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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

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Listings for Reader:  

Janet Rawlings


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Bronte : 

'J.J. Cooper introduced the subject of the Brontes with some excellent biographical notes & readings were given from the sisters' works by S.A. Reynolds, H.M. Wallis. C.I. Evans, Helen & Janet Rawlings & the secretary'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Janet Rawlings      Print: Book


John Galsworthy : In Chancery

'The subject of the Forsyte Saga was then introduced by Charles E. Stansfield with a reading from the introduction. The remainder of an enjoyable evening was spent in listening to a series of readings from the Saga as under. The opinion being expressed that the Saga read aloud even better than to oneself. T.C. Elliott The Man of Property K. S. Evans Indian Summer of a Forsyte R. B. Graham / Janet Rawlings In Chancery R. Wallis Awakening F. E. Pollard To Let D. Brain The White Monkey'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Janet Rawlings      Print: Book


Plato : The Republic

'A Meeting held at Whinfell 21/1/29 Alfred Rawlings in the chair

1. Minutes of last time read and approved


4. The Subject of Plato was then taken F. E. Pollard explained briefly the subject and manner of "The Republic" following which Alfred and Janet Rawlings read one of the earlier dialogues. H. B. Lawson then gave us a most fascinatingly interesting account of Plato's life and work.

After supper Chas E. Stansfield read from Book 7 of the "Republic" "The Cave" this reading being illustrated by a diagram kindly made and explained by F. E. Pollard. F. E. Pollard then outlined for us the main thoughts of Platos [sic] Philosophy Ideas the true reality[.] The evening concluded by T. C. Elliott reading the affecting account of Socrates death in the Phaedo. Thus came to an end a most interesting evening.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Janet Rawlings      Print: Book


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe : The Sorrows of Young Werther

Meeting held at Reckitt House, Leighton Park: 22.6.32

Reginald H. Robson in the Chair.

1. Minutes of the last read. It was felt that Minute 6 needed some amplification, & Charles Stansfield was asked to do this. His more than kind amplification is appended.


8. After adjournment for supper, the Goethe evening was begun by Mary E Robson. She sang the song "Knowst thou the land". The music is by Beethoven. In this and her other songs Mary Robson was kindly accompanied by Caroline Pollard.

9. A Reading from Goethe was next given by Mary S. W. Pollard.

10. Reginald H. Robson read a paper on the life of Goethe. If there were any who had thought of Goethe exclusively as a poet, they must have been amazed at his vesitality. Philosopher, poet, statesman, scientist, he seems to have been "everything by turns and nothing long", except indeed a lover [...].

11. We had been much intrigued with Mrs Robson's description of the Sorrows of Werther, especially when our friend warned us that those who came under the spell of this book usually commited suicide after reading it. We felt accordingly grateful to Mrs. Robson who had read it on our behalf, and flirted with death for our sakes, and not a little apprehensive when Janet Rawlings read us an extract from it. All passed off well, however. [...]

12. George Burrow read a song from Goethe's Gefunden.

13. Mary Robson sang "My peace is o'er" from Faust.

14. A Reading from the same play was given by Elisabeth & Victor Alexander

15. Another song "Little wild rose, wild rose red." was sung by Mary Robson.

16. Finally Charles E. Stansfield gave us his paper on Goethe. He referred to the lack of the political sense in the German people of those days, & showed Goethe as quite content to acquiesce in the paternal government of his small state. He described the influence of Herde[,] Klopstock, Lessing, Shakespeare, &, quaintly enough, of Goldsmith on Goethe. In speaking of the poet's scientific interests he told us of his discovery of the intermaxillary bone & of Goethe's ceaseless efforts to acquire truth.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Janet Rawlings      Print: Book


Helen Rawlings : [reminiscences]

Meeting held at Fairlight, Denmark Rd.: 21.iii.33

Francis E. Pollard in the Chair.

