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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:  

Catherine Gladstone


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Mary Augusta Ward : Robert Elsmere

'The book ["Robert Elsmere"] had moved him [Gladstone] prfoundly and he felt impelled to combat the all too dangerous conclusions to which it pointed. "Mamma and I", he wrote to his daughter in March, "are each of us still separately engaged in a death grapple with "Robert Elsmere". I complained of some of the novels you gave me to read as too stiff, but they are nothing to this. It is wholly out of the common order. At present I regard with doubt and dread the idea of doing anything on it, but cannot yet be sure whether your observations will be verified or not. In any case it is a tremendous book". And to Lord Acton he wrote: "It is not far from twice the length of an ordinary novel; and the labour and effort of reading it all, I should say, sixfold; while one could no more stop in it than in reading Thucydides".'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Catherine Gladstone      Print: Book


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