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Record 4955

Reading Experience:

'A South Wales miner, raised in an orphanage, acknowledged that "Robin Hood was our patron saint, or ideal. We sincerely believed in robbing the rich to help the poor". (Actually he stole from an old widow's tuck shop). "Our real heroes were robbers like Jack Sheppard, Dick Turpin, and Charles Peace, whose 'Penny dreadful' biographies we knew by heart". Yet in later life, even as a Calvinistic Methodist minister, he did not condemn that genre: "It introduced me to a romantic world when pennies were scarce and libraries seemed far beyond my reach. We read the badly printed booklets in all sorts of places, even in church; they gave us glimpses of freedom, abandon, and romance, heroism and defiance of fate... As a corrective to natural law-breaking propensities, the 'penny dreadful' always ended with the punishment of crime".'
Century: 1850-1899
Date: unknown
Country: Wales
Time: n/a
Place: other location: orphanage
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: anon
Age Child (0-17)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 1875
Socio-economic group: Labourer (non-agricultural)
Occupation: miner, later a Methodist minister
Religion: Methodist
Country of origin: Wales
Country of experience: Wales
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: anon
Title: Robin Hood
Genre: Fiction, Children's Lit, Biography, Ephemera
Form of Text: Print: Book, Serial / periodical
Publication details: 'penny dreadful' cheap booklet
Provenance: owned


Source Information:

Record ID: 4955  
Source - Print  
  Author: Jonathan Rose
  Editor: n/a
  Title: The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes
  Place of Publication: New Haven
  Date of Publication: 2001
  Vol: n/a
  Page: 368
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (New Haven, 2001), p. 368,, accessed: 21 July 2019

Additional comments:

See J. H. Howard, 'Winding Lanes' (Caernarvon, 1938) pp. 27-30



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