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Record 18924

Reading Experience:

'In a little while came the books . [..] I've read Vathek at once. C'est tres bien. What an infernal imagination! The style is cold and I do not see in the work the immense promise as set forth by the introduction. Chaucer I have dipped into, reading aloud as you advised. I am afraid I am not English enough to appreciate fully the father of English literature. Moreover I am generally insensible to verse. Thereupon came "The Stealing of the Mare" This I delight in. I've read it at once and right through. It is quite inspiring most curious and altogether fascinating.'
Century: 1850-1899
Date: Between 8 Feb 1899 and 26 Feb 1899
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: city: Stanford near Hythe
county: Kent
specific address: Pent Farm
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Joseph Conrad
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 3 Dec 1857
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: Master mariner and author
Religion: originally Polish Catholic, by now agnostic/atheist
Country of origin: Poland
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: Geoffrey Chaucer
Title: The Canterbury Tales
Genre: Poetry
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details:
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 18924  
Source - Print  
  Author: Joseph Conrad
  Editor: Frederick R. Karl (and Laurence Davies)
  Title: The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad Volume 2, 1898-1902
  Place of Publication: Cambridge
  Date of Publication: 1986
  Vol: 2
  Page: 171-172
  Additional comments: Letter from Joseph Conrad to Robert Cunninghame Graham 26th February 1899, Pent Farm.

Citation: Joseph Conrad, Frederick R. Karl (and Laurence Davies) (ed.), The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad Volume 2, 1898-1902 (Cambridge, 1986), 2, p. 171-172,, accessed: 23 August 2019

Additional comments:

The observation see fn.2 p. 172 of source text notes, that "The Franklin's Tale" provided the epigraph for "The Rescue", would tend to provide some evidence that "The Canterbury Tales" was the text being read, rather than one of Chaucer's lesser known works.



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)