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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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Duncan Forbes : The Whole Works


Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Samuel Taylor Coleridge      Print: Book


William Forbes-Mitchell : Reminiscences of the Great Mutiny 1857-9

'I have just returned from reading a chapter of your book to my wife and her daughter. There was not a dry eye at the table, and the reader had to suspend operations, choking upon sobs. They were tears of pride and sympathy. I beg to offer you this family anecdote as a testimony to the success of your reminiscences. Of making books there is said to be no end, and I have made many. But if I could only think once, before I died, that I had given so much and such noble pleasure to a reader, I should be more than rewarded. You have made me proud and glad to be a Scotsman.'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Robert Louis Stevenson      Print: Book


Forbes : Life of Beattie

Lady Harriet Cavendish to her sister, Lady Georgiana Morpeth, 14 November 1807: 'Miss Trimmer [former governess and companion] went out of town yesterday morning and I therefore spent almost the whole day here [at grandmother's London residence]. My grandmother and I had a dinner after our own hearts, a little in style of Cumberland's jew, Egg shells and potatoe skins, but quite enough for people on regimes as strict as ours. We played 5 games at Chess, read above a hundred pages of Forbes' life of Beattie, and 60 of Lord Gardenstone's travelling Memorandums, not a new book but a very entertaining one. Played old songs upon the harpsichord, and before the carriage came to fetch me, were both all but fast asleep upon our chairs.'

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Georgiana, Countess Dowager Spencer and Lady Harriet Cavendish     Print: Book


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