The Common Reader' is a collection of essays by Virginia Woolf, published in two series, the first in 1925 and the second in 1932. The title indicates Woolf's intention that her essays be read by the educated but non-scholarly "common reader," who examines books for personal enjoyment. Woolf outlines her literary philosophy in the introductory essay to the first series, "The Common Reader," and in the concluding essay to the second series, "How Should One Read a Book?" The first series includes essays on Geoffrey Chaucer, Michel de Montaigne, Jane Austen, George Eliot, and Joseph Conrad, as well as discussions of the Greek language and the modern essay. The second series features essays on John Donne, Daniel Defoe, Dorothy Osborne, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Thomas Hardy, among others. Adeline Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) was an English writer who is considered one of the foremost modernists of the twentieth century and a pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device.