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About the book
  • Published: 26 February 2015
  • ISBN: 9781448182145
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

The Common Reader: Volume 1




Virginia Woolf's first collection of essays demonstrates her eccentric, entertaining brilliance as a literary critic

Discover Virginia Woolf’s informative and erudite critical essays on some of the key novelists and dramatists of the canon – from the ancient Greeks to Jane Austen and beyond.

Virginia Woolf read, and wrote, as an outsider, denied the educational privileges of her male contemporaries. She was perhaps better able, then, to address a 'common reader' in this wide-ranging collection of essays. With all the imagination and gaiety that are the stamp of her genius, she turns from medieval England to tsarist Russia, and subjects Elizabethan playwrights, Victorian novelists and modern essayists to her wise, acute and entertaining scrutiny.

Essays on Jane Austen, George Eliot, Nancy Mitford, Joseph Conrad, Michel de Montaigne, Daniel Defoe and many others.

  • Pub date: 26 February 2015
  • ISBN: 9781448182145
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

About the Author

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf was born in London in 1882. After her father's death in 1904 Virginia and her sister, the painter Vanessa Bell, moved to Bloomsbury and became the centre of ‘The Bloomsbury Group’. This informal collective of artists and writers exerted a powerful influence over early twentieth-century British culture.

In 1912 Virginia married Leonard Woolf, a writer and social reformer. Three years later, her first novel The Voyage Out was published, followed by Night and Day (1919) and Jacob's Room (1922). Between 1925 and 1931 Virginia Woolf produced what are now regarded as her finest masterpieces, from Mrs Dalloway (1925) to The Waves (1931). She also maintained an astonishing output of literary criticism, short fiction, journalism and biography. On 28 March 1941, a few months before the publication of her final novel, Between the Acts, Virginia Woolf committed suicide.

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Praise for The Common Reader: Volume 1

“Her essays are delightful in the way that serious play is delightful. She is enjoying herself, and reading her gives me that leaping sense of being in excellent company”

Jeanette Winterson, The Times

“More like novels than ordinary criticism”

New Statesman

“Woolf was easily the greatest literary journalist of her age”

James Wood,, Guardian

“It is all pure Woolf, so distinctive is her voice - ironic, cool, conversational and playful, shrewd and fantastical by turns”

Literary Review


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