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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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Thucydides  : 

" ... 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


Thucydides  : De bello Pelloponesiaco

Copious MS notes and doodles throughout. First date "Trevelyan May 1852". One sketch is a drawing of "Alice [his sister] opening a box of soldiers. An anticipation of the holidays. What a child I was!" This vol. read by Sir George at prep school and Harrow "20 chap a day Wed. July 4th 1855" and in a later hand "when I worked so hard for the trials, and was so disappointed in coming out fourteenth. But the work won me the Gregory scholarship a year later on." I.i p.68: "These crosses in the text seem to represent the portion each boy was called on to translate." I.ii p.85 "I hate Harris"; "I detest Harris"; p.87: "I HATE HARRIS"; under this: "Poor little boy that I was; what a bad time I had with that able, and, (as I now know) not unkindly master". Many subsequent dates of reading, incl. Jan 20 1915 "sixty years after I was first reading it in the same volume at Harrow"; Sep 29 1922 "our wedding day"; March 14 1916 "Germans sent terms of peace to America through Colonel House: - and what terms!" "Finished this old book April 4 1916 Welcome. Almost everything reminds me of the most depressed and unsatisfactory period of my life, when I was the last boy in a form of 35, 63 years ago. What a mere child I was!"

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


Thucydides  : 

'"The flowing beauty of his oral translations in class, whether of Thucydides, Plato, or Virgil was," one of his peers recalled, "a thing not easily to be forgotten." He "startled everyone", too, "in the classical medal examination, by walking easily away from us all in the viva voce on [Aeschylus's] 'Agamemnon'".'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Oscar Wilde      Print: Book


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