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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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Listings for Author:  

Joel Barlow


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Joel Barlow : The Columbiad

Mary Berry, Journal, August 1809: 'I have been reading a strange poem -- the "Columbiad" of Poet [Joel] Barlow. Who or what he is I know not, except that he is an American, deeply imbued with all the bad taste and all the prejudices which belong to his nation, in its present state of society [makes various negative criticisms] [...] Yet I have been amused at this first American attempt at an epic, with all its faults, all its vulgarisms [...] and all its false reasoning. It is full of ideas, embraces an endless variety of subjects [...] Sets one a thinking, sometimes justly, but oftener to detect and wonder at its commonplace mistakes, and the conceit with which so many false and romantic doctrines are brought forward and dwelt upon [goes on to reflect further].'

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Mary Berry      Print: Book


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