London: Chatto & Windus, 1932. First Edition. xvi, 348 pp. 8vo. Cloth and text block clean. Spine of jacket darkened, medium dusting to covers. Back hinge cracked. Very good in very good dust-jacket. Hardcover.
Leavis was considered a pioneering critic of the novel. She famously explored less "serious" works, developing a more open inclusive history of reading. She helped definite an approach to social and literary history that included popular taste as a subject and took unexplored byways around the serious books of the day.
Her work as a critic was not without controversy though. She famously took on Virginia Woolf in the pages of Scrutiny, a literary journal she co-edited with her husband F. R. Leavis. She thought Woolf was too highbrow and snobbish, among other things.
Despite what could sincerely be considered dated opinions, her work, including this pioneering title, remains a central piece of women's and social literary criticism from the British Isles.