I was in a second hand shop a few weeks ago and came across an  old edition 
of A room of One's Own.  I purchased it and just this last  week, I read 
it.  I had read it before, or some of it, in college.  I  remembered, of 
course, the line about a woman needing a little money and a room  of her own, but 
not much else.   This time, I read it through  with no problem and it 
struck me that Virginia was so . . . . .  .modern.  I was amused that in 1929, 
she stated:  Just because  women can't play football doesn't mean that they 
can't be doctors. Also,  why are men's interests, i.e, sports, considered 
important and women's  interests, i.e., fashion, considered trivial.  As to 
modern times, her  first idea, about women being great professional doctors in 
spite of their not  being on the NFL, is well accepted.  But, the second, 
about men's interests  being more important than women's interests is still . . 
. . .  .   Even more significant to this group, if Eliot was such a great 
friend of hers,  he must of read her works, knew her thoughts; yet, his idea 
and treatment of  women was pathetic and archaic.
In a message dated 7/18/2009 8:26:30 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

Peter  Montgomery wrote:
> Don't think he felt like killing a  woman, but then Sweeney doesn't
> exactlly demo. that except in a  playful way.  He did happen to know
> someone like that, as I am  sure, did  Jesus.

I don't see Sweeney being playful describing the  death but more matter
of fact.  Still, there is a lighter tone  throughout the play.  There are
the names, repetition and rhythm  leading to that.

However, that is what I'm getting from the words on a  page.  In a
performance there are so many things that lead to an  impression: in
direction, lighting, stage design, customes, timing, and  actor's
inflections, tone and mannerisms.  Even program notes and  audience
reaction (think of "The Producers".)

Lyndall Gordon sees  horror in "Sweeney Agonistes" and she wrote that
Vivienne Eliot did  also.  On the other hand, one of the first
performances, if not the  first, was by Vassar College, a women's

Rick Parker

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