'He reads for his own pleasure rather than to impart knowledge or correct the opinions of others'. This is an informal, informative and witty celebration of our literary and social heritage by a writer of genius.
So Virginia Woolf described the 'common reader' for whom she wrote. This is her second series of essays, first published in 1932. Here she turns her brilliant eye on Lord Chesterfield's letters, the novels of George Gissing, the poetry of Donne: we meet Dr Burney and Beau Brummell, Christina Rossetti, Geraldine Jewsbury, Jane Carlyle, Mary Wollstonecraft and many others. This is an informal, informative and witty celebration of our literary and social heritage by a writer of genius.
Virginia Woolf was born in London in 1882, the daughter of Sir Leslie Stephen, first editor of the Dictionary of National Biography. From 1915, when she published her first novel, The Voyage Out, Virginia Woolf maintained an astonishing output of fiction, literary criticism, essays and biography. In 1912 she married Leonard Woolf, and in 1017 they founded the Hogarth Press. She suffered a series of mental breakdowns throughout her life, and on 28th March 1941 she committed suicide.
"Virginia Woolf was one of the great innovators of that decade of literary Modernism, the 1920s. Novels such as Mrs Dalloway and To the Lighthouse showed how experimental writing could reshape our sense of ordinary life. Taking unremarkable materials - preparations for a genteel party, a day on a bourgeois family holiday - they trace the flow of associations and ideas that we call "consciousness" Guardian "Virginia Woolf stands as the chief figure of modernism in England and must be included with Joyce and Proust in the realisation of experimental achievements that have completely broken with tradition" New York Times "Virginia Woolf was a great writer. Her voice is distinctive; her style is her own; her work is an active influence on other writers and a subtle influence on what we have come to expect from modern literature" -- Jeanette Winterson
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