Life as We Have Known It (Paperback)
“You unlocked a drawer and took out a packet of papers. . . . Sometimes, you said, you got a letter which you could not bring yourself to burn; once or twice a Guildswoman had at your suggestion written a few pages about her life . . .” —Virginia Woolf to Margaret Llewelyn Davies, describing the circumstances leading to the publication of Life as We Have Known It
A first-hand record of working class women’s experiences in early twentieth-century England, Life as We Have Known It is a unique view of lives Virginia Woolf described as “still half hidden in profound obscurity.” The women write about growing up in poverty, going into domestic service, being a hat factory worker, or a miner’s wife concerned about the colliery baths, and how they became politically active through the Women’s Co-operative Guild movement. Virginia Woolf’s essay contains her candid and searching reflections on the Guild’s 1913 Congress, the women who spoke there, and the differences between their lives and hers.