First delivered as a speech to schoolgirls in Kent in 1926, this enchanting short essay by the towering Modernist writer Virginia Woolf celebrates the importance of the written word.
With a measured but ardent tone, Woolf weaves together thought and quote, verse and prose into a moving tract on the power literature can have over its reader, in a way which still resounds with truth today.
‘I have sometimes dreamt, at least, that when the Day of Judgement dawns and the great conquerors and lawyers and statesmen come to receive their rewards – their crowns, their laurels, their names carved indelibly upon imperishable marble – the Almighty will turn to Peter and will say, not without a certain envy when he sees us coming with our books under our arms, “Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them here. They have loved reading.”’