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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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James Hogg : [poem from] The Poetic Mirror

'[having written an imitation of Byron, Hogg got] a large literary party together, on pretence, as I said, of giving them a literary treat. I had got the poem transcribed, and gave it to Mr Ballantyne to read, who did it ample justice. Indeed, he read it with extraordinary effect; so much so, that I was astonished at the poem myself, and before it was half done all pronounced it Byron's. Every one was deceived, except Mr Ballantyne, who was not to be imposed on in that way'.

Century: 1700-1799     Reader/Listener/Group: Mr Ballantyne      Manuscript: Unknown


Walter Scott : Guy Mannering

William Blackwood to John Murray (early January 1815), on having seen a copy of Guy Mannering during a visit to his fellow publisher, Ballantyne: 'He [Ballantyne] would not allow me to look at it, but he read me a few pages. The painting is admirable and quite graphic -- Scottish to the life. [...] it will be a wonderful performance, and greatly superior to "Waverley" both in interest and effect.'

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group:      


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