“To have lived a free life in London in the sixteenth century would have meant for a woman who was poet and playwright a nervous stress and dilemma which might well have killed her. Had she survived, whatever she had written would have been twisted and deformed, issuing from a strained and morbid imagination.”
Woolf essentially summarizes the chapter in this excerpt, explaining her thought progression on what it meant to be a woman in the sixteenth century. She explores a topic that was scarcely touched in her time, and explores the depths of troubles which these gifted women faced. In addition to her theory, she makes the claim that any woman who would survive these hardships would not bode well in the literary world. On another note, this excerpt particularly stuck with me because it made me realize that Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, particularly chapter 3, was a huge influence in the creation of my favorite novel: Max Barry’s Lexicon.