Reading Experience Database

Basic Search

Advanced Search

Record 23835

Reading Experience:

'It was while serving here [Willenslee at the farm of Mr Laidlaw] , in the eighteenth year of my age, that I first got a perusal of "The Life and Adventures of Sir William Wallace", and "The Gentle Shepherd"; and though immoderately fond of them, yet (which you will think remarkable in one who hath since dabbled so much in verse) I could not help regretting deeply that they were not in prose, that every body might have understood them; or, I thought if they had been in the same kind of metre with the Psalms, I could have borne with them. The truth is, I made exceedingly slow progress in reading them. The little reading that I had learned I had nearly lost, and the Scottish dialect quite confounded me; so that, before I got to the end of a line, I had commonly lost the rhyme of the preceding one; and if I came to a triplet, a thing of which I had no conception, I commonly read to the foot of the page without perceiving that I had lost the rhyme altogether. I thought the author had been straitened for rhymes, and had just made a part of it do as well as he could without them. Thus, after I got through both works, I found myself much in the same predicament with the man of Eskdalemuir, who had borrowed Bailey's Dictionary from his neighbour. On returning it, the lender asked him what he thought of it. "I dinna ken man", replied he: "I have read it all through, but canna say that I understand it; it is the most confused book that ever I saw in my life!".'
Century: 1700-1799
Date: Between 25 Jan 1788 and 25 Jan 1789
Country: Scotland
Time: n/a
Place: city: Willenslee
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:James Hogg
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 25 Jan 1772
Socio-economic group: Labourer (agricultural)
Occupation: shepherd, later poet
Religion: n/a
Country of origin: Scotland
Country of experience: Scotland
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: Henry the Minstrel
Title: Life and Adventures of Sir William Wallace
Genre: Poetry
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: read in situ
read at Willenslee Farm


Source Information:

Record ID: 23835  
Source - Print  
  Author: James Hogg
  Editor: Gillian Hughes
  Title: Altrive Tales
  Place of Publication: Edinburgh
  Date of Publication: 2003
  Vol: Collected Works 13
  Page: 15-16
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: James Hogg, Gillian Hughes (ed.), Altrive Tales (Edinburgh, 2003), Collected Works 13, p. 15-16,, accessed: 22 October 2019

Additional comments:



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