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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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[Madame] de Genlis


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[Madame] de Genlis : 

'Weeton's reading becomes important in communication with friends, but also a point of conflict: when she visits her brother and his wife, they complain that she spends all her time reading, though she insists that she read very little ("only... Gil Blas, now and then a newspaper, two or three of Lady M. W. Montagu's letters, and few pages in a magazine'), and only because her hosts rose so late. Since her literacy is important as a sign of status, she repeatedly presents herself not as a reader of low status texts like novels but of travels, education works, memoirs and letters, including Boswell's "Tour of the Hebrides", the Travels of Mungo Park, and Mme de Genlis' work. She approves some novels, like Hamilton's "The Cottagers of Glenburnie", but generally finds them a "dangerous, facinating kind of amusement" which "destroy all relish for useful, instructive studies'.

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Ellen Weeton      Print: Book


[Madame] de Genlis : Alphonsine, ou la tendresse maternelle

'Miss James has lent me, and I have been reading Alphonsine - that is the two first volumes - and it has completely bewitched me - I was such an old Ass as to sit up last night till three o'clock, reading - and then snuffed out my candle, and went to bed by daylight., The perfect originality of the plan upon which the story is founded, enchants me - and difficult as such an idea was to developpe, Mde de Genlis I think has done justice to her own design - a felicity many authors fail in attaining. - Oh - (But now another day has passed, and I have finished the three volumes of Alphonsine - and the [underlined] last [end underlining] disgraces the two first - Such a pack of higgledy piggledy stuff, without interest, finish, or any attempt at probability, I never read - Whip the woman!-'

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Sarah Harriet Burney      Print: Book


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