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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
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Listings for Author:  

George John Whyte-Melville


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George John Whyte-Melville : The Gladiators

'My mother started to read to me when I was very young indeed. She read aloud beautifully and never got tired, and she would never, from the first, read anything that she could not enjoy herself, which cut out all the poor quality writing which every right-minded child loves when he can get it. Her only concession was one weekly comic, "Rainbow". But apart from that, I was reared on a fine mixed diet of Beatrix Potter, A.A. Milne, Dickens, Stevenson, Hans Andersen, Kenneth Grahame and Kipling – especially Puck of Pook’s Hill whose three magnificent stories of Roman Britain were the beginning of my own passion for the subject, and resulted in the fullness of time in The Eagle of the Ninth. Hero myths of Greece and Rome I had, in an unexpurgated edition which my mother edited herself as she went along, and Norse and Saxon and Celtic legends. There were Whyte Melville’s The Gladiators and Bulwer Lytton’s Last Days of Pompeii and Weigal’s Egyptian Princess; for my mother loved historical novels – history of any kind, though her view of it was always the minstrel’s rather than the historian’s.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Rosemary Sutcliff      Print: Book


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