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Common Reader, The

(1925), The Common Reader: Second Series, Times Literary Supplement, The Common Reader, Jane Eyre

essays ‘how including series

and The Common Reader: Second Series (1932) were V. Woolf's two collections of essays published in her lifetime, which she selected, revised, added to, and ordered from her enormous output of reviewing (mostly, anonymously, for the Times Literary Supplement). The title phrase is taken from Dr Johnson. The essays are written from the point of view of a highly cultured, widely read, largely self-educated ‘outsider’ to the educational establishment, asking, with energy, curiosity, intuition, and wit, of a great range of literature from Greeks and Elizabethans to contemporary fiction, ‘how should one read a book?’ The Common Reader has twenty-five essays, including ‘On Not Knowing Greek’, ‘Defoe’, ‘Jane Austen’, ‘Modern Fiction’, ‘George Eliot’, ‘The Russian Point of View’, ‘Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights’, and ‘How It Strikes a Contemporary’. The Common Reader: Second Series has twenty-six essays, including ‘Robinson Crusoe’, ‘Mary Wollstonecraft’, ‘De Quincey's Autobiography’, ‘Dorothy Words-worth’, and ‘How Should One Read a Book?’

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