Most Famous Virginia Woolf Quotes

Virginia Woolf was a prolific writer and thinker who left behind a wealth of quotes on a variety of topics. In her writings, Woolf displays a firm and confident voice, offering her insights on everything from writing to feminism. Here are some of our favorite Virginia Woolf quotes on creativity, writing, and more.

virginia woolf quotes

Virginia Woolf was born in 1882 to a wealthy family in London. From a young age, Woolf showed a passion for writing and was heavily influenced by her mother and sister. Woolf published her first novel in 1915 and went on to become one of the most well-known and respected authors of her time. Woolf’s personal life was often tumultuous, and she battled mental illness for much of her life. She committed suicide in 1941.

Woolf began writing seriously in the early 1910s. Her first novel, The Voyage Out, was published in 1915. Woolf’s later works include Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), and The Waves (1931). Woolf suffered from mental illness for most of her life and in 1941, she committed suicide by drowning herself in a river near her home.

Virginia Woolf was a groundbreaking writer and thinker whose works helped to redefine the genre of novel. Her novels are noted for their psychological depth and for their exploration of the inner lives of women. Woolf’s nonfiction writings, such as “A Room of One’s Own” (1929), are also highly influential. Her life was marked by tragedy, but she also achieved great success and acclaim.

73 Virginia Woolf Quotes

  1. “Books are the mirrors of the soul.”

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

3. “No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.”

4. “Nothing thicker than a knife’s blade separates happiness from melancholy.”

5. “All extremes of feeling are allied with madness.”

6. “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.”

7. “I don’t believe in aging. I believe in forever altering one’s aspect to the sun. ”

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

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

10. “Arrange whatever pieces come your way.”

11. “He who robs us of our dreams robs us of our life.”

deep virginia woolf quotes

Famous Virginia Woolf Quotes

12. “Once she knows how to read there’s only one thing you can teach her to believe in and that is herself.”

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

14. “No passion is stronger in the breast of a man than the desire to make others believe as he believes. Nothing so cuts at the root of his happiness and fills him with rage as the sense that another rates low what he prizes high.”

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

16. “When you consider things like the stars, our affairs don’t seem to matter very much, do they?”

17. “Communication is truth; communication is happiness. To share is our duty; to go down boldly and bring to light those hidden thoughts which are the most diseased; to conceal nothing; to pretend nothing; if we are ignorant to say so; if we love our friends to let them know it.”

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

19. “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.”

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

virginia woolf book quotes

Virginia Woolf Quotes About Life

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

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

23. “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.”

24. “I do not want to be admired. I want to give, to be given, and solitude in which to unfold my possessions.”

25. “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.”

26. “Why are women… so much more interesting to men than men are to women?”

27. “It was a silly, silly dream, being unhappy.”

28. “I am not one and simple, but complex and many.”

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

30. “The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.”

Thought-Provoking Virginia Woolf Quotes

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

32. “I enjoy the spring more than the autumn now. One does, I think, as one gets older.”

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

34. “Let us again pretend that life is a solid substance, shaped like a globe, which we turn about in our fingers. Let us pretend that we can make out a plain and logical story, so that when one matter is despatched—love for instance—we go on, in an orderly manner, to the next. ”

35. “Her eyes are pure stars, and her fingers, if they touch you, freeze you to the bone.”

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

37. “So that is marriage, Lily thought, a man and a woman looking at a girl throwing a ball”

38. “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

39. “Truth had run through my fingers. Every drop had escaped.”

40. “Human beings have neither kindness, nor faith, nor charity beyond what serves to increase the pleasure of the moment.”

41. “Happiness is in the quiet, ordinary things. A table, a chair, a book with a paper-knife stuck between the pages. And the petal falling from the rose, and the light flickering as we sit silent.”

42. “Never pretend that the things you haven’t got are not worth having.”

43. “There was a star riding through clouds one night, & I said to the star, ‘Consume me’.”

44. “It is far harder to kill a phantom than a reality.” – Virginia Woolf

45. “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…”

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

47. “Someone has to die in order that the rest of us should value life more.”

48. “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.”

49. “It is no use trying to sum people up.”

50. “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.”

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

52. “Illusions are to the soul what atmosphere is to the earth.”

53. “The history of men’s opposition to women’s emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.”

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

56. “To love makes one solitary.”

57. “They can because they think they can.” – Virginia Woolf

58. “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.”

59. “Women and fiction remain, so far as I am concerned, unsolved problems.”

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

61. “What does the brain matter compared with the heart?”

62. “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.”

63. “It is much more important to be oneself than anything else. Do not dream of influencing other people…Think of things in themselves.”

64. “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.”

More Virginia Woolf Quotes

65. “If the best of one’s feelings means nothing to the person most concerned in those feelings, what reality is left us?”

66. “Just in case you ever foolishly forget; I’m never not thinking of you.”

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

68. “Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semitransparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end.”

69. “I meant to write about death, only life came breaking in as usual”

70. “We are cut, we are fallen. We are become part of that unfeeling universe that sleeps when we are at our quickest and burns red when we lie asleep.”

71. “I feel that by writing I am doing what is far more necessary than anything else.”

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

73. “I really don’t advise a woman who wants to have things her own way to get married”

30 Philip Fisher Quotes...

 10 Short Philip Fisher Quotes to Inspire You “I have...

45 Pat Flynn Quotes...

“Be open to and welcoming of unforeseen events because...

Mukesh Ambani Quotes About...

“Dance to your own music and take some risks...

Neil Armstrong Quotes About...

“Ever since I was a little boy, I dreamed...

Michael Milken Quotes On...

“This provides something that is readable for the layperson...

Michael Dell Quotes About...

“Don’t spend so much time trying to choose the...

30 Philip Fisher Quotes (LEGENDARY INVESTOR)

 10 Short Philip Fisher Quotes to Inspire You “I have already made up my mind, don't confuse me with facts.” 2. “When profit margins of a...

45 Pat Flynn Quotes On Entrepreneurship, Success and Life

“Be open to and welcoming of unforeseen events because those unplanned moments are often the seeds of spectacular opportunities in your life.” - Pat...

Mukesh Ambani Quotes About Success, Life and Hard Work

“Dance to your own music and take some risks in life, because it is often the risk taker who changes the course of history…...

Neil Armstrong Quotes About Space, Life and Success

“Ever since I was a little boy, I dreamed I would do something important in aviation.” Famous Neil Armstrong Quotes “Shoot for the stars but if...

Michael Milken Quotes On Wealth

“This provides something that is readable for the layperson and has been vetted by some of the top scientists. It helps you separate the...

Michael Dell Quotes About Entrepreneurship and Success

“Don’t spend so much time trying to choose the perfect opportunity, that you miss the right opportunity.” - Michael Dell Inspirational Michael Dell Quotes “I...

Howard Schultz Quotes About Starbucks and Leadership

“In times of adversity and change, we really discover who we are and what we’re made of." - Howard Schultz Famous Howard Schultz Quotes “Dream...

George Soros Quotes On Investing, Trading and Money

“It’s not whether you’re right or wrong, but how much money you make when you’re right and how much you lose when you’re wrong.”...

Cliff Lerner Quotes on Startup, Success and Life

“Lord give me the confidence of someone that has never built anything writing advice threads on how to build a startup.” - Cliff Lerner Famous...