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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:  

Henry Watson


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Henry Watson : Valentine and Orson

'at ten o'clock yesterday evening little Jem Parsons (the cabin boy), and his friend the black terrier, came on deck, and sat themselves on a gun-carriage, to read by the light of the moon. I looked at the boy's book, (the terrier, I suppose, read over the other's shoulder,) and found that it was "The Sorrows of Werter". I asked who had lent him such a book, and whether it amused him? He said that it had been made a present to him, and so he had read it almost through, for he had got to Werter's dying; though, to be sure, he did not understand it all, nor like very much what he understood; for he thought the man a great fool for killing himself for love. I told him I thought that every man a great fool who killed himself for love or for any thing else: but he had no books but "The Sorrows of Werter"? - oh dear yes, he said, he had a great many more; but he had got "The Adventures of a Louse", which was a very curious book, indeed; and he had got besides "The Recess", and "Valentine and Orson", and "Roslin Castle", and a book of Prayers, just like the Bible; but he could not but say that he liked "The Adventures of a Louse" the best of any of them.'

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Jem Parsons      Print: Book


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