This text was a genuine pleasure to read on many levels. The ideas were really interesting, the style was superb, and there was nothing predictable about it. Even though I have read it before, certain passages made me pause in wonder. However, it is arguably worth underlining what the text is not.
The text is fairly unstructured. This is because of the way it was created. It was based around notes for two separate lectures. It was then put together and polished at a later date. This means that there was a slight loss of coherence- but coherence was not what Woolf was making into a priority.
Hermione Lee, who has written a thorough introduction to the text, has highlighted that Woolf admired the poetic but imperfect essays of Charles Lamb. This admiration has arguably influenced the somewhat odd manner in which Woolf made her feminist appeal. She called for female writers to be given the space to engage in cross-genre activity based on secure and more equal foundations- but she interspersed her philosophical reading of literary history with digressions about the weather, Tennyson and a Manx cat! I fear I cannot do full justice to Woolf with this review because I would need the assistance of poets.