Virginia Woolf
An image of English writer and critic Virginia Woolf. GettyImages/George C Beresford

British author Virginia Woolf belonged to a charismatic genre. Her novels and essays gave a perfect idea about 20th century English literature. Her writings continue to influence writers and artists even today.

She was born on Jan. 25, 1882 in South Kensington, London. Her parents were distinguished personalities of British society. Some of the all-time favorite books of her include, Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), The Waves (1931), Three Guineas (1938) and Between the Acts (1941) to name a few.

To commemorate the British literary writer’s 137th birth anniversary, here are some of her most hailed quotes:

“I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in.”

“No sooner have you feasted on beauty with your eyes than your mind tells you that beauty is vain and beauty passes.”

“The habit of writing for my eye is good practice. It loosens the ligaments.”

“Yes, I deserve a spring–I owe nobody nothing.”

“Books are the mirrors of the soul.”

“All extremes of feeling are allied with madness.”

“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”

“Why are women... so much more interesting to men than men are to women?”

“As long as she thinks of a man, nobody objects to a woman thinking.”

“Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.”

“As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.”

“I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.”

“I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realizes an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don't have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.”

“When you consider things like the stars, our affairs don't seem to matter very much, do they?”

“No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.”

“Women have served all these centuries as looking glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size.”

“A woman knows very well that, though a wit sends her his poems, praises her judgment, solicits her criticism, and drinks her tea, this by no means signifies that he respects her opinions, admires her understanding, or will refuse, though the rapier is denied him, to run through the body with his pen.”

“What is the meaning of life? That was all- a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years, the great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one.”