This map plots the settings and references in A Room of One's Own
To start exploring, click a red pin
Virginia Woolf's narrator consults books about women in the reading room of the British museum, in the area of London known as Bloomsbury.
Bloomsbury is situated in the southern part of the London Borough of Camden. It is home to a great number of academic institutions and hospitals, including the University of London Senate House Library, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), Great Ormond Street Hospital and University College Hospital.
It is renowned for its attractive garden squares, such as Russell Square, Tavistock Square, and Gordon Square. Virginia Woolf lived at 46 Gordon Square between 1904 and 1907, along with her sister Vanessa, and brothers Adrian and Thoby.
Many of the intellectuals, writers and artists who formed the Bloomsbury Group – of which Virginia Woolf and other members of her family were prominent members – lived in this part of London in the early 20th century.
When Woolf's narrator leaves the British Museum she walks home through the Admiralty Arch. and along Whitehall to reach her 'home by the river'. This suggests that she lived either in, or in the vicinity of, the area illustrated by the map below in the London Borough known as the City of Westminster:
Here, the narrator is stressing the rarefied, artificial, ivory-towerish atmosphere of Academia. She suggests that its members are ill-equipped to cope with the harsh realities of life symbolised by the Strand.
Monte Carlo is situated in the principality of Monaco on the eastern edge of the French Riviera (Côte d'Azur). From the mid nineteenth century onwards (along with other Riviera towns such as Cannes and Nice), it became a fashionable holiday destination for members of the British upper classes and for various writers and artists.
The Elephant and Castle (known colloquially as 'The Elephant') is the name given to a road intersection in the London borough of Southwark. It is also the name given to the surrounding area.
The Charing Cross Road is a street in London where numerous bookshops, selling both new and second-hand books, may be found.
The 'fourpenny boxes' would have been those containing the cheapest books. Fourpence in pre-decimal coinage would be approximately 1.66 new pence in present-day coinage.
In the old coinage, fourpence could be made up of 4 separate pennies, 8 halfpennies, or a penny and a threepenny bit.