Women: An Inquiry. Willa Muir, Vanessa Bell, cover.

Women: An Inquiry

London: The Hogarth Press, 1925. 1st Edition. Slim octavo, publisher's illustrated stiff paper wraps.

"The whole world needs creative women, and seems to be unaware of its need. Women themselves do not know how necessary they are. The result is that many waste themselves in trying to be men, and many are content to justify this existence by simple drudgery." First edition of Scottish novelist, essayist, and early Kafka translator Willa Muir's first published work. Presented as an investigation of women's unequal place in society, specifically within the realm of creativity, many critics have since argued that her book-length essay only succeeds in reinforcing the ostensible innate differences between men and women. However, written in the early 1920s, Muir's essay, which aimed to discover "if the creative work of women is different in kind from the creative work of men," was revolutionary at a time when women writers were in the incipient stages of reevaluating and redefining what constitutes womanhood. Muir's novels include Imagined Corners (1931) and Mrs. Ritchie (1933). Published by Virginia and Leonard Woolf's Hogarth Press as number 10 in their Hogarth Essays series. Cover designed by Bloomsbury painter and Woolf's sister Vanessa Bell. Rubbing to spine ends, some wear to spine, some soiling and creasing to wraps. Very good overall. Item #2255


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