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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 Reader:  

Jack Common


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James Boswell : Life of Johnson

'Jack Common recalled that his mother brought him a secondhand and severely abridged "Life of Johnson" for 1d., and he had to read it several times before he even partially absorbed it'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Jack Common      Print: Book


[n/a] : [comic paper]

'One day, however, I made a discovery. I could read myself! I was four years old now... and while sprawling on the floor with a comic open at the pictures of Weary Willie and Tired Tim, or Dreamy Daniel, or Casey Court, or the Mulberry Flatites, I found that the captions under suddenly began to read themselves out to me.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Jack Common      Print: Serial / periodical


[n/a] : Bible

[Given 'a handsome and well-illustrated volume called the Prize Bible' by his grandmother] '...the surprise they got when I actually read the thing, right through, cover to cover, as if it was "Chips" or "Herewald the Wake"... Here on a wet Sunday morning was this handsome volume, leather-bound, of clear bold type and frequent illustrations -I'd look at the pictures. They were gawdy and full of action, quite a lot of them. Look at the priests of Dagon with their blood-splashed knives; Jael creeping into the tent of Sisera; Egyptian chariots overwhelmed by the Red Sea; Judas gloating over his pieces of silver like a carroty-headed Quilp...You simply had to read of these matters; and if the narrative didn't always come up to the quality of the illustrations, when it did you had a story which stayed in your imangination and gave it something to glow with. I read on, session after session, past all the boring bits and finished it at last.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Jack Common      Print: Book


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