My Favourite 30 Virginia Woolf Quotes

My Favourite Virginia Woolf Quotes

Virginia Woolf Kaleidoscope Peonies

Virginia Woolf 

I first read Virginia Woolf in University. I came across her in a Modernism module and became engrossed with her beautiful, clever and poetic prose. Her novel's aren't the easiest or the quickest reads, but there is so much in them. She see's into the heart and essence of human nature and describes it in such an astonishingly beautiful way. Her writing mesmerizes me, which is why she is my favourite author. Below are 30 quotes scattered throughout her writing, that I love.

Mrs Dalloway

  • Life; London; this moment of June.

  • Half the time she did things not simply, not for themselves; but to make people think this or that; perfect idiocy she knew.

  • She had the oddest sense of being herself invisible; unseen; unknown...this being Mrs Dalloway; not even Clarissa anymore; this being Mrs Richard Dalloway.

  • The world wavered and quivered and threatened to burst into flames.

  • How sights fixed themselves upon the mind! For example, the vivid green moss.

  • London has swallowed up many millions of young men called Smith.

  • Shredding and slicing, dividing and subdividing, the clocks of Harley Street nibbled at the June day.

To The Lighthouse

  • The Lighthouse became immovable, and the line of the distant shore became fixed.

  • One thing burst into another. Blooming bubbles out of a pipe gives the feeling of the rapid crowd of ideas and scenes which blew out of my mind.

  • She always saw, when she thought of Mr Ramsay, a scrubbed kitchen table. It lodged now in the fork of a pear tree... a phantom kitchen table.

  • Suddenly, as if the movement of his hand had released it, the load of her accumulated impressions of him tilted up, and down poured in a ponderous avalanche all she felt about him.

  • You live for science...(involuntarily, sections of potatoes rose before her eyes).

  • Lily's thoughts dancing 'up and down, like a company of gnats, each separate...controlled in an invisible elastic and about the branches of the pear tree, where still hung in effigy the scrubbed kitchen table...until her thought...explored...and there came, flying from its fragments. frightened, effusive, tumultuous, a flock of starlings.'

  • Mr Ramsay: It was a disguise; it was the refuge of a man afraid to own his own feelings, who could not say, This is what I like, this is what I am.

  • It was fringed with joy.

  • Mr Carmichael: cat's eyes ajar, so that like a cat's they seemed to reflect the branches moving or the clouds passing but to give no inkling of any inner thoughts or emotion whatsoever.

  • On the right, as far as the eye could see, fading and falling, in soft low pleats, the green sand dunes with the wild flowing grasses on them, which always seemed to be running away into some moon country, uninhabited of men.

  • It was as if the water floated off and set sailing thoughts which had grown stagnant on dry land.

  • First, the pulse of colour flooded the bay with blue, and the heart expanded with it and the body swam, only the next instant to be checked and chilled by the prickly blackness on the ruffled waves.

  • The pulp had gone out of their friendship.

  • How then did it work out, all this? How did one judge people, think of them? How did one add up this and that and conclude that it was liking one felt. or disliking?

  • To follow her thought was like following a voice which speaks too quickly to be taken down by one's pencil.

  • She was relieved to find that the ruin was veiled; domesticity triumphed; custom crooned its soothing rhythm.

  • Mrs Ramsay seemed to fold herself together, one petal closed in another, and the whole fabric fell in exhaustion upon itself.

  • How life, from being made up of little separate incidents which one lived one by one, became curled and whole like a wave which bore one up with it, and threw one down with it, there, with a dash on the beach.

  • How then...did one know one thing or another thing about people, sealed as they were?

  • The words seemed to be dropped into a well, where, if the waters were clear, they were also so extraordinarily distorting that, even as they descended, one saw them twisting about to make heaven knows what pattern on the floor of the child's mind.

  • She could be herself, by herself...All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped cored of darkness, something invisible to others.


  • How many different people are there not... all having lodgement at one time or another in the human spirit...come, come! I'm sick to death of this particular self. I want another.

The Waves

  • I am rooted, but I flow.

Virginia Woolf Kaleidoscope Peonies

Have you read VW? What are you favourite novels of hers? 

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