Life as We Have Known It
âYou 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 . . .â âVirginia Woolf to Margaret Llewelyn Davies, describing the circumstances leading to the publication of Life as We Have Known ItA first-hand record of working class womenâs experiences in early twentieth-century England, Life as We Have Known It is a unique view of lives Virginia Woolf described as âstill half hidden in profound obscurity.â The women write about growing up in poverty, going into domestic service, being a hat factory worker, or a minerâs wife concerned about the colliery baths, and how they became politically active through the Womenâs Co-operative Guild movement. Virginia Woolfâs essay contains her candid and searching reflections on the Guildâs 1913 Congress, the women who spoke there, and the differences between their lives and hers.