1. Minutes of last read & approved.

5. Eight anonymous essays were then read. In some of these the subject treated or the style of the author made recognition comparatively easy, but others were provocative of much ingenious speculation. A paper on English Justice proved to be the most discussed during the interval. Rival tipsters gave in confidence the names of Mrs. Stansfield & Robert Pollard as the author, one of them purporting to recognize - or coming perilously close to so doing - Mrs. Stansfield’s opinion of her fellow magistrates, while the other detected just that ingenious combination of Fascism and Bolshevism that Robert Pollard would enjoy putting up for the Club’s mystification. Further conflicting theories attributed the authorship to Henry Marriage Wallis or Howard Smith, & this last proved correct[....]

Another essay which stirred debate told of a medium, a photograph, a Twentieth Century Officer & a suit of medieval armour. It was told with that precision of detail that marks either the experienced writer of fiction or the worshipper of truth. And as if to darken counsel there was an open allusion to Bordighera. Suspicious though we were, & in spite of every appearance of our being right, we adhered to the view that the author must be H. M. Wallis.

Time & space do not allow adequate record of all the papers, but it must be mentioned that three of the eight came from the Rawlings family: a thoughtful essay by Alfred Rawlings needed a second reading if it were to be seriously discussed, some interesting reminiscences by Helen Rawlings made very good hearing, & Moroccan memories by Janet helped to make a most varied programme.

Other essays were "Safety First" by Charles E. Stansfield, and "The English - are they modest? " by Edgar Castle, both of which added some humorous touches to the evening.

A list of essayists, & their readers, follows.

Mrs Castle read a paper by Alfred Rawlings
Janet Rawlings read a paper by Helen Rawlings
Charles Stansfield read a paper by Henry M. Wallis
Reginald Robson read a paper by Howard Smith
George Burrow read a paper by Reginald Robson
Alfred Rawlings read a paper by Edgar Castle
Howard Smith read a paper by Janet Rawlings
Mrs Pollard read a paper by Charles E. Stansfield.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Janet Rawlings      Manuscript: Unknown


William Shakespeare : Macbeth

Meeting held at Ashton Lodge :- 3. 7. 37.

Henry Marriage Wallis in the Chair.

1. Minutes of last read & approved


7. The Meeting then gave its attention to Witches.

H. M Wallis led off with a paper on Witchcraft and readings were given from the following books:- MacBeth – The Witch Scene[?] by Janet Rawlings, Dorothy Brain, & Dorothea Taylor with F. E. Pollard & V. W. Alexander as Banquo & MacBeth
Samuel – The Witch of Endor scene by Mary Robson
Westward Ho (Lucy), by Dorothy Brain
Trials for Witchcraft, by Howard Smith
Precious Bane, by Rosamund Wallis

Between all these items there was considerable discussion. Members were able to vie with one another in tale of mystery and eerie happenings, and if all the conversation was not strictly relevant at least the interest did not flag.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Janet Rawlings      Print: Book


William Fryer Harvey : Patience

'Meeting held at Whinfell, Upper Redlands Rd. 23.10.’37

Alfred Rawlings in the Chair

1. The Secretary asked permission to reserve the reading of some of the minutes until after the literary part of the programme had been taken, as these minutes would bear directly upon the discussion which would necessarily follow as to the future of the Club. This permission was given and the other minutes were then read and approved.

2. Victor Alexander then gave a brief account of the career of William Fryer Harvey, followed by an appreciation and review of “We were Seven” which he had previously written for the Bootham Magazine.

3. Helen Rawlings read several of Harvey’s poems from the volume “Laughter and Ghosts[”].

4. Elizabeth T. Alexander read a chapter from “Caprimulgus”.

5. Frank Pollard read “August Heat” from Midnight House.

6. Janet Rawlings read “Patience” from Quaker Byways.

7. Charles E. Stansfield read two more poems from “Laughter and Ghosts”

8. Howard R. Smith read “The Tortoise” from Midnight House.

9. The Secretary then read the minutes referring to last time’s discussion on the Club’s future, and also two letters of resignation. These were from Edgar and Mignon Castle and from Dorothy Brain.

10. Discussion then followed.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Janet Rawlings      Print: Book


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