain matter compared with the heart?” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

19. “If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

20. “It’s my choice, to choose how to live my life.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

21. “The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

22. “Love, the poet said, is woman’s whole existence.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

23. “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).

24. “Just in case you ever foolishly forget; I’m never not thinking of you.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).


25. “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

26. “The way to write well is to live intensely.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

27. “I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

28. “My brain hums with scraps of poetry and madness.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

29. “I have a deeply hidden and inarticulate desire for something beyond the daily life.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

30. “Distorted realities have always been my cup of tea.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

31. “Language is wine upon the lips.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

32. “I am in the mood to dissolve in the sky.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

33. “How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here forever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

34. “As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

35. “To be silent; to be alone. All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

36. “Mrs Dalloway is always giving parties to cover the silence.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

37. “Without self awareness we are as babies in the cradles.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

38. “I’m terrified of passive acquiescence. I live in intensity.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

39. “Romantic Love is only an Illusion. A story one makes up in One’s Mind about Another Person.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

40. “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).

41. “Still, the sun was hot. Still, one got over things. Still, life had a way of adding day to day.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).


42. “Be truthful, and the result is bound to be amazingly interesting.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

43. “A self that goes on changing is a self that goes on living.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

44. “The streets of London have their map, but our passions are uncharted. What are you going to meet if you turn this corner?” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

45. “Fear no more, says the heart…” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

Top Virginia Woolf Quotes

46. “I ransack public libraries, and find them full of sunk treasure.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

47. “The future is dark, which is the best thing the future can be, I think.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

48. “People ask me why I write. I write to find out what I know.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

49. “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

50. “I am made and remade continually. Different people draw different words from me.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

51. “In solitude we give passionate attention to our lives, to our memories, to the details around us.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

52. “Consolation for those moments when you can’t tell whether you’re the divinest genius or the greatest fool in the world.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

53. “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

54. “Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

Profound Virginia Woolf Quotes

55. “Though we see the same world, we see it through different eyes. Any help we can give you must be different from that you can give yourselves, and perhaps the value of that help may lie in the fact of that difference.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

56. “Illness is a part of every human being’s experience. It enhances our perceptions and reduces self-consciousness. It is the great confessional; things are said, truths are blurted out which health conceals.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

57. “She dares me to pour myself out like a living waterfall. She dares me to enter the soul that is more than my own; she extinguishes fear in mere seconds. She lets light come through.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

58. “One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

59. “The weather varies between heavy fog and pale sunshine; My thoughts follow the exact same process.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).


60. “A feminist is any woman who tells the truth about her life.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

61. “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).

62. “Outside the trees dragged their leaves like nets through the depths of the air; the sound of water was in the room and through the waves came the voices of birds singing.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

63. “Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

64. “Why, if it was an illusion, not praise the catastrophe, whatever it was, that destroyed illusion and put truth in its place?” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

Famous Virginia Woolf Quotes

65. “Friendships, even the best of them, are frail things. One drifts apart.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

66. “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.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

67. “Writing is a divine art, and the more I write and read the more I love it.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

68. “I will not be “famous,” “great.” I will go on adventuring, changing, opening my mind and my eyes, refusing to be stamped and stereotyped. The thing is to free one’s self: to let it find its dimensions, not be impeded.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

69. “All extremes of feeling are allied with madness.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

70. “To be nothing – is that not, after all, the most satisfactory fact in the whole world?” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

71. “One ought to sink to the bottom of the sea, probably, and live alone with one’s words.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

72. “The man who is aware of himself is henceforward independent; and he is never bored, and life is only too short, and he is steeped through and through with a profound yet temperate happiness.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

73. “Fear no more, says the heart, committing its burden to some sea, which sighs collectively for all sorrows, and renews, begins, collects, lets fall.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

74. “As long as she thinks of a man, nobody objects to a woman thinking.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

75. “I like to have space to spread my mind out in.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

76. “But why do I notice everything? She thought. Why must I think? She did not want to think. She wanted to force her mind to become a blank and lie back, and accept quietly, tolerantly, whatever came.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

77. “Once you begin to take yourself seriously as a leader or as a follower, as a modern or as a conservative, then you become a self-conscious, biting, and scratching little animal whose work is not of the slightest value or importance to anybody.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

78. “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.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

Great Virginia Woolf Quotes

79. “They can because they think they can.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

80. “What a comfort is friendship in this world.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

81. “The real novelist, the perfectly simple human being, could go on, indefinitely imaging.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

82. “It is far harder to kill a phantom than a reality.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

83. “There is a sadness at the back of life which some people do not attempt to mitigate. Entirely aware of their own standing in the shadow, and yet alive to every tremor and gleam of existence, there they endure.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

84. “Art is not a copy of the real world; one of the damn things is enough.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

85. “Orlando naturally loved solitary places, vast views, and to feel himself for ever and ever and ever alone.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

86. “Sleep, that deplorable curtailment of the joy of life.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

87. “And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be are full of trees and changing leaves.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

88. “They say the sky is the same everywhere. Travellers, the shipwrecked, exiles, and the dying draw comfort from the thought.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

89. “It’s not catastrophes, murders, deaths, diseases, that age and kill us; it’s the way people look and laugh, and run up the steps of omnibuses.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

90. “Literature is no one’s private ground, literature is common ground; let us trespass freely and fearlessly and find our own way for ourselves.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

91. “But how entirely I live in my imagination; how completely depend upon spurts of thought, coming as I walk, as I sit; things churning up in my mind and so making a perpetual pageant, which is to be my happiness.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

92. “In any case life is but a procession of shadows, and God knows why it is that we embrace them so eagerly, and see them depart with such anguish, being shadows.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

93. “Sometimes I think heaven must be one continuous unexhausted reading.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

Short Virginia Woolf Quotes

94. “First a warning, musical; then the hour, irrevocable. The leaden circles dissolved in the air.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

95. “How remorseless life is!” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

96. “The beauty of the world, which is so soon to perish, has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

97. “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.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

98. “I like the unreality of your mind; the whole thing is very splendid and voluptuous and absurd.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

99. “What a lark! What a plunge!” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

100. “Lord, how tired one gets of one’s own writing.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

101. “All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

102. “Yes, she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigues, I have had my vision.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

103. “I like people to be unhappy because I like them to have souls.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

104. “Like a ghostly roll of drums remorselessly beat the measure of life.” ~ (Virginia Woolf).

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar