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Libraries & Collections > MRBR > Exhibitions > Online Exhibitions > A Pen and a Press of Her Own

Woolf in the World: A Pen and a Press of Her Own
Lytton Strachey's Praise of The Common Reader

Lytton Strachey and Clive BellVirginia Woolf dedicated her first collection of essays “To Lytton Strachey.” According to Woolf’s diary, Strachey said The Common Reader “was divine, a classic.” Before reprinting the essays in November 1925, Woolf asked Strachey for his help: “you might tell me what the misprint in the Common Reader was that you snarled out at Leonard once in Gordon Sqre. We hope to reprint, & I’m collecting the more obvious & glaring howlers with which, I’m told, the book pullulates... Your old, rake, & fireside hag, V.” Strachey could not remember: “And the comble is that I cannot recal[l] the misprint in the Common Reader. All this is I believe the result of Sir Almeric Fitzroy, whose ‘memoirs’ I have been reading, and who has reduced me to a state of sawdust equal to his own ... Your Lytton.”

Lytton Strachey and Clive Bell at Charleston: photograph, 1928?

Woolf letter to Strachey Woolf letter to Strachey Strachey letter to Woolf Strachey letter to Woolf
Virginia Woolf. Letter to Lytton Strachey,
8 September [1925].
Lytton Strachey. Letter to Virginia
Woolf, 11 September 1925.

Presented by Frances Hooper ’14.
Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College

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