The Common Reader.

WOOLF Virginia (1925)

£2750.00  [First Edition]

Available to view at our Curzon Street shop.

First edition, with dust jacket designed by Vanessa Bell.

First edition. Large 8vo., original pale grey cloth, lettered in black, over white paper-backed boards, the upper cover with a design by Vanessa Bell, dust jacket also designed by Bell. London, Hogarth Press.



A collection of literary reviews and opinions, some of which were first published in a number of newspapers and periodicals, with others appearing here for the first time.

Woolf took her title from a passage in Dr Johnson’s Life of Gray: “... I rejoice to concur with the common reader; for by the common sense of readers, uncorrupted by literary prejudices, after all the refinements of subtlety and the dogmatism of learning, must be generally decided all claim to poetical honours.” Woolf wished to frame herself as the common reader, as in ordinary or general, but there “...have been so many attacks on her life and work (especially in Britain) for snobbery, high-brow-ism and a refusal to write for the mass public, that the other meaning of ‘common’ has crept into the discussion.” (Lee) These accusations of intellectual snobbery are at odds with Woolf’s own insecurities: “I was very nervous as to what people might think, as I have so little education, and I thought that much of that book was great nonsense.”

A near fine copy in dust jacket, chipped at the head of the spine (the loss almost a centimetre deep), small chip from the middle of the spine and some commensurate wear to the extremities. Book-plate of A. Constable Maxwell on front free endpaper. Kirkpatrick A8a.


Stock Code: 229163

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