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

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Sophocles  : 

" ... it was whilst at a frivolous, rote-learning girls' school that ... [Frances Power Cobbe] developed her determined, methodical aproach [to reading] ... She read all the Faerie Queene, all of Milton's poetry, the Divina Commedia and Gerusalemme Liberata in the originals, and in translation the Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid, Pharsalia, and ... [nearly all] of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripedes, Ovid, Tacitus, Xenophon, Herodotus and Thucydides."

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Frances Power Cobbe      Print: Book


Sophocles  : Oedipus at Colonus

'Uncle Richard had adored Ruskin, and worshipped Morris, and had slept for years with a copy of "In Memoriam" under his pillow. He told me once how he and his friends used to wait outside the bookshops in the early morning, when they heard that a new volume of Tennyson was to come out. He had read all Browning too, and all Wordsworth, and Carlyle, in fact nearly everything contemporary; and he constantly re-read the Classics in their own classic tongues... a triumph of timing occurred once when he was listening to the Thunderstorm in the Pastoral Symphony, and reading the thunderstorm in "Oedipus at Colonus", and a real thunderstorm took place!'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Richard Litchfield      Print: Book


Sophocles  : Ajax

'Began the "Ajax" of Sophocles. Also Miss Martineau's "History of the Peace."'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: George Eliot [pseud]      Print: Book


Sophocles  : Oedipus Rex

'We are reading Carlyle's "Cromwell" and "Aurora Leigh" again in the evenings. I am still in the "Oedipus Tyrannus", with Shelley's Poems and snatches of "Natural History".'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: George Eliot (pseud)      Print: Book


Sophocles  : plays

Elizabeth Barrett to Hugh Stuart Boyd, 5 March 1842: 'I had two volumes of Euripedes [sic] with me in Devonshire -- & have read him as well as Aeschylus & Sophocles [...] both before & since I went there. You know I have gone through every line of the three tragedians, long ago, in the way of regular, consecutive reading. 'You know also that I had at different times read different dialogues of Plato: but when three years ago, & a few months previous to my leaving home, I became possessed of a complete edition of his works edited by Bekker, why then I began with the first volume & went through the whole of his writings [...] one after another, -- & have at this time read all that is properly attributed to Plato, but even those dialogues & epistles which pass falsely under his name, -- everything except two books I think, or three, of that treatise "De legibus" which I shall finish in a week or two'.

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Elizabeth Barrett      Print: Book


Sophocles  : Electra

Virginia Woolf to Saxon Sydney-Turner, 25 February 1918: 'Asheham is very lovely at the moment. I started upon Sophocles the day after we came -- the Electra, which has made me plan to read all Greek straight through [...] I found great consolation during the influenza in the works of Leonard Merrick, a poor unappreciated second-rate pot-boiling writer of stories about the stage, whom I deduce to be a negro, mulatto, or quadroon; at any rate he has a grudge against the world, and might have done much better if he hadn't at the age of 20 married a chorus girl, had by her 15 coffee coloured brats and lived for the rest of the time in a villa in Brixton, where he ekes out his living by giving lessons in elocution to the natives'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book


Sophocles  : Trachiniae

Thursday 19 August 1920: 'Yesterday [...] read [Sophocles'] Trachiniae with comparative ease -- always comparative -- oh dear me!'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book


Sophocles  : unknown

Tuesday 31 August 1920: 'Finished Sophocles this morning -- read mostly at Asheham.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book


Sophocles  : Antigone

Monday 29 October 1934: 'Reading Antigone. How powerful that spell is still -- Greek. Thank heaven I learnt it young -- an emotion different from any other.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Virginia Woolf      Print: Book


Sophocles  : Oedipus Tyrannus

'A clean table and proper lighting make me solider, I find. Tonight I have swept all the rubbish off my board and read some of Oedipus Tyrannus with only the lamp and two vases in sight. One vase has four roses, the other a spray of oak leaves: the acorns when the sun falls on them, have a blue bloom. [Midnight 5-9-36]'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Edward Morgan Forster      Print: Book


Sophocles  : Oedipus Coloneus

From Alfred Tennyson's journal of his tour in Cornwall, 1848: '14th [June]. Read part of Oedipus Coloneus [sic].'

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Alfred Tennyson      Print: Book


Sophocles  : Sophoclis Tragodiae superstites

Marginal MS notes throughout. MS on flyleaf: "GO Trevelyan Harrow 1854". On half-title: "The lines in the outer margins are Macaulay's Sophocles i.e. read while Macaulay was in India 1835,1836." Multiple dates of reading include 1903, 1920, 1924. P.71, referring to his childhood notes: "What a funny mean, little hand I wrote seventy five years ago at Harrow! Do I write better now?" P.428: "Golden poetry indeed! I have now finished a long course of Greek drama, having read the whole of Euripides at least once, and eight or ten of his plays twice or even thrice. I shall now confine myself to history - to Herodotus, Tacitus, Thucydides, and Suetonius. When I have finished all of them once more, or probably even sooner, I shall be finished myself. January 16 1925 Welcombe."

Century: 1850-1899 / 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group:      Print: Book


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